Breast Lumps and Pain
Breast Lumps and Pain Overview
Patient Comment Read 1 Comment
Breast changes are common. From the time a girl begins to develop breasts, begins menstruating and throughout life, women may experience various kinds of breast pain and other breast changes. Some of these changes normally occur during the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and with aging. Breast lumps, tenderness, and other changes may occur. Most breast lumps and other changes are not cancer.
The breast is composed of several glands and ducts that lead to the nipple and the surrounding colored area called the areola. The milk-carrying ducts extend from the nipple into the underlying breast tissue like the spokes of a wheel. Under the areola are lactiferous ducts. These fill with milk during lactation after a woman has a baby. When a girl reaches puberty, changing levels of hormones cause the ducts to grow and cause fat deposits in the breast tissue to increase. The glands that produce milk (mammary glands) that are connected to the surface of the breast by the lactiferous ducts may extend to the armpit area (axilla).
There are no muscles in the breasts, but muscles lie under each breast and cover the ribs. These normal structures inside the breasts can sometimes make them feel lumpy. Such lumpiness may be especially noticeable in women who are thin or who have small breasts.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/24/2016
M Ruby Alvi, MD, CCFP, MHSc
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Must Read Articles Related to Breast Lumps and Pain
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Breast Lumps and Pain:
Breast Lumps In Women - Diagnosis
Please describe the diagnosis of the lumps in your breasts.
Breast Lumps - Experience
Please describe your experience with breast lumps.
Breast Lumps In Women - Cause
What was the underlying cause of your breast lumps?
Breast Lumps and Pain - Follow Up
What kind of follow-up procedure has your doctor recommended following an exam for breast lumps and pain?
Women's Health Resources
- Which Health Screenings Are Free?
- Ladies: Watch Out for These Cancer Signs
- Complementary Treatments for Cancer