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Small Lump in Breast

Not all breast lumps are harmful. However, sometimes, even a small lump in the breast may carry cancerous cells. This article provides information regarding the causes and treatment of these lumps.
Niharika Arya
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
In women, the formation of small lump in breast is a very common phenomenon. Most of the time the lump is non-cancerous, but in some cases it may be cancerous too. To determine whether it is cancerous, you need to check out what type of lump it is. This can be found out either by self examination or by visiting a doctor for proper diagnosis.
There are many types of lumps that may occur in the breast. Out of these, the malignant ones are cancerous, while the rest are non-cancerous which can be cured easily. Following are the types of lumps in breast:
Simple Breast Cyst
This is a harmless condition which is characterized by the formation of small fluid-filled sac of tissues in the breast. This lump can move when you press against it. It is most likely to appear before the menstruation cycle and will diminish once the cycle is over. It usually occurs in women who are above the age of 30, or who are nearing menopause.
Fibrocystic Changes
This is usually caused due to hormonal changes or irregular menstruation cycle. It can be observed in women above the age of 35. Fibrocystic changes can be found in both the breasts and are tender to touch.
Intraductal Papillomas
It is usually found in women who are above the age of 45. This is a non-cancerous lump which is caused due to the growth of milk ducts. It can either be seen on or around the areola. Sometimes, there may be bloody discharge from the nipples too.
These are small, movable, non-cancerous lumps which usually occur in women between the age group of 20-30. They are formed due to the excess growth in glandular and connective tissues.
Breast Infection
Breast infection can be caused due to two reasons: one is because of the bacterial infection and the second is because of the inflammation of the milk duct, also known as 'mastitis'. The lump can be painful accompanied by nipple discharge.
Fat Necrosis
This is the deposition of fat as a result of a breast injury caused due to accident or surgery. The pain will depend upon the type of injury. A recent injury may cause more pain than an old injury.
Malignant Lump
These are the cancerous cells which may be life-threatening. They are irregular in shape and are very hard. The lump may occur in women who are pubescent, who are in their fertile years, or going through perimenopause or post menopause conditions. It can be found near the surface or deep inside the breast.
Some cysts disappear with time or after the menstruation cycle, hence they do not require any treatment. Non-cancerous or benign lumps can be completely treated; however, the cancerous lumps are very difficult to treat.
Following are some of the treatments options for this condition:
  • Fine-needle aspiration is a method in which a needle is inserted in the lump and the fluid inside it is drained out. If the fluid contains blood, then this sample may be sent to the laboratory for further tests.
  • Mammogram, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), breast biopsy, etc., are some of the diagnostic procedures which may help detect the lump to determine its type.
  • In case of injury and surgical traumas, hot therapy can be very helpful.
  • Mastitis can be treated with the help of antibiotics.
  • Chemotherapy sessions are conducted for women with breast cancer.
In case you notice any type of lump in the breast, do consult a doctor immediately. Always undergo proper breast examination at regular intervals so that the lumps, if any, may be diagnosed in their initial stage.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.