🎀Breast Cancer Awareness - Protect Your Tits (.)(.)

Continue to do regular breast self-exams while lactating to monitor your breasts for possible lumps and other changes. This practice can help catch any potential cancerous growths early.


Most breast lumps that occur while breast/chestfeeding are harmless and temporary (less than a week to resolve). However, it's a good idea to keep an eye on the size and texture of any lump(s) you find, and contact your midwife, doctor or lactation consultant with any concerns.


Tumor

According to documented medical studies, the most common type of tumor in breastfeeding people is a lactating adenoma. This is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor which feels like a solid mass under the skin with definite borders yet it is easy to move, unlike a cancerous one.

Lactating adenomas are most commonly caused by hormonal changes in pregnancy and lactation, and they account for about 70% of the breast lumps biopsied in lactating people.(1)


Fibroadenomas are another common type of benign breast tumor. These feel like round, hard, moveable tumors under the skin and often do not require treatment (although this depends on the type of fibroadenoma). It is not uncommon for an existing fibroadenoma to grow during pregnancy and lactation and shrink afterward, possibly due to fluctuations in hormones.(2)


Most breast lumps turn out to be nothing serious, but around 20% of lumps are malignant (cancerous). A malignant mass may appear as a hard, painless lump that does not seem to have a definite border. It may also feel as if it is attached to the surrounding breast tissue, making it difficult to move. You may need to stop breastfeeding if your treatment plan includes chemotherapy and/or radiation. (1)

Lipoma

Lipomas are non-cancerous, fatty masses that grow slowly just under the skin. They are often soft and doughy, easily moveable, and most are painless unless they compress a nerve. Lipomas can appear in breast tissue and on other parts of your body including your neck, shoulders, arms, and thighs.


The cause of lipomas is unknown. However we do know that the condition is hereditary (e.g. members of the same family have a higher chance of developing it). Treatment is usually not necessary for lipomas unless they cause you pain or discomfort.


While lipomas are harmless they can resemble a rare type of cancer called liposarcoma. Be sure to get checked out if you notice this type of lump in order to rule out the harmful possibilities.

During your breastfeeding experience, you may notice breast lumps that can make feeding your baby challenging and even painful. Rest assured that these lumps are usually not serious, and most are temporary. While some lumps go away without treatment, others may require a trip to the doctor.


There are many types of lumps and other breast changes that can happen during breastfeeding. Plugged milk ducts, engorged breasts, and mastitis are a few of the possibilities, and all can present as a breast lump. The good news is they respond well to treatment.

Other changes in your breasts, however, may signal issues that are not related to breastfeeding. While most of the time breast lumps are nothing to worry about, in rare instances they may be serious and require medical attention.

Medical information and evidence from

https://www.verywellfamily.com/breastfeeding-and-breast-lumps-whats-normal-431771



1. Teberian I, Bhimani C, Sciotto M, Wilkes A, Germaine P. Breast masses in pregnancy and lactation. J Am Osteopath Coll Radiol. 2019;8(1):5-16.


2. Cleveland Clinic. Fibroadenomas of the breast. Updated January 9, 2021.


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