Breast Lumps in Women - Causes, Symptoms, Types and Treatment
Dr Easton Patrick
Breast lumps are swelling or localized thickening in the breast of the woman. It is a growth of a tissue in the breast and is also known as a swelling, growth, thickness or mass. This is a common condition and most of the lumps are non cancerous or benign. These benign breast lumps are of many types, the most common type being cysts and fibroadenomas. Cysts are sacs of fluids that build up in the breast tissue and fibroadenomas are solid growths made up of glandular and fibrous tissues.
Causes - The causes of breast lumps in women which are benign maybe any of the following
1. Cysts: This is one of the most common causes of breast lumps in women before menopause. Cysts can cause several lumps to appear suddenly.
2. Fibroadenoma: This is another common cause of the lumps especially in women who are young.
3. Periductal mastitis: This condition is of infection and inflammation around the area of the nipple. This may be common in women who smoke.
4. Inflammation: Some kinds of infections can cause inflammation or abscess.
5. Hamartoma: This is growth in excessive manner in a tiny region of the breast tissue.
6. Fat necrosis: Injury to the breast may cause lumps to be formed in the area of fatty breast tissue. This is also the cause of breast lumps in women.
7. Papilloma: It is a condition of growth like a wart inside the duct behind the nipple.
8. Lipoma: Lipoma is a fatty lump.
9. Fibrocystic Disease: The overgrowth of fibrous tissue results in thickening of the breast tissue causing lumps.
10. Phyllodes tumors: These tumors may be cancerous or benign.
During pregnancy one can experience tenderness and soreness in the breasts which is a result of increased levels of progesterone and the growth of the milk ducts. One may develop cysts or fibroadenomas during pregnancy.
Symptoms - The symptoms of bust lumps in women can be thickening of the breast, lumpiness in breast, a change in the appearance of the nipple, a change in the shape or size of the breasts, a change in the feel of the breasts, discharge from the nipple and a swelling in the armpit.
Types - There are three types of non cancerous or benign breast lumps and one kind of malignant breast lump. The three types of benign lumps are Cysts, Pseudolumps and Fibroadenomas. The malignant type is Breast Cancer.
The diagnosis of a breast lump may require tests like mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, MRI scan or a needle aspiration. The treatment of benign breast lumps in women may be required if the symptoms ar epresnt.
Treatment - Small fibroadenoman and lipomas may not require serious attention if there are no symptoms but other types of benign breast lumps may require treatments. Large fibroadenomas, lipomas and hamartomas need to be removed before they get larger. Phyllodes and papillomas also need to be removed. Cysts can be drained with a needle. A firm solid lump will require biopsy to be taken to determine the treatment to be used. Other infections or abscess can be treated with antibiotics or drained if there is pus present.
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