Breast lumps are commonand have a number of different causes.
Although most lumps aren't breast cancer, any unusual changes to the breasts should be checked by a GP as soon as possible. If your GP finds a lump on examination, they will routinely refer you to be seen by a hospital specialist.
There are several types of benign (non-cancerous) breast lump, most of which are harmless and are caused by hormonal changes that occur at different times in a woman's life, such as during the menstrual cycle .
Common types of benign breast lump include:
It's important to be" breast aware " so you can identify any problems in your breasts and get them checked out as soon as possible. This meansbeing familiar with your breasts and what is normal for them, and examining them regularly for any changes.
If you are 50 years or over, it's also important to attend breast cancer screening appointments every three years, where a type of X-ray called a mammogram will be carried out to look for early signs of cancer.
But don'twait until your next screening appointment if you notice any problems in your breast. See your GP right away.
It isimportantyou see your GP as soon as possible if you notice a lump in your breasts soa cause can be confirmed. Finding a lump in your breast can be a worry, butaround 90% ofbreast lumpsare benign.
You also should see your GP if you notice any other changes to one or both of your breasts, such as:
Your GP will ask you about your symptoms and will then ask your permission to examine your breasts.You should also be asked whether you'd like another staff member such as a practice nurse to be present while your breast is being examined.
Your GPmay then refer you for further tests, such as an ultrasound scan and mammogram, to determine the cause.
Being referred for further testing can be scary, but it does not necessarily mean your GP thinks you have breast cancer. Most people who have these further tests are eventually found to have a benign condition.
This will normally be done under general anaesthetic (where you are asleep) and you will usually be able to go home the same day.
Breast lumps are common and have a number of different causes. Most lumps are not breast cancer, but any unusual changes to the breasts should be checked by a GP.
Most breast lumps are caused by benign (non-cancerous) conditions, although occasionally a breast lump can be a symptom of breast cancer.
It is important to be aware of how your breasts usually look and feel so you can quickly pick up on any changes that may occur.