Breast Lumps


Although many people will automatically associate finding a breast lump with cancer the vast majority of breast lumps are not caused by breast cancer.  There are are many causes of breast lumps; the most common causes include normal swelling and tenderness during the menstrual cycle, fibroadenoma, breast cysts, infection, fat necrosis, lipoma, and breast cancer



Any new lump in the breast


Exclude Red Flag Symptoms

If any of the following apply, refer via the Breast Suspected Cancer e-Referral Form:

  • Discrete lump in woman aged 30 or over
  • Associated ulceration, skin nodule, skin distortion or palpable axillary lymph nodes
  • Unilateral firm subareolar mass in men aged 50 or more
  • Associated erythema or redness of the breast tissue
  • Increase in size or change in character of a pre existing or previously investigated lump



Asymmetric nodularity should be reassessed after 6 weeks and referred if persistent

Young women <35 with long standing painful lumpy breasts and older women with symmetrical nodularity (if not a localized abnormality) can be managed in Primary Care with reassurance and review


Advice and Guidance is being made available for all specialties, and is being provided by consultant specialists at East Kent Hospitals.  To make a request or to check to if a query has been answered, you will need to log in via the electronic Referral System (eRS)

Click here for the "how to access" e-Referral Advice and Guidance Manual for instructions on how to make a request and check responses

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