What Do Breast Pain and Lumps Mean?

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breast pain and breast lumps

Your monthly breast self-exam reveals a lump and some breast pain. What do you do? The answer – try to remain calm and remember these following facts.

Breast Pain and Lumps Can Be a Common Occurrence

First, if you notice something unusual about your breasts, apply the brakes – most problems rarely signify cancer. The most commonly encountered breast conditions include:

  • Breast pain. Breast pain is rarely associated with cancer and is usually due to changes in hormones and menstruation.
  • Lumps. Breast lumps are also usually benign but are more likely than pain to be associated with cancer. Most lumps are benign cysts or normal breast tissue that feels different from other parts of the breast. With that being said, if you do find a lump, it still encouraged to be seen by your doctor.

Risk Factors Associated with Benign Breast Pain

Some things can increase the risk of benign breast conditions:

  • Using hormone replacement therapy during menopause
  • Having a family history of breast cancer or benign breast conditions

When to Visit a Doctor About Breast Pain or Lump

Patients should check with a doctor when they have any of the following symptoms:

  • A new breast lump
  • Breast pain concentrated in one area
  • Clear or bloody nipple discharge
  • Other changes in the skin of the breast, such as redness or itching

While symptoms such as pain and lumps are common, it is recommended to take the symptoms seriously for a couple of reasons:

  • It could turn out to be among the very small percentage of cases that is breast cancer. It can be hard to tell because many benign breast conditions appear with similar symptoms to cancer. If it is cancer, it’s important to diagnose it early so it can be effectively treated.
  • It relieves your anxiety to get it checked out. It’s better to know what it is  – or isn’t.

Learn more about Baptist Health Women’s Care.