Sometimes this thickness is felt as a lump or a mass of tissue. As women age, their milk systems shrink and are replaced by fat. By menopause, most women's breasts are completely soft. This can make normal lumps more noticeable.
"Breast tissue tends to be fairly symmetrical," says gynecological nurse Danielle Benedek. If only one boob is lumpy, that's a different problem and you should see a doctor. They're soft to the touch and initial squeeze, but if you start pinching or prodding, it feels like straight-up gristle under the skin.
After ovulation, progesterone makes the breast cells grow and blood vessels enlarge and fill with blood. At this time, the breasts often become engorged with fluid and may be tender and swollen.
For example, healthy breasts come with different amounts of dense or fatty tissue, depending upon your breast size, body weight, and genetics. Dense tissue is firm, and often lumpy and bumpy.
Symptoms of engorged breasts include: Swollen, firm, and painful breasts. If the breasts are severely engorged, they are very swollen, hard, shiny, warm, and slightly lumpy to the touch.
Normal breast tissue often feels nodular (lumpy) and varies in consistency from woman to woman. Even within each individual woman, the texture of breast tissue varies at different times in her menstrual cycle, and from time to time during her life.
This sensitivity is known as cyclic mastalgia or fibrocystic changes. Around 50 percent of all women over the age of 30 experience this. Right before your period starts, your breasts may feel especially tender if you press on them, or they may ache.
A cancerous lump may feel rounded, soft, and tender and can occur anywhere in the breast. In some cases, the lump can even be painful. Some women also have dense, fibrous breast tissue. Feeling lumps or changes in your breasts may be more difficult if this is the case.
Bumps that are cancerous are typically large, hard, painless to the touch and appear spontaneously. The mass will grow in size steadily over the weeks and months. Cancerous lumps that can be felt from the outside of your body can appear in the breast, testicle, or neck, but also in the arms and legs.
Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast (or the other breast) or that feel like a change are a concern and should be checked. This type of lump may be a sign of breast cancer or a benign breast condition (such as a cyst or fibroadenoma).
There is a good chance that it's noncancerous, as most breast lumps are benign. Breast tissue can be lumpy or dense, and that's normal. It's a good idea to do monthly breast exams to get to know your breast tissue and what is normal for you.
In women, breast cancer lumps are usually found in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. In men, they're usually found near the nipple. Regardless of gender, breast cancer can start anywhere there's breast tissue, from the breastbone to the armpit to the collarbone.
A lump that feels firm and doesn't easily move under the skin is more likely to be cancerous than a soft, moveable lump. But moveable lumps can be suspicious, too. If you're at high risk for cancer, your doctor may recommend a biopsy for a lump without a known cause.
Women should also be aware if their breasts become asymmetrical—meaning one breast appears firmer or larger than the other. “It could mean a mass is pulling the breast to the chest wall,” says Dr.
When certain hormones such as estrogen and progesterone increase, the size of the glands and ducts in your breasts increase along with the amount of water and other fluids. When you're breastfeeding, these glands and ducts also increase in size. Fluctuating breast-milk amounts can make breasts feel heavier, too.
Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone. You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit. You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.
Lumps can range in size — from the size of a pea to larger than a golf ball — and may or may not be movable," says Dr. Joshi. "On the other hand, normal breast tissue will feel like consistent fibrous mesh throughout your breast."
Both benign and malignant masses can be rounded and mobile. Only when cancers are quite advanced are they fixed to skin or the underlying chest wall, and not moveable. Any new, persistent, or changing lump in your breast should be evaluated by your physician.
Make an appointment to have a breast lump evaluated, especially if: The lump feels firm or fixed. The lump doesn't go away after four to six weeks. You notice skin changes on your breast, such as redness, crusting, dimpling or puckering.
A hard lump under the skin does not necessarily indicate cancer. Infections, clogged glands, and hormonal changes can all cause noncancerous lumps under the skin. People should not try to remove or pop a lump. Doing this may lead to an infection or cause the lump to get bigger.
Breast mass; Breast nodule; Breast tumor. A breast lump is swelling, growth, or mass in the breast. Breast lumps in both men and women raise concern for breast cancer, even though most lumps are not cancer. A fibroadenoma is a non-cancerous benign lump that is found in breast tissue.
It's not unusual for a breast lump to only be detected when a person is lying down, Dr. Hughes says. “This is dependent on the size of the cancer, how hard it is (some cancers are softer than others), the location of the cancer in the breast, and how the breast sits or hangs when upright versus lying down,” he says.
Fatty lumps may or may not be painful
Fat necrosis may occur after a bruise or other injury to the chest or breast and can occur from weeks to years after an injury. Fat necrosis usually goes away without treatment but can form permanent scar tissue that may show up as an abnormality on a mammogram.
Breast lumps can be caused by: Breast cancer. Breast cysts (fluid-filled sacs in breast tissue that are usually benign) Fibroadenoma (a solid, benign mass most common in young women)