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  • Writer's pictureDr, Vijayshree Patil

Breast Lumps

We’ve seen the video and understood how to perform a self – breast examination.

But always remember that not all lumps are cancer. Only 10% of breast lumps are cancerous.

So what are the rest?

They could be a number of things. I’ve listed the commonest ones and their cure right below.

1. Fibroadenoma:

It occur most frequently in women between 18 and 35 and account for nearly all breast tumours in women under 25. It is a collection of breast tissue. Presents as a painless lump in the breast , usually mobile or moving within the breast.

Treatment is a fairly simple surgery, that can be performed as a day care procedure, without requiring any or minimal hospital stay.

2. Fibrocystic breast disease:

This is not a disease, but rather a benign condition affecting 50 to 60 percent of all women. Fibrous breast tissue, mammary glands, and ducts overreact to the normal hormones produced during ovulation, resulting in the development of fibrous lumps and/or numerous, small multiple cysts, (lumpy, fluid-filled sacs, or "pockets"). Fibrocystic changes are an exaggerated response of breast tissue to changes of ovarian hormones. They are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50. They are unusual after menopause unless a woman is taking hormones.

The size and tenderness of Fibrocystic lumps usually increase before menstruation, decreasing after the period ends. This condition, also known as cystic mastitis, generally disappears after menopause.

Recent research has reported that some dietary factors like coffee, tea, cola, chocolate and some diet and cold medication, seems to promote the growth of Fibrocystic lumps. In one study, more than half the women who gave up the above items from their diets found that their cysts gradually disappeared.

3. Breast infections:

Breast infections, also called mastitis, may cause pain, redness, and warmth of the breast

along with the following symptoms:

· Tenderness and swelling

· Body aches

· Fatigue

· Breast engorgement

· Fever and chills


A breast abscess can be a complication of mastitis. They are more often tender and frequently feel mobile beneath the skin. The edge of the mass is usually regular and well defined.

Indications that this more serious infection has occurred include the following:

· Tender lump in the breast that does not get smaller after breastfeeding a newborn (If the

abscess is deep in the breast, you may not be able to feel it.)

· Pus draining from the nipple

· Persistent fever and no improvement of symptoms within 48-72 hours of treatment

Call your health care provider as soon as you feel any suspicious lump, whether you are

breastfeeding or not. Call for an appointment if:

· You have any abnormal discharge from your nipples.

· Breast pain is making it difficult for you to function each day.

· You have prolonged, unexplained breast pain.

· You have any other associated symptoms such as redness, swelling, pain that interferes with

breastfeeding, a mass or tender lump in the breast that does not disappear after


· If you are breastfeeding, call your doctor if you develop any symptoms of breast infection

so that treatment may be started promptly.

Treatment would be antibiotics and other medications prescribed by your doctor after

clinical examination.

Non breastfeeding women may have chronic mastitis which requires a longer course of antibiotics. In a country like India, the possibility of tuberculosis of the breast or TB mastitis should be ruled out.

Non breastfeeding women with mastitis, or those who do not respond to treatment, may have a mammogram or breast biopsy. This is a precautionary measure because a rare type of breast cancer can produce symptoms of mastitis.


Worrying signs that you MUST get checked by a doctor include:

· Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area

· Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast

· Change in the size or shape of the breast

· Dimpling or puckering of the skin

· Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple

· Pulling in of the nipple or other parts of the breast

· Nipple discharge that starts suddenly

· New pain in 1 spot that doesn't go away

Nipple discharge that:

· Occurs without squeezing the nipple

· Occurs in only 1 breast

· Is bloody or clear (not milky)

Breast diseases, affect women everywhere, but the one thing common all over the world is the taboo related to people talking about or discussing these topics.

Its 2019, we are marching all over the world for women’s rights. The right to your body

And good health are a basic right.

We at the safety net encourage you to know your body, own your body and have an informed conversation about things that bother you.

Help us help you!

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