Breast Lumps: What Do They Mean?

Dr. Tariq MiskryDr. Tariq Miskry

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Dr Tariq Miskry, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician

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Lumpy boobs – what? Scared? Don’t be. Breast lumps are quite common. Most breast lumps — about 90 per cent — are benign (noncancerous). Here’s everything you need to know about breast lumps.

What Causes Lumps?

Breast lumps can be caused by lots of different things. For example:

  • Fibrocystic breast disease (fibroadenosis): a growth that causes lumpiness and tenderness
  • Fibroadenoma: a small growth, more common in young women in their 20s
  • Cyst (fluid-filled lump)
  • Trauma (like accidents)

Get to Know Your Boobs

A girl should get to know her boobs. Examine how they look and feel. You’ll notice that your breasts feel different at different times of the month. That’s because the milk-producing tissue in the breast becomes active in the days before menstruation starts.

Know What Changes to Look For

If anything feels or looks different (even if it’s not a well-defined lump), tell your mum and go see your doctor. Most lumps aren’t cancerous so don’t worry, but do get expert advice.

If you have "lumpy boobs" you might think, "Oh, my boobs are so lumpy, there’s no point in examining them". NONSENSE! If you examine your boobs every month after your period, you’ll get to know the areas that are often thicker and lumpier. You should see your doctor if you find any new lumps.

Treatment for Breast Lumps

Most benign breast lumps don’t hurt and don’t need any treatment. But it’s really important that you visit your doctor as soon as possible if you notice a lump, just to get it checked out. If lumps cause tenderness, wearing a well-fitting bra may help. You can also try a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen. There are prescription drug available that can be used to treat the pain if other methods don’t help. Just make sure to talk to a parent before taking any medicine. Occasionally, a lump may cause chronic pain. If this is the case, it can be removed with surgery.

How Can You Avoid Sore Boobs?

If you are experiencing growing pains or you’ve noticed some breast growth recently, soreness may be a natural part of your breast development. Wearing a well-fitting bra can help. Get properly fitted (like in a department store).

Some doctors recommend cutting down on caffeine and saturated fats, but this hasn’t been proven to help. If do you drink a lot of coffee, tea or fizzy drinks, and you have sore boobs, stop for a few weeks or try the decaf versions — see if it helps.

Have you ever felt a lump? What happened next?

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