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Benign Breast Lumps

How Are Benign Breast Conditions Treated?

  • Fibrocystic breast changes do not require treatment, but your doctor may recommend things to help relieve monthly tenderness.
  • Simple cysts can be treated through fine needle aspiration. You don’t need surgery to do this. A small needle is used to suck out some cells from the breast lump. If the lump is a cyst, they can suck out the fluid and the cyst will collapse. Cysts can also go away on their own, so your doctor may choose to wait before trying to get rid of it.
  • Fibroadenomas and intraductal papillomas can be removed surgically.
  • It can be hard to tell if a lump from traumatic fat necrosis is that or something else until your doctor does a biopsy. These usually don’t need to be treated. But if the lump bothers you, it can be cut out.

Can Men Get Breast Lumps?

Yes. Men can have tender breast enlargement, often with a lump under the nipple. Sometimes this is in one breast, but it often happens in both. This noncancerous condition is called gynecomastia.

Does a Breast Lump Mean Infection?

Possibly. Sometimes a painful lump, with or without redness, is the first sign of an infection. Mastitis is an infection most common in breastfeeding moms. It’s caused by bacteria that get into the mammary ducts through the nipple. Infection happens in small pockets. You’ll feel tender, warm lumps in the breast.

For relief, try a hot shower and let the warm water flow over your breasts. A warm compress can also help. Sometimes your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic.

What Should I Do If I Find a Breast Lump?

See your doctor if you discover any new breast changes. A doctor should examine you if you find:

  • An area that is clearly different from any other area on either breast
  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle
  • A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast
  • A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea
  • A marble-like area under the skin
  • A change in the feel of the skin on the breast or nipple or how it looks. It could be dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed.
  • Clear or bloody fluid coming out of the nipple
  • Red skin on the breast or nipple

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