What does a lump in your breast feel like?
In general, cancerous lumps tend to be more irregular in shape. They may also feel firm or solid, and might be fixed to the tissue in the breast. However, in a small percentage of women, a painful breast lump turns out to be cancer. Cysts, which are fluid-filled lumps, are common in the breast and are benign.
Here are some of the most common benign breast conditions: Fibrocystic Changes A general lumpiness that can be described as “ropy” or “granular,” these lumps are the most commonly seen benign breast condition, affecting at least half of all women.
- It can be a pea-sized lump, smaller than a pea, or even several inches across, although this larger size is rare. While the sizes of breast cancer lumps vary from case to case depending on the stage of the disease, what typically differentiates a benign breast lump from a cancerous breast lump is movement.
- Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms
- Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
- Skin irritation or dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
- Breast or nipple pain.
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin.
- Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
- A lump in the breast or underarm that persists after your menstrual cycle. This is often the first apparent symptom of breast cancer. Lumps associated with breast cancer are usually painless, although some may cause a prickly sensation. Lumps are usually visible on a mammogram long before they can be seen or felt.
A cyst in the breast may feel like a lump, but upon examination the lump is a small, generally harmless sac filled with fluid rather than a cancerous or benign lump of cells. You may have one cyst or many cysts that appear together.
- The exact cause of fibrocystic breast changes isn't known, but experts suspect that reproductive hormones — especially estrogen — play a role. Fluctuating hormone levels during your menstrual cycle can cause breast discomfort and areas of lumpy breast tissue that feel tender, sore and swollen.
- The feel of a breast lump depends on its cause, location, and growth. They can vary greatly from painful, hard, and immobile to soft, painless, and easily moveable. According to BreastCancer.org, lumps are most likely to be cancerous if they do not cause pain, are hard, unevenly shaped, and immobile.
- Common breast cancer symptoms include the following:
- Non-painful lumps or masses.
- Lumps or swelling under the arms.
- Nipple skin changes or discharge.
- Noticeable flattening or indentation of the breast.
- Change in the nipple.
- Unusual discharge from the nipple.
- Changes in the feel, size, or shape of the breast tissue.
Updated: 2nd October 2019