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Breast Lump Or Cancer

Breast Lump Or Cancer Surgery in Pune

Finding a breast lump can be frightening, but a lump is not always a sign of breast cancer. There are various reasons why a lump can develop, and most are not cancerous.

According to the support organization Breastcancer.org, eight out of 10 lumps that occur in the breast are not cancerous. Nevertheless, people should seek medical help if a new lump appears or if an existing lump changes.

Often, the lump does not need treatment but, sometimes, if a person needs treatment, doctors may recommend surgery. This kind of breast surgery is known as a lumpectomy.

In this article, we look at the reasons for the surgery and what people can expect before, during, and after the procedure.


There are different causes for lumps in the breast. Not all of them are cancer.

They include:


These harmless growths in the breast tissue tend to occur with hormonal changes, such as the start of a menstrual period. A surgeon may use a needle to drain the fluid that usually fills a cyst. But after draining, cysts can reoccur.

Fibroadenoma and fibrocystic breasts

There conditions involve hardening and thickening of the tissue within the breast. The tissue is usually harmless.

Intraductal papillomas

This is when hard, rubbery, lumps form in the milk ducts. These are also usually harmless.

Benign tumors

These solid growths are not cancerous or dangerous. They can be uncomfortable, and they can sometimes cause leakage from the nipples, depending on their location. Doing a biopsy and examining the cells from the tumor under a microscope is the only way to determine if it is cancerous or benign.

Hormonal changes

The breasts change over time and during the menstrual cycle. Lumps may come and go regularly. Checking the breasts at the same time each month can help a person keep track of any change that is unusual. Fatty lumps that develop after a trauma, and the use of some medications, are other causes of breast lumps.

Surgical procedures

A surgeon can carry out several types of procedure to remove a breast lump or, in some cases, the entire breast.

The surgeon will discuss appropriate options with the patient. The procedure will depend on the size and location of the tumor, breast size, whether cancer has spread, and the wishes of the individual.

Types of surgery

A lumpectomy is when most of the breast tissue stays in place. In some cases, a more invasive intervention is necessary.

If doctors suspect cancer, a surgeon will remove lymph nodes that are close to the breast tumor to look for any evidence that cancer has spread.

When the surgeon removes a cancerous tumor, they must be sure that they have removed all the cancer cells.

The surgeon will initially take a small amount of tissue that surrounds the tumor, known as the border, for examination under a microscope.

If there are no cancer cells in the border, this is considered a healthy or clear margin.

If there are cancer cells in the border, further surgery may be necessary to remove the rest of the cancer.

A quadranectomy is another type of breast-saving surgery, though less common than a lumpectomy.

Around a quarter of the breast, including the tumor, is removed. Reconstructive surgery to replace the removed tissue may be an option after having a quadranectomy.

A mastectomy is the complete removal of the breast, nipple, and all of the breast tissue.

A radical mastectomy also removes the muscles that make up the chest wall. The surgeon may carry out reconstructive surgery to create a new breast, either at the same time or a later date after a mastectomy.

What to expect

A lumpectomy is usually an outpatient procedure. It can take place either in the hospital or an outpatient surgical center.

If a mastectomy is necessary, it will usually take place in the hospital, because the procedure and recovery are more complex.

People who use certain medications, such as aspirin and other blood thinners, may need to stop taking these before surgery, so they reduce the risk of bleeding. A doctor will advise if this is necessary.

People should not eat or drink for at least 8 to 12 hours before surgery, and they should make arrangements for a ride home.

If the lump is difficult to locate within the breast tissue, a radiologist may need to place a marker in the lump and a thin guide wire, leading from the surface of the breast into the lump. This makes it easier for the surgeon to find the lump during surgery.

Typically, the person will meet with the surgeon a few days to a week before they have one of these procedures so they can discuss any additional instructions that may be necessary.

During surgery

Depending on the surgery, the medical team may use a local or general anesthesia.

The surgeon will usually operate with an electric knife that reduces the risk of bleeding. They typically make a curved incision in the breast.

Sometimes, they will fit a drainage tube to remove any excess fluid that might build up in the place where the lump was after the surgery.

Following the procedure, the surgeon will stitch the incision and apply a dressing.


As with all surgical procedures, breast lump removal can carry some risks.

These may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Scar tissue
  • Change in appearance of the breast

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