Breasts. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. However, one thing that all women need to be aware of is lumps in their breasts. This varies every bit as much as the size and shape of individual women’s breasts. Some women’s breasts are naturally lumpy, and some of them are not. There are many possible causes for breast lumps, as well as a variety of treatments depending on the cause of the lumps. Here are some things that all women will want to know about breast lumps.
Although many women naturally panic when they find a lump in their breast, there are many different causes of breast lumps. Some breast lumps are caused by cysts. Cysts are liquid-filled sacs that develop in the breast tissue and are felt as lumps. Other breast lumps can be caused by mastitis, which is an infection in the breast tissue that causes lumps. Mastitis is common in women who are breastfeeding and also causes a fever. In some women, hormone changes can cause breasts to be more or less lumpy during different times of the month. Of course, some breast lumps are also caused by breast cancer. However, the majority of breast lumps are ultimately found to be non-cancerous.
The best way to detect breast lumps is through diligence. All women past the age of puberty should perform a breast self-exam at least once per month. It is best to do it several days after the menstrual period stops, as breasts are typically the least sensitive at this time. There are many resources online that describe exactly how to perform a breast self-exam. During a breast self-exam, it is important to note any changes in breast tissue that you feel. If you find a lump, do not panic. Make a mental note of the size and location of the lump, and check it again during your next exam. If it does not go away, make an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be able to help you to determine if the lump requires further attention or not.
There are a wide variety of treatments for breast lumps, depending on the cause of the lumps. For breast lumps caused by mastitis, the treatment is antibiotics. The antibiotics will kill the infection, and the lumps should heal. For other lumps, your doctor will be able to help you to determine if it requires additional testing. This testing could be a biopsy, in which some of the lumps are removed for testing. Alternatively, the entire lump could be removed. Based on the results of the testing, your doctor will be able to determine the next course of action.
The single best way to detect breast lumps early enough to take action is for women to perform a breast self-exam. This exam should be performed monthly, during the same point in the woman’s cycle. Performing a breast self-exam will enable women to monitor changes in their breast tissue and alert a doctor to any concerns.