A lump in the chest can be due to many things that are harmless. But sometimes a lump can be cancer. Therefore, you should always have a doctor examine a new lump. The risk of cancer is higher the older you are.
Breasts change throughout life because they are affected by the body’s hormones. It allows the breasts to be lumpy or sometimes painful, but it means something is wrong.
When and where should I seek care?
If you get a new lump in your chest, contact a health care provider. Many hospitals also have special breast clinics that you can contact directly without a referral.
Many health centers and clinics can be contacted by logging in.
Wait to contact the health care provider if you feel the lump just before menstruation. Feel again when the period is over. Contact your healthcare provider if you still feel a lump.
What can I do for myself?
Feel the breasts sometimes. As you learn how they usually feel and it becomes easier for you to know if something is changing, for example, if you get a lump.
Go every time you get a call for a mammogram health check. Then you can increase your chances of getting healthy if it turns out you have breast cancer. You get regular calls to mammography when you are 40-74 years old.
This is how the investigations go
Your doctor will know your breasts if you seek care for a lump in your chest. Your doctor will also check for swollen lymph nodes in your armpits. You can answer questions about, among other things, symptoms, diseases and about things that may have to do with the effects of the hormones on the breasts. Examples of questions can be:
- How long have you known the lump?
- Have you had other problems with your breasts?
- Has anyone in the family had breast or ovarian cancer?
- Have you given birth to a child?
- Do you have regular time?
- Do you use any medicines or health food preparations?
Mammography and ultrasound
After the medical examination, both breasts are x-rayed. One such examination is called mammography. The mammography doctor may also want to examine the breasts with ultrasound to better assess what the breast tissues look like.
Cell or tissue samples
Most often, you will also need to submit a cell or tissue sample. The doctor takes the sample through a thin needle that is inserted into the tuber. The sample is sent to a pathologist who examines it with a microscope. Sampling may seem uncomfortable, but most people do not think it hurts.
The studies show whether the tuber is benign
The exams help the doctor determine if the tuber is a benign change or cancer. Usually, the answer is ready after 3-5 days, but it may vary how long it takes before you get the answer.
Sometimes the result is unclear
You may need to submit a new tissue sample if the answer to the examinations is unclear. Sometimes the doctor suggests that you remove the lump.
The breasts grow and reshape irregularly. Some of the breasts may grow faster than the surrounding tissue. Then benign connective tissue tubules can be formed. Such nodules are called fibroadenomas. Fibroadenoma is the most common cause of breast lumps when you are younger.
Treatment: Fibroadenoma is a benign and harmless condition. Most often you do not need treatment and do not need to do any follow-up checks. You may be operated on if the fibroadenoma is large, growing or hurting.
Many have breasts that feel lumpy more or less all the time, but especially before the period. Then the breasts can also hurt extra.
Often some parts of the breast feel lumpier, but it is difficult to feel any individual lump clearly. If that’s the case for you, you may have fibroadenomas.
It is unclear why fibroadenomas is present. This may be due to the fact that the mammary tissue reacts very much to the body’s own sex hormones. Fibroadenomatosis is a common cause of lumpy breasts if you are between 30 and 45 years old.
Treatment: Fibroadenomatosis is a benign and harmless condition. It can be troublesome if the breasts hurt. Talk to a doctor who will examine you and diagnose you.
The doctor can show you how to examine the breasts so that you know how they usually feel during the menstrual cycle. It can make the trouble feel easier to live with and increase the chance that you notice if you get other changes.
Fibroadenomatosis often affects the entire mammary gland. Therefore, it is no idea to operate the lumpy area.
There are theories that caffeinated drinks can aggravate the problems, and that exercise can alleviate them, but that is not clear. The trouble usually subsides after menopause.
A breast cyst is a fluid-filled bladder in the mammary gland. Cysts are most common in the years around menopause when the mammary glands are converted into fat. A cyst can hurt if it grows fast.
Treatment: Usually no treatment is needed. Most cysts disappear by themselves. A cyst can be removed if it hurts. Then insert the doctor into a thin needle and suck the fluid out of the cyst so that it completely disappears. Sometimes the cells in the liquid are examined by microscope. Be sure to be re-examined if the cyst returns in the same place.
