breast lumps causes

A string of worries and apprehensions follow with the sudden appearance of breast lumps both in men and women. Breast lumps, prevalent in women can be cancerous or non cancerous.

According to MedlinePlus, about 80-85% of breast lumps in women below 40 are benign. Although most of the breast lumps are benign in nature, it is essential to undergo different tests to rule out the chances of breast cancer.

Benign lumps in the breast are commonly observed in women during their child bearing years. Many such lumps arise from a number of reasons and subside naturally. Doctors can only confirm the benign nature of the breast lump after studying its shape and features.

Causes Of Benign Breast Lumps:

Hormonal Changes:

Hormonal changes are responsible for breast lumps both in adolescent males and females at the onset of puberty. Sometimes teenager boys develop breast lumps in the middle of their puberty. Breast lumps appear in the girls as “breast buds” before puberty indicating the formation of breasts.

Infants may develop breast lumps due to the presence of estrogen in the mother’s milk. Appearance of breast cysts or fluid filled sacs is common in matured women due to hormonal fluctuations in the menstrual cycle.

Fibrocystic Changes Or Fibrocystic Disease:

Fibrocystic changes can cause formation of breast lumps in an adult woman during her child bearing age. Breasts become sensitive due to hormonal fluctuations during menstruation, and you may feel rubbery lumps in the breasts due to thickening of the fibrous tissue. These lumps are not life threatening and may be painless or painful.


Women may develop lumps in their breasts during pregnancy. The swelling of the milk ducts is mainly responsible for the lumpy outgrowths.


Occasionally, clogging of the milk ducts during breast feeding may cause breast lumps, a condition known as Mastitis. Mastitis can also result from a sudden injury or after breast surgery.


These are milk filled cysts that appear in women 6- 10 months after ceasing breastfeeding. These round shaped cysts do not catch any infection and can be felt within the breast.


These marble shaped strong and firm benign outgrowths are also common in matured women. According to National Cancer Research Institute, Fibroadenomas is prevalent in young women below 30 years of age. The cause of Fibroadenomas is still unknown. You can feel the lump moving in the breast and is usually painless.

Fat necrosis:

Sudden damage to the fatty tissue of the breasts can harden the tissue of the breasts giving rise to a condition known as fat necrosis. Localized bleeding arising from a trauma can also lead to this condition. According to MedlinePlus, only a biopsy can differentiate between a breast cancer and fat necrosis.

Causes Behind Malignant Breast Lumps:

Cancerous breast lumps can arise out of a number of reasons and these turn out to be life threatening if not detected early. The risk factors of breast cancer of a woman depend largely upon her age, genetic factors, menstrual cycle, child birth, hormone replacement therapy, drinking habit and exposure to radiation.

Malignant breast lumps are formed due to the rapid cell division of the cancerous cells in the breast. Risk of breast cancer is highest in women above 50 years (75%) while about 23% breast cancer cases are reported in women aged between 30-50 years.

It would be extremely wrong to conclude any breast lump as cancerous, but it is also not wise to ignore them. Doctors may advise for needle biopsy, mammograms and other tests to rule out the possibility of breast cancer. Cancerous breast lumps differ according to the cell types and sometimes these may not show significant symptoms.