Breast changes are something that occurs in everyone – men and women. This is more common in women, from the day that puberty starts. This often leads to irregularities forming, such as a painful breast lump or some tenderness. The good news is that just because you have found a lump, it does not mean that you have breast cancer; there are a variety of reasons for this happening.

The makeup of the breast

There are a number of glands in the breast as well as some ducts. All of these will lead towards the nipple and are required to be able to pass milk to the areolas – the colored area surrounding the nipples – for breastfeeding.

Why a painful breast lump may form

Painful Breast Lump

Because of the makeup of the breast, there are number of reasons why a painful breast lump will form. Sometimes, just the structure and the placement of the ribs can make it seem like there are lumps in the skin, and if the area becomes bruises, this can lead to pain too.

There are times that breast tissue will build up to the point where it becomes lumpy. This is usually something found during a routine exam that all women should do.

These are just natural changes that are happening as the breasts develop and grow and are not always cancer – of course, you should rule this out by talking to your doctor.

Women who are still menstruating will most commonly find a painful breast lump that is not harmful. This is because the hormones are continually changing so there are constant changes to the makeup of the breasts. This is often a change in the tissue, which can be removed if needed. Painful breasts are also common in women who are menstruating due to the change in hormones – this is a common sign of early pregnancy.

Women who are breastfeeding, or coming to the end of breastfeeding may find that small lumps appear. This is when the ducts and glands become blocked. A small painful breast lump is common but is something that can be removed. You will need to talk to your doctor if this is the case and it may require some surgery to help with unblocking the problem.

Cancerous lumps

Of course, cancer is a worry that many women have and a painful breast lump is commonly the first sign that this is a problem. There are different types of breast cancers and a doctor will need to diagnose this before treatment can be given or administered. The doctor will also need to find out how far along the cancer is and whether it has spread. If this is the first lump that you have found, you may be lucky to find that it can be cured easily.