You may ask yourself – “how do I know if I have breast cancer?” Well, the truth is, most women with breast cancer are asymptomatic, meaning they show no evidence of having a disease. Having pain in the breast is very rare in cancer but there may be changes in breast shape or size, changes in the skin – specifically dimpling of the skin where the skin of the breast is pulled inwards, the nipple goes inwards, the nipple has fluid discharging (especially if the fluid is bloody), and also a lump or swelling in the underarm. However, the most important sign would be feeling a lump in your breast. Although the majority of breast lumps are not cancerous, there is still a chance of it being cancer. Therefore, it would be better to have some knowledge of the types of breast lumps that may be found.
This type of lump is actually a fluid filled sac within the breast tissue and is harmless. Most simply described, it feels like a balloon filled with water and may change in size with your monthly periods. This type of lump does not necessarily stay in a fixed place.
This is the most common type of lump found in younger women. Fibroadenomas are growths of breast tissue. They are not painful and they are benign. They feel rubbery and hard and can be easily moved around by touching.
This type of lump feels very hard to touch, may be painful and may or may not be moved around depending on what it is made up of. Pseudolumps are also not cancerous.
- Malignant tumour
This is the main type of lump to watch out for as it is made up of abnormal cells of the breast tissue and has the greatest chance of evolving into breast cancer. This type of lump is irregular in shape, has an uneven surface similar to a golf ball and feels very hard. The lump is normally painless and cannot be moved around.
So, now that you have some idea about the types of lumps that may be felt, your first step to helping early diagnosis of breast cancer is completed. If you have any doubts about the type of lump you may have found in your breast, it is always best to get it checked out by your doctor.