Fat tissue does not heal well if it has been damaged. Small areas with damaged fat cells can become calcified and hard. It is called fatty tissue necrosis. Sometimes you can feel the fatty tissue necrosis as a lump.
You can get fatty tissue necrosis after a blow to the chest, or if you have diabetes or any other disease that affects the small blood vessels in the fatty tissue.
Treatment: Adipose necrosis is harmless. You do not need treatment if you have been examined by a doctor and diagnosed with fatty tissue necrosis.
Breast inflammation is most common if you are breastfeeding but you can get it even if you are not breastfeeding. Breast inflammation can be felt as one or more lumps.
Occasionally, an inflammation of the breast can lead to the formation of a breastbone. A breastplate contains each.
An inflammation or infection of the breast is called mastitis.
Breast inflammation if you breastfeed
Breast inflammation if you are breastfeeding is also called milk congestion. Then one or more milk passages have become clogged. The milk is prevented from coming out and irritates so that it becomes an inflammation. It can feel like a sore lump or a hardening. Sometimes the breast is more evenly swollen. You may have a fever.
Inflammation can become a breast infection if bacteria enter through cracks or wounds in the nipple. Sometimes, the infection can cause a sternum to form. The chest is warm and red and feels like a lump or hardening.
Treatment: Try to get the milk out of your breast if you think you have a milk crunch. The best thing is if you let the baby suck. You can also massage the chest in the direction of the nipple to help.
Milk bumps that do not pass need examination by a doctor. A chest thump needs to be emptied of where. Then insert the needle into the chest with the aid of ultrasound. Occasionally, the doctor inserts a small, thin, soft plastic tube through which the item may run out for some or a few days. You also need antibiotics.
Breast inflammation if you are not breastfeeding
You can get breast inflammation even if you are not breastfeeding. It is most common in smokers. The smoking causes the milk passages behind the nipple to become wide and meandering. Secretions accumulate there so that it becomes an inflammation.
Breast inflammation can cause a breast ball to form. It often sits at the edge of the spring yard. The sternum hurts, and the skin may become red and warm.
Treatment: The sternum contains where it may need to be emptied. Then insert the needle into the chest with the aid of ultrasound. Sometimes antibiotics are needed. You will need to be examined for mammography after six to eight weeks to make sure your doctor does not have any breast cancer.
Reduced weight changes the breasts
Breasts contain a lot of fat. The breasts become smaller if you lose weight. Then you can discover tubers that you have had for a long time but that you have not noticed before. Make sure you are examined if you discover a new lump.
Breast cancer occurs at all ages but is more common after age 40. The older you are, the greater the risk that a new lump in the breast may be cancer.
Treatment: Most often, an operation is needed where the cancerous bone is removed. Usually, a minor operation is sufficient, but sometimes the entire breast needs to be removed. It is also common for one or more lymph nodes in the armpit to be removed. Afterward, you will need more treatment. Here you can read more about breast cancer.
Usually, the breasts change throughout life
The breasts can be changed and felt in different ways throughout life, without being a sign of illness:
- Teens: Breasts grow and develop. Then they can hurt. Sometimes you may feel a swelling behind the nipple.
- Men’s: It is quite common for the breasts to become lumpy due to hormonal changes associated with ovulation and the week before menstruation arrives. It is also common for the breasts to hurt just before menstruation. The symptoms usually disappear when the time comes.
- Pregnancy: The mammary glands are preparing to produce milk. Already early in pregnancy, many people feel that their breasts swell and hurt.
- Breastfeeding: The breasts become large and tense as the milk flows. Milk production is controlled by how much the child sucks and gradually adapts to the child’s needs. Sometimes it happens that milk production comes into disrepute. Then you can get a milk cough.
- At menopause: The mammary glands are replaced by fat over the years around menopause. Then the breasts may feel softer than before.
People with a human body may also have a lump in their chest
It is common for boys at puberty to get a swelling that can hurt the nipple. Sometimes it can feel more in one breast than in the other.
It is quite common at all ages that people with a human body have benign enlargement of the mammary gland. Some drugs can also cause breast gland to swell.
Be sure to check if you notice a lump in your chest, regardless of your gender. It is unusual for people with the human body to get breast cancer, but it happens.
Influence and participate in your care
You can seek care at any medical center or open specialist clinic you want throughout the country. Sometimes a referral to the open specialized care is required.