Finding a lump can be frightening. But take a deep breath — it doesn’t guarantee you have cancer. In reality, most lumps aren’t dangerous. However, they still require medical attention. Here’s what you should know about breast lumps.

Finding an abnormal growth anywhere on your body can be alarming. However, it’s especially concerning when it involves your breast tissue. After all, breast cancer is the second most common form of this disease in American women, following skin cancer.

But before you panic, lumps can appear in your breast tissue that aren’t cancerous. Instead, they can develop for a variety of reasons, even infections.

Dr. Laureen Forgione-Rubino has advanced expertise in robot-assisted and laparoscopic surgery, along with high-risk breast patient care. She also works closely with local providers, including primary care physicians, OB/GYN specialists, plastic surgeons, and oncologists.

Her commitment ensures you receive comprehensive treatment strategies and seamless care, whether you have breast cancer or another diagnosis.

If you have a breast lump, here’s what it could mean and what you can expect moving forward.

Detecting breast lumps

Breasts may seem soft or squishy, but they’re also naturally bumpy in texture. It’s also common for some people to have breasts that seem lumpier than others.

Because of this, it’s helpful to have a sense of how your breasts normally feel so it’s easier to detect changes if they arise.

Breast lumps can appear anywhere in your breast tissue, including your armpit area. They can also vary in how they feel, such as:

  • Soft or squishy
  • Rock hard or firm
  • Bumpy
  • A thick spot
  • Moveable or stationary
  • Large, like a grape, or small as a pea
  • Round or irregularly shaped
  • Tender or painful to the touch

Some breast lumps can even have additional symptoms involving your skin, nipple, or breast discharge.

If you notice areas or symptoms of concern, it’s crucial to schedule a consultation with an expert for a speedy diagnosis.

Common causes of breast lumps

The first assumption people often make when they find a breast lump is the presence of cancer. However, numerous conditions can cause tissue changes, such as:

  • Breast cysts
  • Fibrocystic breast changes
  • Breast calcifications
  • Breast infections
  • Fibroadenomas
  • Fat necrosis after an injury
  • Intraductal papilloma
  • Lipoma

Breast lumps can also be cancerous tumors. Diagnosing the cause of your breast lump determines the best course of treatment moving forward.

Diagnosing and treating breast lumps

Doctors use several methods to diagnose breast lumps. It often starts with capturing your health history, performing a breast exam, and ordering imaging scans like ultrasounds or mammograms.

Based on these results, you could need additional screenings before your provider outlines a treatment strategy.

In some cases, breast lumps require no intervention at all. For instance, they sometimes appear in young people because of their menstrual cycle and go away on their own. However, other breast lumps benefit from medical care, like medications to treat infection or cyst drainage.

For cancerous lumps, treatment plans could include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Dr. Forgione-Rubino specializes in medical breast surgeries, whether you need a biopsy, cyst aspiration, or breast cancer treatment. She understands the concerns that the prospect of breast surgery can raise, even if it’s from a noncancerous cyst.

If you have a breast lump requiring treatment, Dr. Forgione-Rubino explains all of the options available. She also takes the time to answer any questions or concerns you may have to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout the entire process.

If you notice breast changes or lumps, don’t wait to talk to your doctor.

Experts also recommend women 40 and over (or those assigned female at birth) undergo annual breast screenings with a mammogram. This preventive test is the best way to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.

Do you have a breast lump? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Forgione-Rubino by calling our Manchester, Connecticut, office or requesting an appointment online today.

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