Decoding Lumps & Bumps
Should you start panicking if you feel a lump or bump in your breast? The good news is that nine out of 10 breast lumps are not cancerous. Normal breasts can feel lumpy which is due to normal changes in breast tissue that occur during development. Benign breast lumps do not necessarily require any treatment, although treatment may be recommended if the lump is particularly large, is getting bigger, or is causing other symptoms such as pain.
Medication can often help relieve breast pain, and antibiotics can treat any bacterial infections that may have caused the lump to develop. In some cases, a needle may need to be used to drain away any fluid or pus within the breast lump. Local anaesthetic will be used to numb the area being treated so you don’t feel any pain while this is carried out. Occasionally, surgery may be carried out to cut out the lump. This will normally be done under general anaesthetic (where you are asleep) and you will usually be able to go home the same day.
Here are several types of lumps and bumps, and what to do if you find one
The goal of performing regular breast self-examination is not to be your own doctor, but to detect significant changes and developments, as well as reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. There are many ways to conduct an examination, with each position giving you different angles to inspect. We show you some of the ways:
What can you do if you find one?
Don’t risk it – ask your doctor or gynaecologist for a clinical breast exam and consider a diagnostic mammogram and / or ultrasound. All lumps should be carefully monitored for changes, as fibrocystic breasts put you at increased risk for breast cancer. Be diligent about regular self-exams and yearly clinical exams. Report any changes immediately to your doctor.