Womens Health

Lump in the breast: How to discover whether it is benign or malignant

How to know if the lump in the breast is benign or malignant? Performing a breast self-examination or by chance during the shower, are two of the most common ways to discover a lump in the breast. The first thought that undoubtedly assaults any woman is that it could be a malignant tumor. Not surprisingly, breast cancer is one of the most aggressive tumors for women, but it is also true that the survival rate has increased markedly in recent decades thanks to new therapies and drugs.

breast lump

Before predicting a negative prognosis, consult your doctor to see if the lump in your chest, painful or not, is malignant or benign. A clinical examination of the breast will determine if it is dangerous or not, and the sooner we have a diagnosis, the better, since it is undoubtedly that fear is free and doubts can lead to anxiety and worry.

Lump in the breast: Tumor or benign?

The appearance of a lump in the breast, especially in the case of young women, does not usually respond to a malignant tumor. In the majority of cases, the lump that is felt under the skin is a cyst or fibroadenoma, benign growths that, although not dangerous, are more frequent than we think. Similarly, even if they are benign, you should consult your doctor about the most appropriate treatment and avoid potential problems in the medium or long term.

Lump in the breast at menopause

When the lump in the breast appears on a mammogram in the menopause stage is more likely that in the case of a malignant tumor are major. A sign that can make us suspect of its malignant nature is the presence of blood vessels. Latest tests are able to immediately identify this characteristic of a lump, allowing the doctor or specialist to identify the type of injury in a faster and more accurate manner.

Clinical examination: First signs of breast lumps

A clinical examination of the breasts allows clarifying many doubts about the nature of the lump. For example, if during the palpation the gynecologist notices a hard lump that does not move and whose edges appear irregular, it may suspect the presence of a carcinoma. On the contrary, if the nodule has the characteristics of a peanut, with smooth edges and that moves following the movement of the finger, the easiest thing is that it is a benign lump.

Fibroadenoma and cysts

The fibroadenoma is a benign tumor of fibrous nature that often forms in the breasts of young women under 35 years. It is a lump that does not produce pain and whose cause is usually hormonal (an excess of progesterone for example), and can grow quickly. Although it is not a malignant neoplasm, it can create discomfort therefore its elimination is usually advisable.

The cysts, meanwhile, have different characteristics. When the lump in the breast is painful when we feel it, we may suspect that it is a cyst or a bag full of liquid, although the cause of its formation must be investigated. A common test in the case of a lump in doubtful nature is to take a small sample of this liquid (puncture with a thin needle).

A special case of a lump in the breast is the one that appears during lactation, the so-called milk of calcium cysts or calcifications. These are small bags filled with milk that form in the mammary ducts. These are normal cysts that tend to disappear when you stop breastfeeding.