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Wednesday, January 27, 2010 Melissa, Community Member, asks

Q: Can a lump on the outside of my breast be cancer

I have a lump on the outside of my left breast, it looks like a boil and does not hurt, it has been there for about a month and seems to be getting bigger.Could this be breast cancer.

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Answers (3)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/27/10 4:16pm

Melissa, this could be an early sign of a rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer. Since it seems to be getting bigger rather than going away, you'd best have it looked at by a doctor, as you would any breaast lump; aside from ruling out cancer, it would be good to find out if this is an infection, a skin condition, or what it is. Good luck - PJH

Melissa, Community Member
1/27/10 4:49pm

Thank you ..

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
1/27/10 6:24pm

Most breast cancer lumps would be in your breast tissue, not on the surface.  There are all kinds of skin conditions that can show up on the breast as well as other areas.  So it's unlikely that a lump that looks like a boil is breast cancer, but since it is growing, having a doctor check it is a good idea.  If it's accompanied by redness and swelling, then as PJ said, you would want to have the doctor do appropriate tests to rule out inflammatory breast cancer.

rachel, Community Member
1/ 5/12 11:55pm

I hae a white pump growing in the outside of my brest that also looks like a boil. The doctoc says its a pluged sweat gland. But I will be going back because it's still growing


PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/ 6/12 5:38am

A plugged sweat gland actually is a boil, when it gets large enough; so I'm glad you've seen a doctor about this, and are keeping your eye on it. You don't want it to get too big. Are you applying warm compresses, and keeping it as cool, dry, and clean as possible? Hopefully the doctor has given you some advice about how to treat it in order to minnimize its growth... Hope it goes away soon. PJH

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By Melissa, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/06/12, First Published: 01/27/10