Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
There are many causes of breast lumps. Some of these causes are harmless, while others can be painful and/or dangerous. Causes of breast lumps include infections, injuries, non-cancerous growths, and cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States. Currently, death rates from breast cancer are declining. The decline in death rates may be due to a combination of earlier detection and better screening as well as improved treatments. While most breast lumps are harmless (benign), every breast lump should be evaluated by a doctor to exclude or establish a diagnosis of cancer.
Breast cancer may not cause signs and symptoms, so this is one reason that screening mammograms are essential. When symptoms do occur, the most common symptom is a mass or lump in the breast. Other symptoms that can occur are nipple discharge or redness, changes in the skin of the breast (such as dimpling or an orange-peel appearance), and swelling of part of the breast.