One common characteristic of breast cancer is the appearance of breast lumps. However, not all breast lumps are cancerous. Some medical conditions can cause these symptoms.
Research shows, 80% of cases of breast lumps are not cancer. However, breast lumps cannot be underestimated, it is important to recognize the difference between non-cancerous lumps and cancer, so that they can get the treatment needed quickly and accurately.
Various Types of Non-cancer Breast Lumps
There are several non-cancer cases that are characterized by breast lumps, including:
Breast cysts are pockets filled with fluid in the breast tissue that cause lumps and feel soft. Cysts are generally experienced by women aged between 35-50 years. During the menstrual cycle, the size of the cyst can enlarge quickly because it responds to hormones.
Is a change in the breast due to hormonal instability during the menstrual cycle. These changes cause a lump in the breast that feels painful. In addition, the nipples will be more sensitive. This condition is not a disease. Symptoms usually occur during the pre-menstruation period and improve when the menstruation lasts or ends. However, consult a doctor immediately if symptoms persist after the completion of the menstrual period
Fibroadenoma is a solid lump that occurs due to excess formation of milk-producing glands or lobules and tissue around the breast. Lumps do not hurt, and if pressed will shift. This condition is generally experienced by women aged 20-30 years. The cause of fibroadenoma is not known with certainty, but is known to have a relationship with the effect of fertility hormones.
Breast infections are most often experienced by nursing mothers. This condition is known as mastitis. This kind of infection can cause painful lumps in the breast. Infection occurs when bacteria from the surface of your skin or from the baby’s mouth enter the milk duct through the nipple. Another cause is the closure of milk ducts. This happens when you stop breastfeeding even though the milk in the breast has not been used up. As a result, the milk returns to the duct, thus triggering infection and causing lumps.
Mastitis makes breastfeeding painful because the breast feels like burning. However, it is not a problem for you to continue breastfeeding your baby. Consult immediately with a doctor, usually the doctor will give antibiotics and pain relievers.
Recognize Lumps in Breast Cancer
Lumps in the breast can also be a sign of breast cancer. Cancer occurs when cells in the breast begin to grow abnormally. Cancer cells develop faster than normal cells, causing lumps.
However, you can do Breast Self-Examination (BSE) as an early detection measure to be aware of a lump in the breast that is marked by the following symptoms:
- Breasts undergo changes in size or shape.
- Nipples are attracted to parts
- Although rare, the nipples release blood-containing fluids.
- In rare types of cancer, red spots appear around the nipples that look like eczema.
- In some areas of the breast, there is thickening of the skin.
Medical Examination Required
Some breast examinations that may be needed to determine whether a lump in the breast is a cancerous or non-cancerous lump are as follows:
This examination can effectively be used to examine solid breasts, such as young women.
Mammography examination is superior for examining less dense breasts, usually in women who have gone through menopause.
A combination of ultrasound and mammography
This combination examination is useful for detecting more malignant tumors.
MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Used for examination in more complicated cases, such as breast cancer related to gene mutations, sufferers using silicone gel implants in the breast, or other complicated conditions. However, MRI examination is usually not enough and further tests are needed.
Biopsy is the sampling of certain layers in the breast to ensure the presence of abnormal cells.
It’s important to do your own breast checkup routinely. This can increase your sensitivity to changes in the breast. When there are even the slightest lumps, you can find out because you are accustomed to checking and knowing how your breasts are in normal condition.
If you find a breast lump, you should see a doctor to make sure the breast lump, classified as cancer or non cancer. Women over the age of 50 years are recommended to have regular breast checks every three years.