What Does a Breast Lump Feel Like?

Appearance of lumps in breast with pain and swelling is a common finding in many females. Along with discomfort, some females also report bumpy structures in the breast. Although slight lumpiness is not something to worry about, when these lumps begins to feel like hard bumps, you should definitely seek medical assistance as these may indicate the presence of cancer cell growth which may be benign or malignant.

What Does a Breast Lump Feel Like?

There are multiple reasons that may explain the appearance of lumps in the breasts. Some of the types of breast lumps are discussed here.

1. If Your Breast Lump Is Small and Moveable

Feeling and Cause

The lump which is movable and small is usually painless.However,it has a rubber like nature and may sometime appear as tender structures.

Excessive secretions from some breast glands and associated connective tissue growth can result in the formation of fibroadenoma which is also termed as breast mouse for its moveable nature. It is the most common cause of small and moveable lumps in females aged 20 to 30.

What to do

Presence of a moveable lump or fibroadenoma usually does not indicate cancerous growth in the breast. Physical examinations done by the health care practitioner can help in diagnosing the exact cause in order to warrant appropriate treatment.

2. If Your Breast Lump Feels Painful

Feeling and Cause

The lump produces pain and burning sensation in the breasts. The pain arising in the breast may radiate to the armpits. Two likely scenarios that are associated with painful lumps are:

  • ŸCyclical pain which starts one week before menstrual cycle
  • Non-cyclicalwhich may appear at any time and include the surrounding tissues

What to Do

Painful lumps do not necessarily indicate anything serious. Some dietary modifications can serve as a helpful tool in managing the condition.

3. If Your Breasts Have General Lumpiness

Feeling and Cause

The breast appears to be lumpy and feels heavier especially during the periods. Pain may or may not be present along with lumps. It is more common in females prior to menopause.The cause is diffuse nodularity in the breasts.

What to Do

General lumpiness in breasts is common in females. Identification of unusual changes may help in identifying the condition clearly.

4. If Your Breast Lump Feels Grape-Shaped

Feeling and Cause

The lumps feel as a soft and tender structure. They are smooth and are able to move. The grape shaped lumps become sore just before the period starts.They appear to be grape-like because of the presence of cysts which contain fluid in their structures. When the cysts are on upper surface, they feel soft. When the cysts are found in deeper tissues, the nodules feel harder or firmer upon touching.

What to Do

Consultation with the physician is necessary in this condition. In most cases, grape shaped lumpy breasts are painful if left untreated. The fluid from the cysts can be removed with the help of fine syringe.

5. If Your Breast Lump Feels Painless, Fixed, Hard and Irregular

Feeling and Cause

It appears as a hard and irregular lump but no associated pain is felt in most cases.A hard and irregular lump could possibly be an indication of a benign cancerous growth, or because of an extra growth in the breast nodules.

What to Do

Consult your doctor as soon as possible. He or she may conduct further examinationin order to decide efficient treatment.

6. If You Notice Changes to Breasts

Feeling and Cause

Change in appearance of breasts can be: discharge from nipple, thickening of nipples or position changes of nipples.Multiple factors along with cancerous growth can cause these morphological changes.

What to Do

An immediate investigation by the healthcare provider is recommended when the change is observed.

7. If You Have Small Lump Under Areola

Feeling and Cause

Lump under areola may release a thick blood stained discharge, which is mostly painful.

The development of lump under the areola is usually suggestive of an intraductal papilloma.

What to Do

Treatment can be done through simple life style modification. If the lump grows large, surgery may be performed to remove it. Investigation by a registered health care practitioner is necessary in such case.

Feel Your Breast in a Self-Examination

Most of the females detect any changes in their breast via simple palpation or touching during self-breast examination. As you already know the answer to “what does a breast lump feel like”, hard and solid tumors are much easier to identify and locate through fingers. Here are some steps that you can follow.

Step One

Stand in front of a mirror in such a position that the arms are placed on the hips, then look in the mirror to see if the breastsare of normal shape and size.

Step Two

Raise the hands in the same standing position and look in the mirror for the same shape and size. Also pay attention to your nipples for any discharge.

Step Three

Lie down on a flat surface and place the fingers of right hand over your left breast.Now move the fingers over your breast in a rotating position such that the fingers move over the surface smoothly.In a similar way examine the right breast using fingers of left hand.

Step Four

Check the breasts while having bath or taking shower when they are wet, either in sitting or standing position. Follow the same technique to cover all parts, i.e. rotation movement of fingers.

For better understanding of how to perform a self-breast exam and what does a breast lump feellike, please watch the video below.

When to See a Doctor

Immediately consult with the health care provider when:

  • Any new breast lump is felt
  • Constant pain in breast
  • A breast lump which in increasing in size
  • Redness in breast is present
  • There is any discharge coming out of nipple
Current time: 07/21/2024 03:35:47 a.m. UTC Memory usage: 60180.0KB