A breast lump is a swelling, protuberance, or lump in the breast.
Normal breast tissue is present in both males and females of all ages. This tissue responds to hormonal changes and, therefore, certain lumps can come and go.
Breast lumps may appear at all ages:
Infants may have breast lumps related to estrogen from the mother. The lump generally goes away on its own as the estrogen clears from the baby's body. It can happen to boys and girls.
Young girls often develop "breast buds" that appear just before the beginning of puberty. These bumps may be tender. They are common around age 9, but may happen as early as age 6.
Teenage boys may develop breast enlargement and lumps because of hormonal changes in mid-puberty. Although this may distress the teen, the lumps or enlargement generally go away on their own over a period of months.
Breast lumps in an adult woman raise concer...
What do underarm lymph nodes do? Why do they swell up? And how do you know if the swelling is simply an infection – or might be cancer?
You're taking a shower, soaping up. And suddenly, underneath your arm, your fingers detect a painful, tender lump – one that wasn't there yesterday. Your mind starts to race: "Do I need to worry about this? Could it be an infected lymph node, even though I haven't felt sick? Could it be… cancer?"
What is the lymphatic system?
Your body's lymphatic system, made up of a series of small vessels, carries a clear liquid – lymph – from your body tissues to the heart. In the heart, lymph joins blood and is pumped via arteries back to the tissues. This efficient system helps drain excess liquid from tissues, and transports infection-fighting white blood cells to where they're needed.
What are lymph nodes?
Scattered along these small lymphatic vessels are up to 700 lymph nodes. These small (think...
Q. What with all the side effects I had during chemotherapy, I really wasn’t in the mood for sex very often. And now that I’m done with chemo, I’m finding I’m still not in the mood… and even when I am, it’s painful! What’s going on? A. Well, for once those powerful chemo drugs aren’t the primary cause of these new aggravating side effects: loss of sexual desire, and painful intercourse. Instead, the villain is your body’s lack of hormone production, brought on by menopause, brought on by, yes, those chemo drugs. Most pre-menopausal women go into what’s called chemical menopause or instant menopause during chemotherapy. And if you were going through menopause when you started chemo, the drugs will only increase your symptoms. This chemically induced menopause, unlike the long, gradual process most women go through naturally, is intense. The drugs immediately diminish your ovaries’ and adrenal glands’ production of es...
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