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Toyna Chin: My Daughter Has a Lump in Her Breast -- Should She See a Doctor?

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For preteens, if the breast lump is just under her nipple, this could very well be a breast bud. Most moms would be extremely anxious about finding a lump in their daughter’s breast, but for a young girl that has not yet had her first period, the lump is likely a normal part of her puberty development.

When girls begin puberty, usually between the ages of 8 and 13, their breasts begin to develop starting with just a little swelling, or bud, under the nipple. A breast bud is a small firm mass felt right under the areola and is movable, often tender, and not attached to the muscle or ribs beneath. There should be no discharge from the nipple, no dimpling of the skin in the area, and no signs of infection.

It is normal, and common, for one breast to bud before the other, or for breasts to grow at different rates so that they are lopsided for a while. They usually even out eventually for the most part so that the uneven sizes are not really noticeable.

Breast buds keep growing and develop into full breasts over several years. If your daughter has already started her period, then a lump in the breast could be a simple cyst. This is a breast duct that has been temporarily plugged up with fluid, and it will resolve itself in two or three months. A cyst may be tender, but if it is not inflamed, it is harmless.

In some instances a breast lump will be a mass of solid fibrous tissue
called a fibroadenoma, which is also benign (harmless), but it may not
go away by itself. If this is the case have your daughter checked by her doctor.

Depending on the size and feel of it, her doctor may decide to observe it over a couple of months to see if it goes away. If it lasts more that three months, then she may need further evaluation (such as an ultrasound test or an aspiration of the fluid.) Be rest assured that almost all breast lumps in teenagers are harmless. Breast cancer almost never occurs in this age group.

Remember, it’s never wrong to ask the doctor to check out a breast lump. If you are still worried or just are not sure what’s going on, schedule an appointment. Most likely, he or she will reassure you that there is no cause for concern.

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April 28, 2009 - 8:52am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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