Breast Lumps An Issue For You?
Many women, as I have, experience breast lumps or cysts, at some stage of their adult life, yet most of us do not understand the basic types of lumps. A lot of painful breast lumps and breast swelling can be put down to hormonal changes to do with your cycle. Some are due to things like weight changes, age, and stress - sound familiar ladies?
A persistent lump in the breast or armpit, possibly with
swollen lymph nodes,
or accompanied with
needs to be checked out for peace of mind. Being familiar with your cycle and your breasts through self breast exam is a good idea, helping you to know what is normal for you. I know I feel some sense of control over my health, by doing breast examinations for myself. While benign breast lumps are common, it is a wise woman who keeps a look out for possible
signs of breast cancer!
Breast Calcification is calcium build up in the breast. If you were to have a mammogram, they would look like white spots on your x-ray. They are very common, usually nothing to worry about, and not felt by you.
Picture shows micro-calcification. Patient advised followup.
These are smaller breast calcification's and although they may not indicate breast cancer, if found in a group, further investigation is required. These could be signs of early changes in the breast.
Due to the aging process, these coarse calcification's are usually found in older women. These breast calcification's are harmless, so no treatment is needed.
May also be known as Fibrocystic disease. These lumps are due to overgrown fibre tissue. When this fibre grows it can block the ducts, allowing cysts to form in the breast.
I, and many other women have had these common non cancerous lumps. Your breasts feel tender, lumpy and uncomfortable. Every woman is different, some experiencing less pain and breast tenderness, and others more. These lumps are linked with your hormones and your cycle, so the symptoms may only appear prior to your period - we all know that feeling, don't we ladies! After menopause, they may not be so uncomfortable due to hormone changes, so fingers crossed! Self care and pain relief is all that is usually required.
Picture shows thickening Fibrocystic disease.
Cysts are very common, especially between 30-50 years. The breast cysts are not cancerous, and can vary in size through your cycle. They are filled with fluid due to dilated ducts, and can cause tenderness. Cysts can often arrive prior to your period, and afterwards, pain may reduce or stop as the breast cyst leaves.
Any lingering complex breast cysts may require a fine needle aspiration with a syringe, and depending on the colour of the fluid retrieved, further medical attention may be required.
Solid lumps made from excess fibre, connective and gland tissue are called Fibroadenoma. These breast lumps are more common in younger women, and may be uncomfortable responding to fluctuating hormone changes. A fibroadenoma may be felt doing your breast examination (BSE), giving you the chance to be aware of any changes over time.
This type of lump is benign, meaning it is not
however tests and biopsy can be done for further information and peace of mind.
Scar tissue and necrotic fat deposits
These breast lumps do not usually change in shape or size over the course of your cycle, and may be movable. They may spontaneously resolve but if not, you can have tests done to eliminate any cause for concern. Ultrasound, thermography and biopsy may be options available.
I have some of these types of breast lumps, as many women do. I am familiar with my breasts through doing regular breast examinations, (BSE), meaning I can monitor my breast lumps and know what feels normal for me. This can reduce unnecessary worry and means I am well placed to seek help, if the need should arise.
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