Breast lumps- myths busted!
- By Team TDO
The rise in the occurrence of breast cancer in women, since past decade or so, has made women, especially in the urban areas, very cautious about lumps in their breasts. Whenever there is a small lump in the breast, the first thought that comes to mind, is may be this is cancerous. However, instead of taxing your brain with worries, it is better to take action and consult your caregiver. Here are some of the myths that are regularly associated with breast lumps and the real facts related to the same.
Myth: If there is a breast lump, it must be cancerous
Statistics reveal that out of 10 cases of breast lumps in women, only 2 are cancerous. More often, these lumps are due to fibroadenoma or cysts. In many women, lumps are formed during the menstrual cycle and they go away after it ends. It is not simply possible to tell exactly what kind of lump it is, just by feeling through hands. However, it is important to detect the composition of the lump and to do so at the initial stages, so that if it is detected cancerous, early diagnosis and treatment can save your life.
Myth: If your mammogram is normal, you are safe and the lumps are not cancerous
This is not particularly true. To detect the presence of cancerous cells, you need to get more tests done; an ultrasound, an MRI and also a follow up mammogram, to get a second view of the lump. Doctors also suggest a biopsy to be 100 percent sure of the diagnosis. If the lumps persist but there is no detection, your doctor may ask you to keep doing the tests at frequent intervals, to assess the development.
Myth: Malignant breast lumps do not cause any pain
Although breast cancer patients do not suffer from much pain, this does not mean that if you do not have pain, the lump is non-cancerous. There are different types of breast cancers; and in some types such as the inflammatory breast cancer, the patient can suffer from warmth, tenderness, redness and swelling, followed by pain in the lumps.
Myth: If you get a lump while breastfeeding, it is not cancerous
It is true that breastfeeding reduces the chances of development of cancerous cells. But there is still a possibility and hence you should not ignore the formation of lumps. It is advisable to immediately get an ultrasound to confirm the condition of the lump.
Myth: Lump in young women cannot be cancerous
Women can develop breast cancer at any age. Hence, if you have a breast lump at a young age, or even if your teenage daughter has developed a suspicious lump in her breast, you should always get it checked, at the earliest. Most often, cancer develops in the breast when women are past their menopause period. But this, in no way means, that they cannot get it at younger age.
Myth: Only a larger lump can be cancerous, not a smaller one
Lumps in the breasts can be of all sizes; and the size, does not determine the presence of cancerous cells. According to breast-imaging specialist at New York’s Manhattan Diagnostic Radiology, Melissa Scheer MD, you must immediately see a doctor, whenever you feel the presence of even a tiny lump, because, a small lump too may turn out to be aggressively cancerous.
Most often, the lump in the breast is non-cancerous; however, it is advisable to consult your caregiver immediately, once you discover the lump for the first time.