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A breast lump is a symptom of a variety of benign to mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions. A breast lump can occur by itself or there may be multiple breast lumps, depending on the underlying cause. A breast lump or lumps result from infection, malignancy, noncancerous growths, and hormonal changes.
A breast lump can be described as a hard or soft nodule, bump, swelling, or bulge. A breast lump can is sometimes also referred to as an abnormality in the shape or contour of the breast. A breast lump can occur in any age group or population, in both males and females, but generally occurs most often in women.
A breast lump can result from an infection, such as mastitis, an infected wound on the breast, or an abscess. A breast lump can also be a symptom of a non-malignant or noncancerous condition, such as breast cysts, fibrocystic breasts, a blocked milk duct and fibroadenomas. A breast lump can also be a symptom of breast cancer, the most common type of cancer in women. Breast lumps and breast cancer can also occur in males. For more details about causes, see causes of a breast lump.
A breast lump often occurs in conjunction with other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. A breast lump may also occur without any other symptoms. Other coexisting symptoms can include fever, breast pain, breast tenderness, pain or tenderness of the breast lump, and discharge from the nipples. Symptoms can also include breast deformity or change in the size or shape or appearance of the breast, redness or swelling of the breast, or an inverted nipple.
Diagnosing a breast lump and its root cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including cancer history, and completing a physical examination, including a breast examination.
Making a diagnosis often includes performing a mammogram, a special X-ray of the breasts. An ultrasound using sound wave technology may also be done to help determine if the breast lump is fluid-filled, which occurs in a benign breast cyst. An ultrasound can also help to determine of a breast lump is or a hard solid mass, which may indicate a cancerous tumor.
A biopsy may also be done. A biopsy involves taking a sample of the breast lump to examine under a microscope for breast cancer cells.
If a breast lump is found to be cancerous, further testing is generally performed. Imaging tests may include MRI and PET scan, which can help to show if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as to the lymph nodes. A lymph node biopsy is generally done if metastasis to the lymphatic system is suspected.
Other diagnostic tests performed for breast cancer include hormone tests.
A diagnosis of a breast lump and its cause can easily be delayed or missed because a breast lump may be small, may not be painful, and might be ignored and for other reasons. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of breast lump.
Treatment of a breast lump varies depending on the underlying cause. Some conditions can be successfully treated and cured, while others may require more intensive treatment and may not have an optimal prognosis. Treatment of a breast cyst may include a needle aspiration of the fluid in the cyst. Fibrocystic disease may need no treatment unless there is pain. Treatment of breast cancer is complex and generally includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy and other medications. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of breast lump....more »
Breast lump: A lump in the breast immediately brings fear of breast cancer, although most breast lumps are benign breast cysts. However, the failure to identify a breast lump as breast cancer is a common...more »
Diagnosing a breast lump and its cause may be delayed or missed because in some cases, a breast lump may not be painful or large enough for a person to become concerned and seek medical care. In addition, small breast lumps may not be noticed for long periods of time.
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Breast lump.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
Home medical tests possibly related to Breast lump:
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Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Breast lump, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.
Treatment plans for a breast lump or lumps are individualized depending on the underlying cause, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age and medical history of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the cause, minimizes the discomfort of a breast lump or lumps and decreases the risk of developing serious complications, ...Breast lump Treatments
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Breast lump may include:
Review further information on Breast lump Treatments.
Real-life user stories relating to Breast lump:
Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Breast lump or relevant symptoms:
Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Breast lump. Some of these are listed below :
The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible
causes of Breast lump as a symptom.
Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using,
including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.
Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Breast lump may include these symptoms:
Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:
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Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Breast lump:
During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Breast lump. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.
It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.
Create your printable checklist here.
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Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:
Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible
causes of Breast lump as a symptom include:
A mass in the mammary gland, either mobile or immobile. Once the mass has reached the size of a small garden pea, it can be detected by palpation. With mammography a larger number of early breast cancers are being detected since this techniques allows detection prior to the point at which the mass can be felt. Breast masses are not always malignant. Benign fibrocystic breast disease is not uncommon. A fine needle biopsy aspiration can distinguish a cystic mass from a solid one.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
The list of organs typically affected by Breast lump may include, but is not limited to:
The list below shows some of the causes of Breast lump mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Breast lump. Of the 64 causes of Breast lump that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Breast lump' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Breast lump or choose View All.
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Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Breast lump, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.
Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :
Medical Conditions associated with Breast lump:
Symptoms related to Breast lump:
Nipple symptoms (123 causes), Breast swelling (72 causes), Breast infection (5 causes), Mastitis, Breast symptoms (240 causes), Breast pain (77 causes), Nipple pain (11 causes), Breast cyst, Breast abscess (5 causes), Breast cancer (3 causes), Metastatic breast cancer, Chronic cystic mastitis, Fat necrosis, Gynecomastia (76 causes), Papilloma, Breast duct papilloma
Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:
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Medical research papers related to Breast lump include:
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