While a lump in your breast may make you automatically leap to the conclusion that you have cancer, there are many breast conditions that are benign. The only way to know for sure is to seek the expertise of Trevan Fischer, MD, who can help you diagnose and treat your breast disease, cancerous or not. If you’re in the Santa Monica, California, area, and you’re experiencing problems in one or both of your breasts, call or fill out the form to request an appointment. He accepts patients across all of Southern California, including Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo and Palm Springs.
While a lump in your breast can certainly signal breast cancer, it’s almost just as likely to fall under one of the many different benign breast diseases, such as:
These changes in your breasts can come and go with hormone fluctuations and small fluid-filled sacs called cysts are the cause. Because of the hormonal influence, fibrocystic changes commonly occur in women between the ages of 35 and 50. Cysts can also form as a result of too much caffeine.
These lumps are very common and develop due to excess milk-producing glands, or lobules, and extra connective tissue in your breast, which is also called stroma. Fibroadenomas most often occur in women between the ages of 20 and 40.
If you’ve sustained an injury to your breast, or you’ve had surgery in the area, fat may gather together creating a benign mass.
While many of these conditions are painless, some can become tender and quite uncomfortable.
If you have something in your breast (or breasts) that doesn’t feel right, Dr. Fischer first performs a physical exam and then orders diagnostic imaging to take a look at what’s going on inside — usually with an ultrasound or a mammogram. If he finds a mass, the next step is to biopsy the tissue for further study.
To perform the biopsy, Dr. Fischer typically uses a needle to gather a sample of tissue. Depending upon the size and location of the mass, he may be able to perform a simple fine needle aspiration or he may want to take more tissue with an ultrasound-guided core biopsy.
Once he has the tissue he needs, Dr. Fischer looks closely at the cells to determine whether any are cancerous. If he rules out cancer, you can decide next steps depending upon your comfort level.
If your breast disease isn’t painful, and Dr. Fischer has ruled out cancer, there’s generally no treatment needed. If, however, your benign mass causes breast pain, Dr. Fischer may recommend a minimally invasive surgery to remove it. In some cases, he may use a long needle to drain the cyst or surgically remove the entire mass.
If you have a mass or breast pain, call Trevan Fischer, MD, for diagnosis and treatment. Or, use the online booking tool to request an appointment.