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Demystifying noncancerous breast lumps - All Woman - Jamaica Observer
All Woman

Demystifying noncancerous breast lumps

YOU may know the feeling of accidentally noticing a lump in your breast, and losing sleep thinking about whether or not it is cancerous. Though thousands of new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year in Jamaica, not every lump is an issue.

However, if you notice a lump in your breast, you should immediately speak to your doctor to receive adequate treatment.

Gynaecologist Dr Jordan Hardie says non-cancerous breast or benign breast lumps are masses that arise within the breast, and these lumps may be due to a number of factors including hormonal changes, trauma, milk retention in lactating women, or infection.

“The most common non-cancerous breast lumps include fibroadenomas, cysts, galactocoeles (milk retention cysts) and breast abscesses,” Dr Hardie explained.

He further stated that how these lumps are removed is based on the underlying cause.

“A cyst, depending on the location, may be aspirated, which is the process of removing the fluid with a needle. However, an abscess will require drainage via a surgical procedure,” the gynaecologist told All Woman.

Adding that whether these lumps are cancerous or not will be based on clinical history and examination, imaging studies and tissue biopsy, Dr Hardie said, “Any patient who displays risk factors for breast cancer will require a biopsy to confirm or rule out the possibility of a cancerous lump.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most breast lumps are benign and they usually have smooth edges and can be moved slightly when you push against them. They are often found in both breasts.

The WHO outlined that fibroadenomas are usually painless and women between the ages of 20 and 30 get those most often. In addition, they are more common in black women, and this type of breast lump can be removed surgically.

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