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Cancer and breast lumps
It is understandable thata newly discovered breast lump maycause fear andconcern, but the fact is that only a small percentage of lumpsturn out to be cancer. Many women have "lumpy breasts" or fibrocystic breast disease , a common and benign (harmless) condition.
If you have this condition, examining your breasts can be confusing and, at times, alarming. It is still very important to check your breasts at the same time each month and bring anything that feels new or different to your doctor's attention. It may be helpful to know that a cancerous lump tends to be hard and unmovable. See breast lump and fibroadenoma .
To avoid fibrocystic changes in your breast tissue, avoid excessive fat and caffeine in your diet.
Most cases of breast cancer cannot be prevented. However, early detection and prompt treatment are important. All women should receive routine breast exams from a doctor and routine mammograms, as recommended.
All women over the age of 40 should also perform breast self-exams every month, preferably at the end of their menstrual period when the breasts are less tender and less swollen. Women who are breastfeeding should examine their breasts after completing a feeding.
In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKena WG, eds. Clinical Oncology . 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 95
Whitman GJ. Ultrasound-guided breast biopsies. Ultrasound Clin. Dec 2006; 1(4); 603-615.
Worried about a lump in your breast? Breast lumps can be caused by a number of other factors besides breast cancer. While breast lumps should always be taken seriously, these FAQS may help you determine just how quickly you should get to the doctor. Q. My breasts were feeling really painful, especially the right one, so I went to the doctor. She said I have “fibrocystic changes,” and it’s nothing to worry about. I’m glad it’s not cancer, but what is it? A. Fibrocystic changes (FCC), also known as fibrocystic breasts, are the most common benign condition of the breast, occurring in about 50% of women at some point during their lives. Highly influenced by reproductive hormones and the menstrual cycle, FCC is most often found in women under the age of 50. Post-menopausal women rarely experience FCC. Your breasts are made up of fat; glandular tissue (e.g., milk lobules and milk ducts); and fibrous (stromal) tissue, a connective tissue (akin to scar tissue or lig...
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