Breast Lumps and Nursing
Breast Lumps Are Scary
There's no question: Finding a lump in your breast is enough to make you stop breathing for a second or two. Even though breast lumps (particularly in younger women) are often not caused by cancer but are non-cancerous, benign lumps, the anxiety still comes.
If you find a lump in your breast, have it examined by your doctor who will then determine a course of action - if one is necessary. Besides, it will relieve a lot of pressure once you know what's going on.
The normal breast is connected to muscles on the chest wall. There are no muscles in the breast itself rather the breast is made up of fatty tissue. Within the fatty tissue are lobules, which are glands that form milk.
The milk drains from the glands into the ducts when you breastfeed. When the baby nurses, the milk leaves the duct through the nipple. Depending upon the demand, the glands and milk ducts increase and decrease in number. When breast lumps appear, they involve any of these tissues: fatty tissue, glands or ducts.
What are the Different Causes of Breast Lumps?
A breast lump is alarming at any time, but a breastfeeding mother might also worry if the lump may adversely affect her baby. Even though the primary concern (and often first thought) is breast cancer, the fact is that breast cancer is very rare in lactating women.
According to the LaLeche League International, for each year a woman breastfeeds, her risk of breast cancer decreases by 4.3 percent. Most of the time the breast lump is not a matter of great concern and the baby is not adversely affected in any way.
Breast lumps that are hard, mobile to a degree within the breast and are uniform in size and shape are more often than not the result of a plugged duct, mastitis, an abscess or a galactocele.
· Even though a plugged duct is the least serious of the conditions, it should be treated as soon as possible to prevent it morphing into mastitis or an abscess. It is usually caused by bacteria or germs that enter through cracks in the nipple. If it is left too long, it can become an abscess.