What are causes of breast lumps?
There are many causes of breast lumps.
Some of these causes are harmless, while
others can be painful and/or dangerous.
Causes of breast lumps include infections,
injuries, non-cancerous growths, and
What are the causes of
non-cancerous breast growths?
Non-cancerous breast growths include: (i)
Fibroadenoma (ii) Breast cysts (iii)
Can teenage girls get breast
Yes, however, breast cancer is rare during
adolescence. On the other hand, breast
lumps are common at this time of life.
What are the common causes of
breast lumps in adolesence?
Breast lumps that are common in
adolescence are as follows: (i) Cysts:
They often enlarge and become tender and
painful just before the menstrual period
and may seem to appear overnight.Cysts are
the most common reason for breast lumps in
teenagers. Cysts are rarely cancerous.
(ii) Fibroadenomas: Fibroadenomas are
solid, smooth, firm, benign lumps that
commonly occur in women in their late
teens and early twenties. They are the
second most common benign lumps that occur
in women and can occur in women of any
What is the commonest cause of
breast pain in non breastfeeding women?
Fibrocystic breast disease is the
commonest cause of painful breasts in non-
breastfeeding women. Fibrocystic breasts
is a benign condition which should not be
confused with breast cancer.
Which women are more likely to
develop fibrocystic breast condition?
Fibrocystic breast condition is said to
primarily affect women age 30 and older.
Is it normal for there to be
discharge coming out of the breasts?
If the discharge is bloody or pus-like, it
may indicate one of the rare serious
conditions like an infection or tumor. For
this, it is necessary that a doctor be
How can a woman be certain that a
lump is not cancer?
There only one way to be certain that a
lump is not cancerous is to have a tissue
sampling (biopsy). There are several ways
to do the biopsy. Sometimes, a fine needle
aspiration (FNA) is done. FNA is like a
blood test in that a needle is inserted
and fluid is withdrawn. To determine the
correct location to sample, the lump can
either be felt, or if it cannot be felt,
the FNA may be done during an ultrasound
What are the risk factors for
A risk factor is something that may
increase the chance of developing a
disease. Studies have found the following
risk factors for breast cancer: (i)
Breast cancer is common in older women and
is more common after 60 years of age. (ii)
A woman who had breast cancer in one
breast has an increased risk of getting
cancer in her other breast. (iii) A
woman's risk of breast cancer is higher if
her mother, sister, or daughter had breast
cancer (iv) Women who had their first
menstrual period before age 12 are at an
increased risk . (v) Women who never had
children (vi) Women who are physically
inactive throughout life.(vii)Overweight
and consumption of high fat diet.
What steps may be taken to detect
early presence of a lump?
It is important that women (i) perform
regular breast self-examinations (ii)
Undergo mammogram .
How is Breast Self Examination
Breast Self Examination includes five
Begin by looking at your breasts in the
mirror with your shoulders straight and
your arms on your hips. Here's what you
should look for: (i)Breasts that are their
usual size, shape, and color (ii) Breasts
that are evenly shaped without visible
distortion or swelling. If you see any of
the following changes, bring them to your
doctor's attention: (i) Dimpling,
puckering, or bulging of the skin.(ii) A
nipple that has changed position or an
inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of
sticking out). (iii) Redness, soreness,
rash, or swelling.
Now, raise your arms and look for the same
While you're at the mirror, gently squeeze
each nipple between your finger and thumb
and check for nipple discharge (this could
be a milky or yellow fluid or blood).
Next, feel your breasts while lying down,
using your right hand to feel your left
breast and then your left hand to feel
your right breast. Use a firm, smooth
touch with the first few fingers of your
hand, keeping the fingers flat and
Finally, feel your breasts while you are
standing or sitting. Cover your entire
breast, using the same hand movements
described in Step 4.
What is mammogram?
Mammogram is a radio diagnostic method
which can often show a breast lump before
it can be felt.
How are breast lumps caused due to
Infections of the breast are especially
common in women who are breastfeeding a
baby . When the skin of the nipple is
injured or cracked, such as occurs with
nursing, bacteria can enter the wound and
cause infections, resulting in the
formation of an abscess (deep pocket of
pus) or infection of the overlying skin
resulting in redness.
OTHER BREAST RELATED CONCERNS
What are the changes which occur in
the breasts during menstruation?
Many women experience in their breasts
cyclical changes such as the swelling,
pain, and tenderness just before
menstruation. This is normal and occurs
due to the influence of hormones- estrogen
When should a girl’s breasts start
It is important to understand that there
is a lot of variation in the normal timing
of breast growth. For example, it is
normal for breasts to start growing as
early as nine years of age and it is also
normal if they do not begin growing until
14 years of age.
How big should breasts be?
From a health perspective, there is no
ideal breast size. Some of us are tall and
some short. Similarly, some girls have
large, medium, or small breasts.
If your mother and sisters have
small breasts will you have small ones
There is some genetic component to breast
size. However, there are some health
professionals that argue about this. It is
not uncommon within one family to see
sisters or mother and daughters with very
different breast sizes.
Is it normal to have different sized
Having different-sized breasts is perfectly
normal. It's quite common for girls to have
different-sized breasts or nipples, especially
as they develop during puberty. Everyone's
different, and no two women's breasts will
look exactly the same. In fact, asymmetry —
where one body part, like a foot or a hand, is
a slightly different size or shape from its
partner — is quite common in humans. In such
cases supportive bras or special inserts that
make their breasts appear more equal in size.
Can be helpful.
What is to be done if one’s breasts are
small and flat ?
The breast is made up of glands and fatty
tissue. Since it is the amount of fats that
determines the size of the breast, one way of
enlarging the breasts is by putting on more
weight. This can be done by increasing one’s
intake of protein rich foods such as pulses-
soyabean, rajma etc, eggs, milk, non-veg
items and healthy carbohydrates such
chappatis, brown bread, rice, nuts etc.
Exercise can enlarge the 'look' of the
breasts, not by adding fat to breast tissue,
but by enlarging the muscles beneath the