What are breast lumps?

A breast lump is a mass that develops in your breast. While a breast lump can be a sign of breast cancer, often it is not related to cancer. Eight out of 10 breast lumps are noncancerous. If you feel a lump in your breast or under your arm, see your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will figure out the cause of the breast lump and determine whether or not it needs additional workup or treatment.

Can men have breast lumps?

Yes. Men can develop a condition called gynecomastia. The male breast becomes enlarged and sometimes tender. A breast lump may also form underneath the nipple. Gynecomastia often occurs in both breasts. This condition can be related to a hormonal imbalance or a side effect of medication, although additional workup may be considered to determine a cause. Most often, a cause is never determined; it is called “idiopathic.”

Men can also develop breast cancer, so if you feel a lump in your breast, see your healthcare provider for an evaluation.

What does a breast lump feel like?

A breast lump may feel like a frozen pea or lima bean. It might feel hard or different from the rest of your breast tissue.

Does a breast lump mean I have cancer?

Breast lumps are one of the symptoms of breast cancer. However, often, breast lumps are not cancerous. Several other conditions can cause breast lumps.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice a breast lump. If it is cancer, treatment is more successful when started early.

Is a breast lump an infection?

A breast lump can be a sign of a breast infection, such as mastitis or abscess. Breast infections can cause painful lumps, most often with associated warmth and redness.

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