Breast lump


If you feel a lump in your breast, you should always get it checked by a GP.  Most breast lumps are harmless but some can be serious.

See your GP if you notice:

  • a lump in your breast or armpit
  • any other unusual changes in your breasts - such as the nipple turning inwards, dimpled skin or bloodstained nipple discharge

Changes in the breast can be a sign of breast cancer.  This is easier to treat if it's found early.

What happens at your GP appointment

The GP will look at and examine your breasts.

If they're not sure what's causing the lump, they'll refer you to a hospital or breast clinic for further tests.

These tests usually show that a lump is not cancer.

What happens at the breast clinic

At the hospital or breast clinic, you may have a:

These tests are often done during the same visit.  You'll usually be told the results on the same day, although biopsy results take longer - you may have to wait about a week.

Breast Cancer Now has more information about what to expect at a breast clinic appointment.

Treatment for a lump depends on the cause.  Most are harmless and may go away on their own without treatment.

Causes of breast lumps

Lumps in the breast can have lots of different causes.

Most are due to something harmless, such as non-cancerous tissue growth (fibroadenoma) or a build-up of fluid (breast cyst).

Breast Cancer Now has more information about fibroadenoma and breast cysts.

Sometimes, a breast lumpcan be a sign of something serious, such as breast cancer.

Do not self-diagnose

Do not try to self-diagnose the cause of your lump - always see a GP.

The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website
Last Updated: 13/12/2022 14:35:55