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...
Article last updated on March 31, 2014 Background Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a relatively rare type of breast cancer that grows in the lymph vessels of the skin of the breast. Because it usually doesn’t form an easy-to-find lump and because it tends to spread rapidly, IBC is the most deadly form of breast cancer. Because the cancer is in the lymphatic system at the time of diagnosis, IBC is considered a Stage IIIB cancer unless it has already spread to other organs, which would make it a Stage IV cancer for those patients. The median age of IBC patients is about 57, compared to over 62 years old for other breast cancers, but much younger women often get IBC. Statistics for IBC vary, but in North America, IBC accounts for about 1% to 5% of all breast cancers. The IBC rate for women of African descent may be as high as 10%. For a long time, doctors considered IBC to be regular breast cancer cells that were more dangerous because they were in the lymph system. Recent research...
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