Ultrasound is a useful diagnostic tool for breast cancer detection. Breast ultrasound is used to distinguish solid from cystic masses using sound waves. Is it a hypoechoic mass or is it a hyperechoic lesion? Is it a lesion or a mass? For young women younger than 30 ultrasound imaging will often be the first scan, after a clinical exam feels either a palpable mass breast lumps or nipple discharge. Since breast cancer tends to happen with older, post-menopausal women, doctors try not to expose younger women to the unnecessary radiation of a mammogram.
Non-cancerous and cancerous breast lumps can be very different from each other when it comes to how they feel during a breast exam and what they look like in imaging tests. However, a number of benign breast changes mimic breast cancer , so it sometimes takes further testing to know for sure what's going on in your breast. How a breast mass feels can give a doctor a fairly good idea whether a lump is a breast cancer tumor or a benign mass. Masses in the breast that are cancer are often very firm, like a rock or a carrot, and have an irregular shape and size. They are also often fixed—i. They're also not likely to be painful, though they can be in some cases. On exam, other changes may be present as well, such as dimpling of the skin or an orange-peel appearance, nipple retraction, or enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit.
Distinguishing Breast Cancer Tumors From Benign Masses
There are different types of breast lumps. The following descriptions and illustraitons provides some details. If you have any questions, follow-up with your doctor.
There are many possible causes of non-cancerous benign breast lumps. Two of the most common causes of benign single breast lumps are cysts and fibroadenomas. In addition, several other conditions can present themselves as lumps, such as fat necrosis and sclerosing adenosis. A breast abscess is a pocket of pus that causes inflammation and a sore lump in the breast. Other symptoms include fever, and tiredness.