Are all breast lumps dangerous or lead to cancer? Here's what doctor has to say | Health - Hindustan Times
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Are all breast lumps dangerous or lead to cancer? Here's what doctor has to say

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Mar 26, 2022 07:35 PM IST

A breast lump is no doubt a serious health condition and could be the initial symptom of breast cancer but are all breast lumps dangerous? Read on to get an insight from the doctor

The cases of breast cancer are rising increasingly in India as compared to the western countries and globally, approximately 627,000 women died from breast cancer in 2018 as per the World Health Organization reports. It amounted to approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women and it is evident that we need to take care of our breasts similar to the way we look after other organs of the body. 

Are all breast lumps dangerous or lead to cancer? Here's what doctor has to say (Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash)
Are all breast lumps dangerous or lead to cancer? Here's what doctor has to say (Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash)

Did you know, during a woman’s menstrual cycle, the texture and consistency of breast tissues may change thereby making the breast tender and these breast tissues also undergo modifications with age? Our breasts comprise of a combination of tissues like fatty, glandular and connective tissue which vary in texture and consistency. 

A breast lump is a serious condition and could be the initial symptom of breast cancer. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Anjali Kumar, Senior Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician and Founder of Maitri Woman's Health, revealed, “It is important to remember that all breast lumps are not cancerous. Particularly in younger women, breast lumps may be an indicator of a benign condition. However, one should get it evaluated by a doctor if you feel a new lump or if the breast tissue feels different from the regular texture.”

When to see the doctor?

According to Dr Anjali Kumar, one should visit the doctor when:

• You find a new breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue

• There is a change in the size, shape or appearance of the breast

• Breast pain stays for a longer time ie more than one menstrual cycle

• There is some change in the skin near the breast, such as itchiness, redness, scaling or puckering

• The nipple has become little inverted or there is abnormal discharge from the nipple

Method to evaluate a breast lump:

Dr Anjali Kumar explained that the doctor might ask one to get some tests like Mammogram, Breast Ultrasound, Breast MRI or Breast Biopsy done in order to confirm the diagnosis of the breast lump. She shared, “Follow-up after breast lump evaluation is essential. If the breast lump isn't cancerous, your doctor will decide whether you need short-term monitoring with clinical breast exams or repeat breast imaging. You may have to see the doctor again in two to three months. The doctor will monitor again if there have been changes in your breast.”

She added, “If the diagnosis is in question or the clinical breast exam and the mammogram show areas of suspicion, but the biopsy reveals benign tissue — you'll be referred to a surgeon or other specialist for further consultation. If the breast lump is cancerous, you'll work with your doctor to create a treatment plan. The stage and type of breast cancer will decide the further treatment procedure. Generally, surgery is performed if the lump is proven to be cancer. The surgeon before performing the surgery will explain appropriate surgical options and provide you with the information necessary to make this decision.”

The expert suggested that you may have several consultations with other physicians for additional treatment, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

 

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