A breast lump deserves medical attention. Know what to expect during a clinical breast exam — and what happens when a lump needs further evaluation. That's understandable. But breast lumps are common, and most often they're noncancerous benign , particularly in younger women.
Breast Changes and Conditions
Slide show: Female breast anatomy - Mayo Clinic
You may have just received an abnormal mammogram result, or perhaps you or your health care provider found a breast lump or other breast change. Keep in mind that breast changes are very common, and most are not cancer. This page can help you learn about symptoms during your lifetime that are not cancer as well as follow-up tests used to diagnose breast conditions and treatments for specific breast conditions. Some breast changes can be felt by a woman or her health care provider, but most can be detected only during an imaging procedure such as a mammogram, MRI, or ultrasound.
Caught on camera: Woman with breasts exposed attacks man inside elevator
These changes are sometimes called fibrocystic changes , and used to be called fibrocystic disease. Areas of fibrosis feel rubbery, firm, or hard to the touch. They are often felt as a round, movable lump, which might also be tender to the touch. Cysts begin when fluid starts to build up inside the breast glands.
Although it is well recognized that a thorough understanding of the anatomy of an organ is essential to enable assessment of any abnormalities in that organ, there has been little investigation of the anatomy of the normal lactating breast since Sir Astley Cooper performed detailed dissections of the anatomy of the breast more than years ago. Many mothers recognize that breast milk provides the ultimate nutrition and protection for the infant; however, a significant proportion of women experience difficulties breastfeeding, some of which lead to weaning the infant. Recently, a small number of studies have focused on the gross anatomy of the breast, and have found that the ductal system is comprised of fewer numbers of main ducts than previously thought. In addition, the ducts are compressible and do not contain large amounts of milk, the amount of fatty tissue in the breast is variable, and a proportion is situated within the glandular tissue.