Prior to the invention of mammograms, breast self-exams to detect early-stage breast cancer lumps was the first defense. Any lump or swelling of the breast is cause for immediate concern. Even the male breast is not immune. Everyone should remain alert to changes. The statistics are startling, one in eight will tackle the diagnosis of invasive breast cancer and have to cope with the ramifications of surgery, reconstructive procedures, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Warning Signs of Cancer
Detecting a lump in the female breast is the rel=”nofollow”first warning sign.
- Alteration in the breast’s appearance
- Discharge from the nipple when squeezed or not.
- Change in nipple
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
If you do not detect a mass in your breast because the lump size is small or the tumor is located deep within fibrous dense tissue then there are other symptoms.
- Discomfort in the breast
- Nipple Pain
- Nipple retraction
- Skin irritation on the breast’s surface
- Color change in the nipple or areola
- A change in a mole
- A sore that does not heal
- A cough
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Painful bowel movements
- Painful urination
- Blood in urine
- Swallowing problems
- Pain after eating
- Night Sweats
- Hot flashes
- Bloody stool
Detecting a Breast Lump
What if you feel a mass in your breast but you are unsure if it’s cause for concern? Many lumps are non-cancerous, but others might be malignant.
Please take a few moments to peruse the images and then read the following key information on what a breast lump feels like.
What Does a Breast Lump Feel Like?
Some lumps are painful but others do not hurt. The bump might feel hard or soft. Some are moveable and some do not move. Cancerous lumps are usually pain-free. They feel hard (like an olive or a pea under your skin). They also have very uneven diameters which means they are not perfectly round. Typically, the lump is immobile.
A Fibroadenoma Lump
The common non-cancerous fibroadenoma is benign. It will move around when you push on it. Some develop in puberty but others come later in life. The lump feels round and smooth. You can maneuver it with your fingertips.
The Breast Cyst
During breastfeeding, it is not uncommon for mastitis to form. Breast abscesses or cysts are painful. You might have a fever.
There could be a red spot or a reddish ring around the lump’s diameter. The lump usually feels painful.
The Importance of Mammograms to Detect Lumps
Mammograms save lives but they are not 100 percent. Never underestimate the importance of a breast self-exam. You can feel all of the common places with your hands while in the shower, lying down, or in the bath at least once per month.
Hormones and Breasts
During menstruation, your breasts feel different. They are often swollen, sore, and lumpy. It’s best to do a self-exam a week after your period when your hormonal levels are at their lowest. Examine the pictures to learn about the techniques of self-exam.
Understanding the Different Breast Lumps
Benign: The word ‘benign’ is a good word. It means that you do not have cancer. Your physician will perform a biopsy to check the cell types.
Fibrocystic changes: Estimates vary but 50 to 60 percent of all ladies have fibrocystic breasts. The tissue, mammary glands, and ducts swell from hormones. The enlargement occurs during ovulation and menstruation. The lumps multiple.
Fibroadenomas: The most common type of breast lump. The condition was outlined above. Most women under the age of 25 have these kinds of lumps. They are easily palpated.
Papillomas: The papilloma is almost wartlike. They arise from the lining in the mammary duct near the nipple. Discharge seeps out that might be clear, milky, or blood tinged.
Malignant Tumor: Malignant breast cancer ultimately leads to death if not treated. The cancerous cells invade the surrounding organs and spread outward to the bones, live, lungs, and brain. Early detection provides the best promise for a cure. With breast cancer, the nipple might secrete. They often report nipple tenderness. The skin on the surface of the breast often dimples or puckers. The tumor itself often feels like a hard lump or even a thickened area of the skin.
Location of the Lump
Breast cancer often arises in the mammary glands that sit in the top or outer region of the breast and extend to the armpit. The tissue in that region is thicker and accounts for at least 50 percent of all diagnoses. Additional sites include the nipple region, the lower part of the breast and inner area.
Breast lumpiness is scary. If you detect something uncommon, then you should schedule an appointment to have an exam. A mammogram and ultrasound might be performed followed by a biopsy. If the lump is malignant, then further tests will be run such as a PET scan to locate any metastatic spread.
Breast cancer treatments include:
- Hormonal therapy
- Biological therapy
- Alternative treatments such as diet modification, yoga, and herbal supplements
New Technology Emerging to Treat Breast Cance
Bone Strength: Breakthrough treatments are on the horizon. Researchers are working tirelessly to develop state-of-the-art drugs.
Bone spread remains a reality as cancer progresses. Revolutionary drug lines such as pamidronate, denosumab, and zoledronic strengthen bones and lower the risk of fractures.
HER2: Tumors secrete a protein referred to as HER2. Target drugs zone on the HER2 and destroy the malignant cells.
The following drugs show impressive progress.
- Ado-trastuzumab emtansine ( Kadcyla)
- Pertuzumab (Perjeta)
- Lapatinib (Tykerb)
- Trastuzumab (Herceptin
- Neratinib (Nerlynx)
Nanotechnology: This technique relies on microscopic objects to hone in on the tumor and transport bombs of drugs.
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