Types of Breast Lumps
Any time a woman notices a lump in her breast, it is normal to fear the worst. However, there are many other types of lumps that can form within the breast that are not cancerous.
Of course, it is always best to have any unusual lump fully evaluated by a medical professional like Dr. Arlene and Karen Weinshelbaum, but improving your knowledge on breast lumps is never a bad idea.
5 Types of Non-cancerous Breast Lumps
Fat necrosis is a condition that describes the breakup of fatty tissue within the body. When this occurs in the breast the individual will typically notice a significant amount of pain associated with a newly formed and dimpled lump. If this lump is located near the nipple there may also be a small amount of discharge.
Another type of non-cancerous fatty lump is a lipoma. Rather than being slightly painful like a fat necrosis would be, a lipoma is soft and painless.
If bacteria becomes trapped within the breast tissue it is possible for an abscess to form. This commonly occurs in women who are breastfeeding, but can also happen to anyone. If a person does encounter an abscess in their breast, it is likely for them to experience redness and a heated sensation around the lump, which will feel solid to the touch.
A Cystic Lump
Similar to an abscess, people can also experience cysts within the breast. This benign lump consists of a fluid-filled sac that typically has a smoothness like rubber. Breast cysts may or may not cause significant discomfort, and they can also vary quite widely in size from one individual to the next. Generally the larger the cyst is, the more pain it is likely to cause.
Like several of the lumps already mentioned, intraductal papillomas often develop in the ducts of a woman’s breast. These particular lumps usually grow beneath the nipple, which occasionally leads to a bloody discharge and significant pain.
All breasts contain a certain amount of glandular tissue. When an abnormal growth appears in this tissue, it is known as an adenoma. Approximately half of all breast lumps are attributed to an adenoma, but a biopsy of the breast will be required in order to rule out any cancerous nature of the lump.
It is possible for an adenoma to become cancerous, though this rarely occurs. Typically, this type of breast lump will resolve on its own spontaneously.
Cancerous Breast Lumps
If a breast lump is indeed cancerous it will probably possess one or more of the following characteristics:
- Being firm or hard to the touch
- Cause pain
- Have an irregular shape
- Is not movable, but feels as though it is held fast to the skin or tissue within the breast
Course of Action
No matter what the condition of your breast lump, you should have it evaluated by your doctor to ensure that it is definitively not cancerous. Those who diagnose their breast cancer earlier on have much better rates of beating the disease, and are typically able to do so using less harmful methods.
Schedule a Breast Biopsy
If your lump is a result of one of the many kinds of noncancerous breast lumps, it may disappear on its own, or can be treated using antibiotics or a minimally invasive fine needle breast biopsy. To schedule a breast biopsy, please contact Gainesville Women’s Center for Radiology today at (352) 331-0115 to schedule a consultation. Alternatively, you can request an appointment online through our secure form.