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  • What is a Breast Lump
    How do Breast Lumps form
    Types of Breast Lumps
    Breast Lumps Causes and Symptoms
    Breast Lumps - Diagnosis and Tests
    Breast Lumps Severity
    When to consult a doctor
    Questions to ask your doctor
    Cost of Breast Lump Removal
    Breast Lump Insurance coverage

    What is a Breast Lump?

    breast lump is a solid mass or tumor that develops in the breast. It can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Eight out of 10 cases of breast lumps are benign. The shape, size, and texture of the lump may vary and it may also cause pain in some cases. Two of the most common causes of breast lumps are cysts and fibroadenomas. Other causes may include fat necrosis and sclerosing adenosis.

    Doctors lay a great emphasis on the breast health of the women to ensure that breast lumps are detected in the earlier stages and rule out the possibility of cancerous lumps. Therefore, it is important to know how your breasts normally feel and look so that you can identify the changes and describe them to the doctor.

    How do Breast Lumps form?

    Breast lumps most commonly form due to changes in the menstrual cycle and hormones. The formation of a lump in the breast varies based on the causes. For instance, fibrocystic changes in the breast can affect the milk ducts and tissues around them, making them wide, which can appear as lumps. Similarly, if a lump forms due to cysts, it gets filled with fluid and causes tenderness and changes in the breast size.

    Types of Breast Lumps

    • Fibroadenoma
    • Breast Cyst
    • Benign Fibrocystic masses
    • Breast Cancer

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    Breast Lumps Causes and Symptoms

    Breast Lumps Causes

    • Abscess or infection
    • Adenoma or fibroadenoma
    • Fibrocystic changes
    • Simple cysts
    • Intraductal papillomas
    • Lipoma
    • Fat necrosis
    • Mastitis

    Breast Lumps Symptoms

    • Discovery of a new lump
    • A particular area of the breasts with a noticeable difference
    • A lump that doesn’t disappear after menstruation
    • The shape and size of the lump change frequently
    • The skin of the breasts becomes red or starts to peel
    • Bloody discharge from the nipple


    Breast Lumps - Diagnosis and Tests

    Self Diagnosis

    To self-diagnose the lump, lie down on your back. To assess the breast tissues, use the steps below-

    • Keep your right hand behind the head and use the middle finger of the left hand to check the breasts for any lumps by pressing them gently.
    • Sit up or stand to feel the armpit as breast tissues extend to that area too.
    • Squeeze the nipple slowly to see if there is any discharge.

    There is another way you can self-diagnose the lump in the breasts.

    • Keep your arms by your side and stand in front of a mirror.
    • Observe your breasts directly and with the help of a mirror simultaneously for changes in the skin surface, such as crumpling, peeling skin, etc.
    • Notice the shape and outline of the breasts.
    • Check in which direction the nipple turns.

    If you notice a significant difference in one or both breasts, consult a doctor right away.

    Diagnosis by Doctor

    During the consultation with the doctor, he/she will perform a physical examination to identify the lump. The doctor will ask about the symptoms you have been having recently and what kind of changes you’ve noticed lately in the shape, size, or texture of each breast.

    For an accurate diagnosis, the doctor is likely to recommend a series of tests to identify the problem and to rule out the possibility of breast cancer.


    The following tests are recommended to detect the lumps in the breast tissues.

    • Mammogram– In this test, an image of the breast is obtained to observe the changes in the breast tissues.
    • Ultrasound Test- This test is done to look beneath the surface of the breasts with the help of high-frequency sound waves.
    • MRI Scan- It helps to identify the lump in the breasts by creating high contrast images of the soft tissues.
    • Biopsy Testing- In a biopsy, a sample of the breast tissues is taken from the lump to observe it closely. This can be done using different techniques, such as-

    -Fine-needle aspiration– A needle is used to take a fluid sample from the breast lump.

    -Core needle biopsy- The sample of the tissue or fluid in the lump is taken with the help of a bigger needle with the help of ultrasound.

    -Stereotactic biopsy- The sample is taken using a needle and a mammogram is used at the same time to take images of the lump from various angles.

