Lumpy Breasts: What’s Normal?

Lumpy Breasts: What’s Normal?Feeling a lump in your breast grabs your attention, doesn’t it? While breast cancer is serious, most lumps are benign. Here are some reasons you may have them.

But first, a pop quiz for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Q. What should you do if you feel a lump?
A. Call your doctor
B. Ignore it
C. Have a total freak out
D. Diagnose it using Internet resources

If you chose A, you are correct! Nearly 85% of all breast lumps are noncancerous, especially in women under 40. But, don’t take any chances. Some forms of breast cancer develop without lumps. “It’s better to be safe,” Dr. Ancy, Club W’s medical director, advises. “Don’t decide on your own, and don’t ignore breast lumps. Always call your doctor.”

Moving on …

5 Noncancerous Reasons for Lumpy Breasts

  • Dense breast tissue
  • Fibrous tissue
  • Hormones related to your menstrual cycle
  • Injuries to the chest and/or breast tissue
  • Lymph node infection in the armpit

Take Matters into Your Own Hands

Literally. A monthly self-exam is the best way to get to know your breasts so you know what’s normal. If you’re not sure what you’re looking/feeling for, Dr. Ancy recommends peeking at the Know Your Lemons: What Breast Cancer Can Look & Feel Like image created by Worldwide Breast Cancer.

Common Signs of Breast Cancer

Using lemons as visuals, the image shows common signs breast cancer, including:

  • Breast skin that looks like an orange peel
  • A growing lump
  • A growing vein
  • An inverted nipple
  • One breast is growing larger than the other
  • Unexpected nipple fluid

NKCH’s Breast Imaging Center of Excellence

Whether it’s time for your annual mammogram or you need a diagnostic test, North Kansas City Hospital’s Women’s Center has several different breast imaging tools and experts who can help you determine which screening is best for you.