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Women's Health

Breast Lumps

NetWellness experts receive many questions about breast lumps.  Most women these days are very concerned about breast lumps because of the link between this symptom and breast cancer. The good news about breast lumpiness is that it is very common, very normal, and very rarely indicative of a serious condition.

Causes

The primary cause of it for pre-menopausal, non pregnant, healthy women is fluctuating hormones. During a month a woman’s hormone levels shift and change as an egg develops, is released, and if no conception takes place, is expelled. A change in breast consistency during this process is probably due to water retention and is perfectly normal.

What You Can Do

Talk to your provider - However, if you ever suspect that what you’re feeling is different than previous breast lump self-exams, even if you aren't sure, you should see your health care provider. He or she will examine the lump or lumps and may recommend that you wait a month and see if anything changes.

Get tested - If there are no changes over the course of a month, the next step may be one of the following:

These processes are quick and painless and very much worth the effort. One of these procedures may reveal that the lump or lumps are cysts, fat necrosis (due to injury), resultant of fibrocystic changes (part of the aging process), symptoms of a breast infection (mastitis), symptoms of breast cancer, or nothing at all.

Monthly Breast Self-Exams - Staying familiar with how your breasts normally feel and fluctuate throughout the month by conducting regular breast self-exams is a great way to stay healthy, give yourself some peace of mind, and ensure your continued health in the future. Whatever a visit to the doctor might reveal, it's important to go find out.

More features about Breast Health

The following features are available on NetWellness and contain information on learning how to do a regular breast self-exam and other issues of general breast health.

For more information:

Go to the Women's Health health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: Oct 02, 2006

Jennifer B Manders, MD Jennifer B Manders, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati