ZocdocAnswersCan a benign tumor change into a malignant one?

Question

Can a benign tumor change into a malignant one?

I've had a lump in my breast for around a year and never really thought about getting it checked cause it hasn't changed shape. Can it turn into cancer if it is okay now? It kind of feels a little different lately.

Answer

First I will say that you must get this lump in your breast checked out by a physician in a very timely manner. A lump in the breast can be a normal finding, but you should never assume that it is normal without either some imaging or a biopsy of the lump. This is especially true if the lump feels different to you now. This could mean that the lump is a cancer and that it is now growing. Sometimes a lump in the breast can be a benign cyst or other mass of tissue that his not cancer. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell this from just feeling the lump from outside the breast. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she will need to examine your breasts and pay particular attention to the lump that you have. Under almost any circumstance, you will require some sort of imaging whether it be an ultrasound or a mammogram of that breast. If the lump is at all concerning, it will need to be biopsied so that your doctor can tell if it is cancer and therefore would need to be removed. Good luck, and please go see your doctor soon.

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