    The results of these tests help a doctor to determine the severity of the condition along with the right method for breast lump removal.


    Breast Lumps Severity

    The breast lumps are made up of fat tissues, fibrous tissues, glandular tissues, blood vessels, milk-producing lobules, and milk ducts. The anatomy itself has different structures that may feel like lumps or uneven tissues. However, this normal lumpiness can be distinguished from abnormal breast lumps.

    A breast lump can be solid and immovable or movable, soft, and fluid-filled. The major factor that distinguishes a benign lump from a cancerous one is movement. The severity of the lump is determined by recognizing its movements. A fluid-filled lump that moves when touched is less likely to be cancerous than a lump that feels rooted in one place.

    A lump is generally considered dangerous or severe if the following symptoms exist-

    • Changes in the skin around the lump
    • Nipple enlargement or discharge
    • Frequent changes in the size of the lump

    Regardless of the severity, all breast lumps need to be evaluated. In most cases, the lumps are harmless and can be treated successfully. But in some cases, they can be cancerous as well. And it is difficult for a woman or even a doctor to determine whether a lump is cancerous or benign only by looking at it or feeling it.

    When to consult a doctor?

    The right time to consult a doctor is as soon as you notice the lump. It is important that you are familiar with the shape and structure of your breasts to identify even the minor changes right away. Consult a doctor if-

    • You find a new lump in the breasts that is thickening gradually.
    • There is a change in the size, shape, and appearance of the breasts.
    • Breast pain that persists for a longer period of time.
    • You notice skin changes, such as itchiness or redness around the breasts.
    • There are changes in the nipple, such as excoriation or scaling.
    • There is a clear or bloody discharge from the nipple.

    Questions to ask your doctor

    • Do I need surgery or other treatment methods can also work to treat the lump?
    • How many years of experience do you have in treating breast lumps?
    • What type of breast surgery will be suitable for the lump?
    • How long does the procedure take?
    • What will be the side effects of the treatment?
    • Will you provide me with a recovery guide after surgery?
    • How long will I have to stay in the hospital?

    Cost of Breast Lump Removal in India

    The cost of breast lump surgery in India ranges from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60,000 approximately. It is an estimated cost that depends on various factors, including-

    • Type of breast lump
    • The technique used for the removal
    • Surgeon’s fee
    • Hospitalization expense
    • Pre and post-surgery tests
    • Medications and support

    You can get a closer estimate of breast lump removal specifically for you by talking to the doctor and hospital authorities.

    Breast Lump Insurance coverage

    Breast lump removal surgery is covered under insurance as the treatment is deemed medically necessary. There are very high chances that a breast lump can be cancerous and pose a threat to overall health. The health insurance policy covers the cost of medication, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, and other aspects of the treatment.

    Whether the surgery is performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you will be able to pay the expenses of the treatment completely or partially. Make sure that you discuss the terms and conditions of the health insurance with the providers to understand the terms and conditions well.

    Know moreIs Breast Lump Surgery Covered Insurance?

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    FAQs around Breast Lump

    Does breast lump go away on its own?

    In young women, if breast lumps are related to menstruation, they can go away on their own. In other cases, the cause needs to be addressed to resolve the lump.

    Are all breast lumps cancerous?

    No. Not all types of breast lumps are cancerous. In most women, the breast lumps are benign and can be treated either with medications, non-surgical procedures or through surgery.

    Is radiotherapy or chemotherapy needed after breast lump removal?

    No. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy is needed after the removal of a cancerous lump. If the lump is benign, neither radiotherapy nor chemotherapy is needed after the lump removal.

    Which doctor should I see for a lump in my breast?

    The initial checkup of a breast lump is usually done by a primary care provider. After evaluating the lump, the doctor may ask you to either see a gynecologist, plastic surgeon, or oncologist for further diagnostic testing.

    Can men get breast lumps?

    Yes, men can also experience breast lumps. These lumps occur due to a noncancerous condition called gynecomastia. It starts as a lump that forms beneath the nipple.

    Will the scars be visible after the removal of the lump?

    Yes. There will be scars over or around the breast from which the lump is removed. The extent of the scars depends on the technique used for the removal. The scars will become less visible after some time.