8 Breast Lumps Men And Women Must Be Aware Of

Source – Pexels

Encountering a breast lump can be a source of great worry, especially for women. It is important to understand that most breast lumps in females are benign, that is, not cancerous. Generally, there are 8 breast lumps men and women must be aware of for prevention or early detection of possible illnesses. 

DETAILED INFO: For more information about breast cancer, please visit our Breast Cancer Disease Centre for further information.

Written by Dr Julia Cheong on 18.5.2021
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K. on 24.5.2022.

8 Breast Lumps Men And Women Must Be Aware Of

Breast lumps can be attributed to a number of different causes such as infection, cysts or inflammation of the breast tissue. It is important that you see your doctor as soon as possible if you find a lump in your breast. Your doctor will be able to make a thorough assessment and decide whether you need to be seen by a specialist.


This is the most common type of breast lump found in women between 20 and 24 years old. The lump tends to feel mobile, firm, and painless under the skin. Fibroadenomas are caused by excessive growth of glands or tissues in the breast but this does not increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Although they tend to disappear after menopause, it is possible to have them removed through a small surgical intervention if they are bothersome.

Phyllode’s tumour:

These types of breast lumps are rare. They are normally firm and painless but fast-growing. They most commonly develop in women in their 40s. A phyllode’s tumour develops from the epithelial and connective tissue in your breast and most tumours are benign. Removal of the lump by surgery is normally the only treatment required in most cases.

Breast cysts:

Breast cysts most commonly appear in women around the age of 35 to 50. A cyst is fluid-filled sacs and they feel like smooth discrete lumps, moving slightly when pressed. They can also appear prior to periods and tend to go away afterward. Cysts should be aspirated by a healthcare professional. This is normally done by inserting a small needle through the breast, guided by imaging from an ultrasound machine. The contents of the cysts are normally clear but if the contents are blood stained or if the cysts refills, samples would need to be sent to a laboratory for investigation.

Source - Pexels

Fat necrosis:

Accidental injury or trauma to the breast can cause lumps to form which normally go away on their own. In rare cases the lump can also be removed if required.


Mastitis is inflammation of the breast without infection and can occur regardless of a woman’s breastfeeding status. The main symptoms of mastitis include generalised breast swelling, itching, fever and sometimes a change in sensation around the nipple and feeling generally unwell. In breastfeeding women mastitis can occur if milk has not been expressed regularly. It is important to note that it is safe to continue breastfeeding or expressing milk if possible. Your doctor might also prescribe some antibiotics if needed. Repeated episodes of mastitis in some women can lead to breast abscesses.

Breast abscess:

Breast abscesses are more common in women who are breastfeeding and can show up as a red, hot and tender mass on the breast. In most cases breast abscesses feel painful: abscesses contain a collection of pus, which is an area of infection made up of dead cells. The infection is most commonly caused by a bacterium called staphylococcus aureus. They are usually treated with antibiotics and might also need to be drained with a needle.


Gynaecomastia is the growth of breast tissue in males. Its causes are often benign and usually reversible. Gynaecomastia can develop during puberty in teenagers but also in cases of hormonal (endocrine) imbalances. It can also be caused by drugs. A common culprit is a spironolactone, a diuretic (water tablet). Your doctor will usually ask for a very detailed history and may order some special blood tests to find out the cause of the gynaecomastia in order to treat it accordingly.

Nipple discharge and appearance change

It is also essential to see your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any new discharge or change in the appearance of your nipples. Nipple retraction or inversion, or puckering of the skin anywhere on the breast may be a sign of breast cancer.

Previous Post

Carcinoid Tumours: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment Options

Next Post

Carotid Artery Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Tests, and Treatment

Related Posts