Non cancerous breast lumps

A hard lump in the breast is the single most common breast symptom. However, all lumps in the breast are not cancerous. In fact, in the younger age group (less than 30 years), it is the non cancerous lumps which are much more common. It is essential to know about non cancerous lumps as well, so that they can be detected and treated appropriately; and so that, there is no unnecessary apprehension.

Read on below


Types of lumps:

Fibroadenoma (Fibroid)

A fibroadenoma is, by far, the most common lump occuring in younger age groups. It is known to form due to effects of a hormone called estrogen on the cells of the breast. Fibroadenoma is not a cancer and fibroadenomas do not turn into cancers. However, if a fibroid can be felt with a hand and is a little larger in size, then it is usually better to get them removed surgically. Because, by waiting, it may turn still larger and a removal then will cause a larger cut on the breast and larger loss of tissue, affecting the cosmesis. A stitch in time saves nine. Sometimes, when an ultrasound of the breast is done for some reason, it shows up a few small fibroadenomas, which are not felt by hand. Such fibroadenomas can be observed, meaning, they do not need any active treatment. They may get arrested at that size and may not grow.

Breast cysts

A cyst implies a collection of 'fluid'. It is like a balloon, a thin wall outside, enclosing some fluid inside. Cysts in the breast are a very common finding, especially on routine mammography. They are formed due to play of homones on the breast cells. Breast cysts will not cause any problem, unless they become big in size. If a cyst is not felt by a hand, it can be safely observed and nothing need be done. If a cyst can be felt with hand and is larger, then it may need intervention. SOmetimes, especially in older age groups, such cysts are full of liquid, but show some 'solid' srea at one side, in which case, it is beter to excise, as there could be a hidden cancer in that solid area.

Benign Breast disease

Benign breast disease (BBD) is used to describe various lumps and 'lumpish feels', which are non cancerous. The word 'benign' means 'non cancerous'. On a sonography, such benign breast disease can show up as a spectrum between the soft breast cyts and harder fibroadenoma. Many of such benign lumps will be associated with pain in the breast as well. This pain may or may not be related to menstrual periods.

Abscess (Infection, wtih pus formation)