Breast Lumps: What Are the Causes?

Discovering a breast lump can be frightening. But contrary to what many people think, a breast lump is not always a sign of breast cancer. There are many reasons why a lump can develop, and most are not linked to cancer. In fact, 8 out of 10 cases of breast lumps are not cancerous.

Nevertheless, it is always wise to seek medical help if you are unsure. A qualified healthcare professional can determine whether a lump is a tumor or a cyst. The doctor may recommend surgery if you need treatment.

Let us at Breast Reconstruction Associates, your plastic surgery experts in Fort Worth, TX, help you understand the causes of breast lumps, and when it’s best to see a doctor.


Causes of Breast Lumps

  1. Cysts – Cysts are considered harmless. They are growths in the tissue that tend to occur during hormonal changes. The surgeon may drain the fluid that fills the cyst, however, some cysts can reoccur.
  2. Intraductal papillomas – Typically harmless, this happens when rubbery, hard lumps form in the milk ducts.
  3. Fibrocystic Breasts or Fibroadenoma – This involves the thickening and hardening of the breast tissue. This condition is also usually harmless.
  4. Benign tumors – These solid growths can sometimes cause leakage from the nipples and can be uncomfortable, but they are not dangerous or cancerous. Having a biopsy performed and having the tumor examined are the only ways to identify whether or not the tumor is benign or cancerous.
  5. Hormonal changes – Lumps may come and go on a regular basis, since the breasts change over time and during the menstrual cycle. Check your breasts regularly to keep track of unusual changes.

If you discover a lump in your breast, it is best to get yourself checked. A simple ultrasound scan placed against the skin will allow the healthcare professional to see whether the lump appears solid or hollow and filled with fluid. If the lump is fluid-filled, it may require no treatment at all. However, a doctor may recommend either a biopsy or more extensive surgery if there is any chance that the lump may be malignant or if it causes pain.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Breast Reconstruction Associates, your plastic surgery specialists in Fort Worth.