© Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. Last medically reviewed on July 12, 2018, Knowing the early signs of breast cancer can help a person seek prompt treatment and improve their chance of survival. Cancerous masses in the breast are often very firm, like a rock or a carrot, and have an irregular shape and size. Most commonly found in women approaching menopause, this benign breast condition develops when a milk duct in the breast thickens and becomes blocked with fluid. “You’re kidding...it’s not serious, right?” she asks. © 1996-2020 Everyday Health, Inc. They may be painful. This can result in temporary benign cysts, says Dr. Ross. 8 Causes of Breast Lumps That Aren’t Cancer. Other possible risk factors include smoking, which can widen milk ducts and lead to inflammation and inverted nipples, which in turn might obstruct the ducts, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your doctor may study the fluid under a microscope to determine its origin, particularly if there is also a mass or lump in your breast. Shape may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on This condition is most common in women 30 to 50 years old and can be painful. Because of the fluctuations in breast tissue — including any cysts — that occur in response to your hormones, it’s typically good to do a self-exam at the same point every month, such as a few days after the end of your menstrual cycle. That is, a fluid-filled lump that rolls between the fingers is less likely to be cancer than a hard lump in your breast that is rooted. 10 Things I Learned During My Body Transformation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, This 24-Year-Old Found a Breast Cancer Lump While Getting Ready for a Night Out. ICYDK, a self exam should include both feeling and looking at your breasts. However, most can be followed yearly without surgical intervention and some even shrink on their own, says Dr. Ross. As many as half of all women experience fibrocystic breast changes—symptoms of the condition—at one point in their lives, which can include breast pain, lumps in the breast, and sensitive, itchy nipples right before or during your period, according to the National Cancer Institute. Sebaceous cysts do not usually need treatment, but they can be removed if they are painful or bothersome. These changes impact the sensations and texture of the breast, and they can affect the development of breast lumps. Most lumps are not cancerous and do not pose any risk. The consistency may help a physician to diagnose what kind of a lump it is. You’ve found a lump. Sign up for our Cancer Care and Prevention Newsletter! Often found in biopsies of women who have fibrocystic breast condition or cysts, adenosis occurs when breast lobules are enlarged and there are more glands than usual. Green-black discharge could be related to duct ectasia, a narrowing or blockage of the duct. These marble-like, often-painless growths are made of breast lobules (aka the milk-producing glands) and connective tissue. She recommends performing a a breast self-exam on a monthly basis. Other benign breast lumps and conditions may be related to plugged milk ducts, infections, or even breast injuries. Your doctor may recommend removing a fibroadenoma if it continues to grow or if it changes the shape of the breast, according to the American Cancer Society. Right now, there aren't any known causes or risk factors for intraductal papillomas themselves. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, Link between food insecurity and cardiovascular death found, COVID-19: High blood sugar raises death risk in those without diabetes, Drug to reduce bleeding could treat COVID-19, COVID-19 live updates: Total number of cases passes 60 million, Many parents want to celebrate Thanksgiving with others despite risk, What to know about stage zero breast cancer. The condition doesn't always display symptoms, but nipple discharge, tender or red nipples, and inverted nipples can occur, per the National Cancer Institute. In the meantime, your doctor may recommend taking pain medicine, applying a warm, wet cloth to your breast, and using breast pads for nipple discharge. It can even be bloody in appearance, which can, in fact, mean cancer.