What Are Breast Lumps?


A lump in the breast is a growth of excess breast tissue, and are may be described as a growth, thickness, swelling, or mass. Breast lumps do not always signify breast cancer, and may be caused by injuries, non-cancerous growths, or infection.


Breast lumps sometimes vary in appearance, and patients with breast lumps may experience:

  • A distinct lump with defined borders
  • Breast tenderness and pain
  • Breast asymmetry, where one breast is significantly larger than the other
  • One area of the breast is thickened and differs from the surrounding tissues
  • Spontaneous fluid discharge from the nipples
  • Nipple inversion, where the nipple is pulled inward
  • Redness, pitting, or dimpling that was previously not present

Monthly breast self-exams are the best indicator of changes to the breasts. If a breast lump or abnormality is detected, it is important to schedule a professional exam immediately. Though breast lumps do not always indicate breast cancer, breast cancer treatment with early detection is often more successful.


What Causes Lumps in the Breast?

There are several conditions and infections other than breast cancer which may cause lumps in the breasts, including:


  • Mastitis: often affects breast-feeding women, and causes breast pain, warmth, redness, and swelling.
  • Fibroadenoma: non-cancerous breast tumors that may be smooth, rubbery, firm or hard lumps with well-defined borders.
  • Hamartoma: a non-cancerous breast tumor.
  • Intraductal papilloma: a wart-like, non-cancerous growth within the milk ducts.
  • Breast cysts: typically non-cancerous, fluid-filled sacs within the breast.
  • Fibrocystic breasts (fibrocystic changes): small lumps or thickenings, typically present in a rope-like texture, and may cause breast tenderness, lumpiness, and pain.

Additionally, trauma and injuries may cause internal hematomas, which feel like breast lumps during a breast self-exam. Certain injuries may cause damage to the fatty tissues within the breast, and lead to non-cancerous fat necrosis.


Breast Lump Screening at The Woman’s Imaging Group


Following a physical examination with a general physician or gynecologist, the highly qualified medical radiologists at The Woman’s Imaging Group perform several diagnostic imaging services to diagnose breast lumps, including diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds.


Breast lump screenings at The Woman’s Imaging Group may provide the early detection of cancerous breast tumors.


If we determine that a breast lump may be cancerous, we offer patient referrals to qualified breast surgeons and medical oncologists through our proprietary Pink Compass Program. The Pink Compass Patient Navigation Tool provides our patients with diagnostic screening results within one hour, which alleviates stress and worry of waiting.


Request Immediate Screening for Lumps in the Breasts in Metro Atlanta


Our metro Atlanta offices accept walk-ins and appointments for all diagnostic imaging services. Contact our Norcross or Marietta, Georgia locations, and schedule an appointment to screen and diagnose breast lumps.