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Breast Lumps


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Reviewed/Revised Oct 2023
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What are breast lumps?

Breast lumps are bumps, growths, or hard areas that feel different from the rest of your breast. You might notice a breast lump by chance or during a breast exam.

The Breasts
  • Breast lumps are common

  • Most lumps aren’t cancer

  • Breast lumps may be painful or painless

  • Lumps may feel smooth, round, and movable or lumpy and thick

What causes breast lumps?

Cancer is not the most common cause of breast lumps.

The most common causes of breast lumps are:

Less common causes of breast lumps are:

When should I go to the doctor for a breast lump?

Go to a doctor within 1 to 2 days if you have a breast lump and:

  • Redness, swelling, and pain

  • Pus leaking out

Go to a doctor within 7 days if you have a breast lump and:

  • The lump won’t move around (it feels stuck to your skin or chest)

  • The lump feels very hard and uneven

  • Swollen lymph nodes in your armpit that won’t move

  • Dimpling of your skin near the lump that looks like the skin of an orange

What will happen at my doctor visit?

To tell if your breast lump is cancer, doctors often do more tests, such as:

Depending on your symptoms and the results of these tests, your doctor may:

  • Put a needle in the lump and take out fluid or a sample of tissue

  • Make a cut in the skin to take out part of the lump and look at it under a microscope (biopsy)

How do doctors treat breast lumps?

  • Drain your cyst with a needle

  • Tell you to wear a soft, supportive bra, such as a sports bra

  • Tell you to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lessen pain

If your breast lumps are fibroadenomas, doctors may:

  • Do surgery to remove them

  • Leave them alone but schedule check-ups to look for any changes

If your breast lumps are breast cancer Breast Cancer Cancer is when cells grow abnormally. Cancer cells don't look or work like normal cells and keep multiplying out of control. Cancer cells can invade and destroy nearby healthy tissue. Sometimes... read more , doctors may do surgery to remove your tumor and give other types of cancer treatment, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and medicine.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
Crinone, Endometrin , First - Progesterone MC 10, First - Progesterone MC 5, Prochieve, PROMETRIUM
7T Gummy ES, Acephen, Aceta, Actamin, Adult Pain Relief, Anacin Aspirin Free, Aphen, Apra, Children's Acetaminophen, Children's Pain & Fever , Children's Pain Relief, Comtrex Sore Throat Relief, ED-APAP, ElixSure Fever/Pain, Feverall, Genapap, Genebs, Goody's Back & Body Pain, Infantaire, Infants' Acetaminophen, LIQUID PAIN RELIEF, Little Fevers, Little Remedies Infant Fever + Pain Reliever, Mapap, Mapap Arthritis Pain, Mapap Infants, Mapap Junior, M-PAP, Nortemp, Ofirmev, Pain & Fever , Pain and Fever , PAIN RELIEF , PAIN RELIEF Extra Strength, Panadol, PediaCare Children's Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, PediaCare Children's Smooth Metls Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, PediaCare Infant's Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, Pediaphen, PHARBETOL, Plus PHARMA, Q-Pap, Q-Pap Extra Strength, Silapap, Triaminic Fever Reducer and Pain Reliever, Triaminic Infant Fever Reducer and Pain Reliever, Tylenol, Tylenol 8 Hour, Tylenol 8 Hour Arthritis Pain, Tylenol 8 Hour Muscle Aches & Pain, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Children's, Tylenol Children's Pain+Fever, Tylenol CrushableTablet, Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol Infants', Tylenol Infants Pain + Fever, Tylenol Junior Strength, Tylenol Pain + Fever, Tylenol Regular Strength, Tylenol Sore Throat, XS No Aspirin, XS Pain Reliever
Advil, Advil Children's, Advil Children's Fever, Advil Infants', Advil Junior Strength, Advil Migraine, Caldolor, Children's Ibuprofen, ElixSure IB, Genpril , Ibren , IBU, Midol, Midol Cramps and Body Aches, Motrin, Motrin Children's, Motrin IB, Motrin Infants', Motrin Junior Strength, Motrin Migraine Pain, PediaCare Children's Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer IB, PediaCare Infants' Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer IB, Samson-8
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