Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Lump in the Breast Symptoms

Symptoms of a breast lump include:

  • Knot, bump or swelling under the skin of the breast
    • Firm or soft
    • Smooth or lumpy
    • Attached or unattached to the skin
    • Located anywhere in the breast

It is nearly impossible to distinguish a benign breast lump from a cancerous breast lump by feeling it.

Symptoms of a breast lump that may be due to cancer include:
  • Breast lump:
    • Lump is nontender
    • Usually located near the nipple
    • Skin may be dimpled over the lump
  • Orange-peel changes in the skin overlying the breast
  • Nipple discharge:
    • Fluid drains from the nipple
  • Nipple retraction:
    • The nipple may be flattened or drawn into the skin
  • Breast swelling:
    • Changes in breast size or shape
  • Swollen lymph glands:

Symptoms of a non-cancerous breast lump include:
  • Breast lump:
    • Lump is usually soft and rubbery
    • Lump is usually nontender
    • Lump is not attached to underlying tissue
    • Lump is not attached to overlying skin

For more information:

Continue to Lump in the Breast Evaluation

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lump in the Breast References
  1. Dehner LP, Hill DA, Deschryver K: Pathology of the breast in children, adolescents, and young adults. Semin Diagn Pathol 1999 Aug; 16(3): 235-47. [10490200]
  2. Greydanus DE, Parks DS, Farrell EG: Breast disorders in children and adolescents. Pediatr Clin North Am 1989 Jun; 36(3): 601-38. [2543947]
  3. Norlock FE: Benign breast pain in women: a practical approach to evaluation and treatment. J Am Med Womens Assoc 2002 Spring; 57(2): 85-90. [11991427]
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