A breast lump is a growth of tissue that develops within your breast. It may be described as a mass, growth, swelling, thickness or fullness.
A breast lump can vary in the way it looks and feels. If you have a breast lump, you may notice:
- A distinct lump with definite borders
- A thickened, slightly more prominent area in your breast that's different from surrounding breast tissue
- Other breast changes, such as redness, dimpling or pitting of the skin
- One breast that's noticeably larger than the other (breast asymmetry)
- Nipple changes, such as a nipple that's pulled inward (nipple inversion) or spontaneous fluid discharge from your nipple
- Breast pain or tenderness
Sometimes, a breast lump is a sign of breast cancer. That's why you should seek prompt medical evaluation. Fortunately, however, most breast lumps result from noncancerous (benign) conditions.
Make an appointment with your doctor to have a breast lump evaluated, especially if:
- The breast lump is new or unusual and feels different from surrounding tissue or from tissue in your other breast
- The breast lump doesn't go away or gets bigger after your next menstrual period
- The breast lump changes — gets bigger, firmer or more defined from surrounding breast tissue
- You have bloody, possibly spontaneous, discharge from your nipple
- You notice skin changes on your breast, such as redness, crusting, dimpling or puckering
- Your nipple is turned inward (inverted), although it isn't normally positioned that way
Oct. 30, 2012
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