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 .
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...
Although most breast cancers begin as lumps or tumors, inflammatory breast cancer usually starts with a feeling of thickness or heaviness in the breast. You also may develop red, inflamed skin on the breast. IBC tends to grow in the form of layers or “sheets” of tissue, which doctors sometimes call “nests.”
The breasts swell and become inflamed because the cancer cells clog the vessels that carry lymph. Lymph is a clear, watery fluid that transports white blood cells and removes bacteria and proteins from the tissues.
Common symptoms of IBC include:
Redness of the breast: Redness involving part or all of the breast is a hallmark of inflammatory breast cancer. Sometimes the redness comes and goes.
Swelling of the breast: Part of or all of the breast may be swollen, enlarged, and hard.
Warmth: The breast may feel warm.
Orange-peel appearance: Your breast may swell and start to look like the peel of a navel orange (this is called “peau d’orange”).
Other skin changes: The skin of th...
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