Q. What is the possibility of a lump in breast which is present for 10 years to be cancerous?

Answered by
Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 07, 2020 and last reviewed on: Feb 10, 2021

Hello doctor,

I have a lump behind my left nipple for around 10 years. It is a painless and hard lump which is just behind the nipple, and it seems to be round in shape and is about more than 1 cm in size. It is not growing and is of fixed size. I also notice skin discoloration on the breast like slight melanin patches. I also notice a few minor or very small fluid lumps in the right breast area. Please tell me if the lump can be cancerous.



Welcome to

It looks all these lesions are benign (non-cancerous). This small lump which is there for 10 years is certainly benign as cancerous lump grows and spreads. Regarding skin discoloration looking like melanin patches and fluid lumps. You have not mentioned the details regarding discoloration and fluid lumps, whether they are new or old, whether they have increased in size as compared to the previous one or whether they have shown any change in appearance, etc.

Nothing to worry about, but it is recommended to visit a mammalogist and let them examine all these breast and skin lesions. If needed they will put you on close follow up or investigate further. The major risk factors for developing breast cancer are:

1. Family history of breast cancer.

2. Obesity.

3. Certain genetic syndromes.

4. Any previous breast lump.

5. Hormone replacement therapy, history of estrogen intake.

6. Early menarche or late menopause.

In case you have any family history of breast cancer then you must go for genetic counseling also.

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