I found a lump in my breast. Does this mean I have breast cancer?

Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery
Finding a lump in the breast is very common and does not mean that you have breast cancer.  In fact, most lumps are not cancerous. It is important to see your doctor when a lump or breast change is observed for early detection.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

Simply finding a lump in your breast does not mean that you have breast cancer.  This lump needs to be diagnosed initially by mammography, ultrasound, and possible MRI.  If there is any concern that this may be malignant due to changes associated with microcalcifications, then a tissue biopsy should be performed through fine-needle aspiration, Tru-Core biopsy, or by excisional biopsy from your surgeon.  Benign tumors most commonly include fibroadenomas or fibrocysts.  Malignant tumors can include infiltrative ductal carcinoma usually found on one breast versus infiltrative lobular carcinoma which can be found bilaterally with a higher metastatic rate.

If you have found a lump in your breast, you need to get it checked out by your doctor. Not because it's cancer. Not even because it's probably cancer. In fact, most lumps are not cancer. But you get it checked out to make sure it's NOT cancer.
You see, we in the breast health world have our needles set to "SAFE" not "SORRY". We don't just assume something is OK. We actually make a thorough assessment of all lumps, which almost always includes some kind of breast imaging test—usually an ultrasound and often a mammogram, too. So, if you have a lump, get it checked out.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.