Womens Health

It's Not Cancer

Almost every woman will, at some point, have experienced the dreaded breast cancer scare. Most of the time, a lump or a bump turns out to be some noncancerous condition. But no woman should ever ignore any new spots, bumps, or lumps.

Maybe you're wondering: so what can it be if it's not cancer? The answer is that it can be lots of things. In this article, we talk about some of these noncancerous conditions.

Adenomas probably top the list of abnormal growths that can occur within the glandular tissue of the breast. Also called fibroadenomas when they occur within the breast tissue, these are most often found in younger women in their 20's or in women of African descent.  Adenomas are always noncancerous.

Ebb And Flow

These fibroadenomas tend to have smooth borders, and are most often firm and round. The growths will move under your fingers and will feel tender. Adenomas of the breast change in size with the ebb and flow of your menstrual cycle.

Another type of noncancerous breast growth is the wart-like intraductal papilloma that may occur inside the duct of a breast. A papilloma feels like a lump and will be situated just below your nipple. Sometimes there is an accompanying blood discharge from the nipple. Younger women may have many of these growths in both breasts, while women closer to menopause will likely have only one such growth.

A blood clot, or thrombophlebitis, may feel like a lump. This type of phlebitis will affect the large vein that reaches across the chest and on to the underarm area, or axilla. While such blood clots rarely occur within the breast or along the chest wall, when they do, you may have pain and lumpiness all along the vein as well as redness and warmth.

Hard And Irregular

As opposed to the above-mentioned growths, breast cancer is usually sensed as a hard, immovable, irregular shape. Cancer tends to lack the smooth edges of these other growths and will feel as if it is attached to your skin or to tissue that is deep inside the breast. In general, you cannot manipulate such a growth with your fingers without moving the entire breast. Breast cancer is almost never painful and can occur anywhere within the nipple or breast.

Of course, even after reading up on all these conditions, it's impossible for you as a layman, to make a diagnosis. If you find a new lump or spot, make an appointment and have your breast examined as soon as possible. A surgeon is the most qualified doctor to evaluate your symptoms, but a general practitioner or a gynecologist will likely be able to diagnose these conditions as well, and can refer you to a surgeon as needed.

Yes, it's scary to find that bump and wait for a diagnosis, but it's not something you can ignore, hoping to find the lump has disappeared at some later date. Your life depends on pursuing each breast cancer scare until it is resolved. Chances are it's nothing.

Login to comment

Post a comment