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Breast Lumps

Breast lumps

Fluctuation in hormone levels during your menstrual cycle is a common reason for changes in your breast, but breast lumps have several other benign causes. It is usually difficult to determine the cause of a breast lump without an examination, so getting your breasts checked by a GP is necessary.

If breast examination by the GP cannot diagnose the cause of the lump, a referral to a specialist may be necessary for a more extensive investigation and diagnosis. This may involve a biopsy, mammogram or ultrasound.

Our GPs at Medical Express Clinic can offer a referral without extra charges.


A breast lump can give varying symptoms depending on the underlying cause. Some breast lumps may not cause noticeable symptoms, but others may cause the following.

Palpable mass

The feeling of thickening or a distinct lump in the underarm or breast. This is usually the primary symptom of a breast lump. The mass may feel different from the surrounding tissue or have a different size.

Changes in breast shape or size

Some people may notice changes in their breast shape or size, such as dimpling of the skin or asymmetry between the breasts.

Tenderness or pain

Sometimes, the lump may occur with tenderness, discomfort or soreness in the affected area.

Nipple abnormalities

Changes in the nipple, such as discharge (other than breast milk), scaling of the skin around the nipple, or nipple inversion

Skin changes

Skin thickening, redness or the appearance of a rash on the nipple area or breast is associated with some types of breast cancers.

While these symptoms may cause concerns, some breast lumps aren’t cancerous. Sometimes, lumps are benign (non-cancerous) and may be linked to cysts, hormonal changes or other conditions. However, if you notice any unusual or new changes in your breast, visit your healthcare provider to determine the cause and offer appropriate management.

Regular mammograms and self-exams can help in early detection and intervention. If you notice these changes, ensure you seek guidance from your healthcare professional for evaluation and proper diagnosis.

Types of breast lumps

Different breast lumps occur, each with different characteristics and possible implications. Understanding the different types of breast lumps can help you know the appropriate medical evaluation to seek.

The common types of breast lumps are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lipomas
  • Cysts
  • Fibrocystic changes
  • Fibroadenomas
  • Intraductal papillomas
  • Phyllodes tumours


Treatments for breast lumps are different, depending on the type of lump, its characteristics, and if it is cancerous or benign. The common treatments for the types of breast lumps include:


  • Fine-needle aspiration: a procedure that involves draining the fluid from the cyst using a thin needle to alleviate discomfort
  • Monitoring: if the cyst doesn’t cause symptoms, immediate treatment may not be necessary, but monitoring is essential.


  • Observation: treatment may not be necessary for small, asymptomatic fibroadenomas, but monitoring is necessary through regular breast imaging and exams.
  • Surgical removal: if the fibroadenoma is large and causes discomfort, or there is uncertainty about its nature, surgery to remove it is an option.

Phyllodes tumours

  • Surgical removal: Surgical excision is the main treatment for phyllode tumours, and the removal of healthy tissue surrounding the tumour may be necessary in some cases to reduce the risk of a recurrence.

Intraductal papillomas

  • Surgical excision: removal of the papilloma or affected duct may be necessary, especially if there is a concern about the possibility of cancerous or atypical cells developing.

Breast cancer

  • Surgery: Surgical options such as mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) or lumpectomy (removal of the tumour and a small area of the surrounding tissue) may be options depending on the type and stage of breast cancer.
  • Radiation therapy: radiation therapy is usually after surgery to target the remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.
  • Chemotherapy: chemotherapy can be done before or after surgery to destroy cancer cells and prevent the spread of these cells to other body parts.
  • Hormone therapy: some types of breast cancer are hormone receptor-positive. In this case, hormone therapy may prevent the recurrence of the cancer by blocking the effects of progesterone or oestrogen.

If you notice a breast lump or have any concerns about your breast health, contact Medical Express Clinic on 02074991991 to schedule an appointment with our doctor for an examination.

We also offer same-day appointments and have female doctors to conduct the exam if you have a specific preference. Our services include evaluation and specialist referrals when necessary, and our experienced doctors have a special interest in women’s health.