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Breast lump is a common condition which can affect women of all ages right from adolescence upto old age. The age of occurrence and the symptoms of the lump usually define the underlying cause of this condition. The symptoms of breast lump may include pain, swelling of breast with or without associated nipple discharge. The different causes of lump are the following-

  1. Fibroadenoma – these are breast lumps found in teenage girls and young adults. They present as a painless lump in one or both breasts and can be single or multiple. They are firm in feel and widely mobile and can range in size from pea sized to that of an orange. Their growth is hormone dependent and increase in size during pregnancy and lactation. They are not precancerous but require treatment by surgical removal.
  2. Breast cyst– are fluid filled swelling in the breast and commonly found in young or middle Aged women. They generally donot require treatment expect when symptomatic.
  3. Abscess – these present as painful and tender swelling of a part or the entire breast found almost exclusively in lactating women. There may be associated fever and require immediate drainage of pus collection within the abscess.
  4. Galactocoele– these are walled off swellings filled with milk again found in lactating women. These are usually painless but require treatment by aspiration or excision of swelling.
  5. Breast cancer– usually found in middle aged or elderly women. They present as a painless , hard lump which may grow rapidly in size . It requires immediate attention and usually prompt surgery after confirmation of the diagnosis.

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