The presence of a lump in the breast during menopause may be due to fibrocystic changes in the breasts. Fibrosis is the overgrowth of tissue in the breast that forms small breast lumps. These breast lumps during menopause are normally caused by blocked ducts in the breasts.
Symptoms of fibrosis can include: tenderness of the breasts and increased lumpiness as menopause occurs; insensitivity or increased weight on the upper side of the breasts; and breast lumps that are movable when pressed.
Treatment of breast lumps during menopause can include reducing caffeine intake, wearing a supportive bra, taking Advil or Tylenol for pain, using oral contraceptives or taking Danzol, which is an synthetic testosterone hormone.
It is always appropriate to speak with your personal doctor concerning the potential side effects of taking over-the-counter medications to treat fibrocystic changes.
Types of Breasts Lumps
Fibrosis is a very common problem for women approaching menopause; however, there are several reasons that a woman may have a lump in her breast.
According to the Mayo Clinic, breast cysts are lumps that often occur when a woman is near menopause. This type of cyst develops when the ducts of the breast are dilated, causing fluid-filled sacs to form. Common characteristics of breast cysts are lumps that are hard and sensitive when pressed, lumps that appear within two weeks of the menstrual period, lumps that are oval or round and lumps that are slightly movable when touched.
Fibroadenomas are breast lumps that occur when there is an overgrowth of glandular or connective tissues in the breasts. According to Women's Health, this condition is more common among women in their 20s and 30s or women who are pregnant.
Characteristics of fibroadenomas are round, hard, or rubbery masses in the breasts, masses the size of a small plum, masses that are senstive to touch and that bounce or move slightly when touched.
A breast infection, also known as periductal mastistis, is a bacterial infection that occurs in older or postmenstrual women. Periductal mastistis develops when milk ducts have become inflamed. Although the exact cause has not been confirmed, the following symptoms are usually associated with this type of infection: inflamed milk ducts on the dark skin surrounding the nipple (areola); breast pain; nipple discharge; a development of a lump in the breast; or nipple retraction. According to the Mayo Clinic, this type of breast infection may be cancerous if the symptoms do not respond to antibiotics and are not associated with pregnancy.
Similar to periductal mastistis, intraductal papilomma is a non-cancerous small lump that appears behind or near the areola. Bloody discharge from the nipple is normally associated with intraductal papilomma, and treatment may involve imaging tests to diagnose the condition of the breasts or surgical removal.
Breast tumours, also known as phyllodes tumours, are usually benign; however, in some cases these tumours may be cancerous. Phyllodes tumours develop between the connective tissue of the breasts and are normally pain-free. Imaging tests and needle biopsies are used to monitor this type of breast lump. This type of breast lump may be removed surgically.