Breast cancer

12 January 2005

Why do we get lumps in our breasts?

Many women who worry about breast cancer wonder why we get lumps in our breasts.

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The breast changes with hormonal stimulation and age. At birth there is little breast tissue present. Breast development really starts during puberty and the normal development of breast structure is dependent on a normal balance of hormonal stimulation.

Breasts and nipple shape vary significantly. For example, it may be quite normal for a woman to have inverted nipples.

The majority of women have one breast slightly larger than the other.

With time the shape of a woman’s breasts change. The amount of breast tissue decreases and it is replaced with fat. The breasts are subject to the regular monthly hormonal cycle. For example, women often have more breast tenderness just before their periods. Hormonal replacement therapy may stimulate some new breast development.

 

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Breast cancer expert

Dr Gudgeon qualified in Birmingham, England, in 1968. She has more than 40 years experience in oncology, and in 1994 she founded her practice, Cape Breast Care, where she treats benign and malignant breast cancers. Dr Boeddinghaus obtained her qualification at UCT Medical School in 1994 and her MRCP in London in 1998. She has worked extensively in the field of oncology and has a special interest in the hormonal management of breast cancer. She now works with Dr Gudgeon at Cape Breast Care. Read more.

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