That breast lump; don’t ignore it

breast lump
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Most cases of breast cancer seen today could have been prevented only if that breast lump
noticed at the early stage was taken seriously with immediate action. Breast lump reported
immediately its noticed can save a woman from the physical, psychological and financial
rigour associated with breast cancer.

Unfortunately, there has been a rise in the number of cases of breast cancer seen today. A lot of women have lost their lives as a result of the complications of breast cancer. Those who didn’t loose their lives suffer from the psychological and financial burden placed on them by the continuous treatment of breast
cancer or the surgery itself. This could really be challenging although the choice of staying
alive supercedes any psychological trauma experienced from removal of breast or side
effects of treatment.

Do you know all these ‘headaches’ could actually be avoided if that slight changes from the usual or breast lump was reported and treated immediately it was noticed?

What do we mean by breast lump?

Any swelling, mass, bulge or bump in the breast that feels different from the other part or
looks unusual is breast lump. It is usually as a result of abnormal multiplication of cells in the
breast which arrest itself at a point. Most breast lumps do not have cancer cells in them
but when this abnormal growth is abandoned in the breast, it can manoeuvre itself and grow
into breast cancer.

Breast lump most of the time is painless and does not disrupt the system of the affected woman. Unfortunately, most women turn this advantage into a disadvantage. They go about their normal activities and ignore this lump. These cells then multiply without any control and become breast cancer.

In this part of the world (developing countries), majority of these women visit traditional healers. They only come to the hospital after these cancer cells have spread to other organs of the body and there is nothing much the physician can do. At this stage, effort is just targeted towards arresting further spread of
these cells.

What can put you at risk of developing breast lump?

The fact that you are a woman is the major risk. Breast lump or even breast cancer is
commoner in woman. This has been related to some female hormones. In addition, as a
woman grows older, she is faced with a higher risk of having breast disease. Although breast
lump can be seen in teenagers, it is commoner in women older than 30years of age. Also if
you have anyone in your family lineage that has had breast lump in the past, this can put you
at risk. If you have had breast lump previously, you are at risk of having another.

What symptoms will you notice if you have breast lump?

Breast lump usually does not show symptoms. This is why being on the look out for it is the
key to preventing breast cancer. In some, they may notice an unusual swelling or feeling in
their breast while bathing. In others, changes in the appearance of the breast is noticed
while dressing up in front of the mirror. This then prompt them to visit a physician and know
what the problem is.

How can breast lump be detected?

There has been advocacy on the importance of self breast examination and clinical breast
examination. In the developed part of the world where more emphasis is laid on prevention,
women go to clinics and are given follow up appointment for clinical breast examination. Here, the physician do a checkup on the breast by touching it and feeling for masses or any
abnormal growth. Further intervention is then taken based on the findings during the

Self breast examination on the other hand is being advocated as this can be done more frequently and the chances of picking abnormality earlier is higher than clinical breast examination (done every
1 – 3years). This can be done in the bathroom while a woman is having her bath or even
dressing up. The further part of this examination is done while a woman is sitting or lying down in bed. This should be done as frequent as possible. It is easier, more pleasurable and cost effective.

What you should do if you notice a lump in your breast?

If you notice any diversification from the normal in your breast, report at your health facility immediately. Further examination and test would be done to confirm the swelling and
exclude cancer cells.

What would be done to breast lump at the health facility?

Any abnormal growth or mass in the breast must be removed to prevent progression to
breast cancer. This is in form of a minor surgery. You do not need to feel anxious about this.
You will only be admitted for a few days and the risk of having complication from surgery is
very low if done at the right place and by the right person.


As a woman, you can live long without breast cancer if you look out for lump in that breast
and report it as soon as you can for immediate action.


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Dr Kay
About Dr Kay 58 Articles
As a physician, I love to give answers to several questions bothering people, educating them on how to be healthy, breaking down what their present condition is all about and counselling them on how to manage their condition.

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