If you feel a lump in your breast, try not to panic or worry. Most lumps are not breast cancer, but something less serious, such as a benign (not cancer) breast condition.
Some lumps will go away on their own. In younger women, lumps are often related to menstrual periods and will go away by the end of the cycle.
However, if you find a lump (or any change in your breast or underarm area), see your health care provider to be sure it's not breast cancer.
Learn more about benign breast conditions.
Many women’s breasts feel lumpy. Breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture.
Some women have lumpier breasts than others. In most cases, this lumpiness is no cause to worry.
If the lumpiness can be felt throughout the breast and feels like your other breast, then it's probably normal breast tissue.
Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast (or the other breast) or that feel like a change are a concern and should be checked. This type of lump may be a sign of breast cancer or a benign breast condition (such as a cyst or fibroadenoma).
See a health care provider if you:
If you're unsure whether you should have a lump (or any change) checked, see your provider.
It may be helpful to download and print Susan G. Komen®'s Questions to Ask Your Doctor card on breast lumps and take it with you to your doctor appointment. There’s plenty of space to write down the answers to these questions, which you can refer to later.
You can also download other Questions to Ask Your Doctor cards on many different breast cancer topics.
Liquid leaking from your nipple (nipple discharge) can be troubling, but it's rarely a sign of breast cancer. Discharge can be your body's natural reaction when the nipple is squeezed.
Signs of a more serious condition (such as breast cancer) include discharge that:
Nipple discharge can also be caused by an infection or other condition that needs treatment.
If you have any nipple discharge, see a health care provider.
You may see or feel other changes in your breasts.
See a health care provider if you notice any of these warning signs of breast cancer (see pictures) [53-54]:
Pain in your breasts may be related to your menstrual period. However, if the pain doesn't go away, don't ignore it. Although pain is rarely a sign of breast cancer, it’s best to see a provider to be sure.
Learn more about the warning signs of breast cancer.
Learn more about breast cancer diagnosis.
If you don't have a health care provider, one of the best ways to find a good one is to get a referral from a trusted family member or friend.
If that’s not an option, call your health department, a clinic or a nearby hospital.
Learn more about finding a health care provider.
Facts for Life: If You Find a Breast Lump or Change
Questions to Ask Your Doctor: If You Find a Lump or Change in Your Breast
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