Q: Hello, good morning Doc. I have a lump on my breast. When I went to hospital, doctor said we can’t operate it because it is too small and it might go on its own. But I’m very scared and I don’t know if it will affect me when I want to get pregnant….I’m 26yrs old. Please ma’am, advise me on what to do.
A: Thanks for writing in.
The good news is that not every breast lump is cause for concern. However, all breast lumps should be checked out at the hospital.
A breast lump refers to a growth within breast tissue and can be felt/seen as a thickening, lump, hard area (different from other areas), a breast larger than the other etc
There are different causes of breast lumps and not all may apply to you. Common causes include:
Fibroadenoma: These are common in adolescents and young women before the age of 30 years and are non-cancerous. They usually appear as solid masses of varying shapes and painless. The exact cause of fibroadeomas is not known but they appear to be linked to reproductive hormones, occur more during reproductive age, increases in size during pregnancy and regresses during menopause.
Breast cancer: For more on breast cancer, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/10/31/daily-health-tips-breast-cancer-awareness-month/
Breast cysts: These are fluid-filled lumps
Breast abscess: This is a collection of pus under the skin often due to bacterial infection
Blocked milk ducts: Painful lumps in the breasts of breastfeeding mums may be blocked milk ducts. Usually the milk ducts block if one is making milk faster than expressing it and indeed there should be some relief every time breastfeeding is done from that breast…so stopping breastfeeding may just be making a bad matter already worse
Mastitis: If blocked milk ducts are not handled immediately, it could lead to an infection of that duct (mastitis) such that the skin over that area feels hot to touch, reddens, mum feels feverish, ill and aches all over. This infection is usually treated with a course of antibiotics, which will be prescribed by your doctor.
Lipoma: a fatty mass that is usually harmless.
So, I suggest you see another doctor for a second opinion. Hopefully, it is nothing. You and indeed all ladies should also become more breast aware any looking out for changes in breast. Do a self-breast exam every day…it’s not too much. There are multiple online materials that teach you exactly how to do this. If you feel a lump, nodule, swelling…anything you’re uncomfortable about, see your doctor. Better safe than sorry. Look at yourself in the mirror, naked. You know what your breasts normally look like; if they change shape, colour, contour or your nipples start to look different or give strange discharges, see a doctor…today and not tomorrow. Once you hit 40, get a mammogram done once every two years (some authorities say from age 50. Ask your doctor what works for you based on your risk profile). And if you can afford it, get gene tested for breast cancer.
I hope this helps.
Have a good night, everyone 😀