The Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center is highly regarded for its ability to evaluate and manage breast lumps. The team at Saint John’s offers a multidisciplinary approach to care, bringing together experts in surgery, oncoplastic reconstruction, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, genetics, and pathology. The center is known for its expertise in evaluating any breast condition in one day.

Our focus is to achieve the best possible outcomes while providing compassionate support throughout your entire journey. Our commitment to excellence in breast care, coupled with state-of-the-art facilities and advanced techniques, makes Saint John’s a trusted provider for breast evaluation and treatment.

What are Breast Lumps and Mases?

Breast lumps and masses are a common concern among women, prompting evaluation and often leading to oncologic care to rule out malignancies. Understanding the diverse nature of these lumps is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. Among the benign types, fibroadenomas stand out, composed of fibrous tissue and typically found in younger women. These lumps are usually smooth, mobile, and painless, but evaluation through imaging and sometimes biopsy is necessary to confirm their benign nature.

Breast Oncology - Patient Evaluation at Margie Peteresen Breast Center
Most breast lumps are noncancerous. Schedule a clinical breast exam at a breast center if a breast lump is discovered.

Patients may feel “lumps” or a breast “mass” during a breast self-exam and become anxious about the idea of cancer. However, nearly eighty percent of all breast lumps are benign (noncancerous). Regardless, if a new breast lump is discovered, you should contact us for a clinical breast exam. For some patients, a biopsy may be necessary.

Mammograms and ultrasounds are often used to evaluate a breast lump. This is a very simple procedure involving a breast clinician to quickly assess size, location, and density. A tomosynthesis or 3D mammogram may be utilized to evaluate dense breast tissue fully. An ultrasound imager uses sound waves to better characterize findings in the breast as suspicious or not suspicious.

Common benign breast lumps include:

  • Fibroadenomas (benign lump made of fibrous tissue)
  • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs), lipomas (benign tumors of fat tissue)
  • Internal bruises from trauma
  • Infections (mastitis or abscess of the breast)

Cysts are often associated with hormonal fluctuations. They can cause discomfort and fluctuate in size throughout the menstrual cycle. While they typically don’t require treatment, aspiration may be performed if they become symptomatic or to confirm the diagnosis. Unlike cysts, which are filled with fluid, Lipomas are comprised of fat tissue. Though rare, they are also benign but can occur. They usually present as soft, mobile masses and are often incidental findings on imaging. Like other benign lumps, they require evaluation to distinguish them from malignancies.

Internal bruises resulting from trauma can also mimic breast lumps. While traumatic injuries may cause swelling and bruising, they should resolve over time. However, persistent or suspicious findings warrant further evaluation to rule out underlying pathology. Infections such as mastitis or abscesses can also present as breast lumps, often accompanied by redness, warmth, and tenderness. Prompt diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics or drainage are essential to prevent complications.

Contact us today to learn more. Patients are often seen the same day and without a requiring a referral.



Contact the Margie Petersen Breast Center

Margie Petersen Breast Team
The Margie Petersen Breast Center Team

The Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center is widely renown for its outstanding and compassionate patient care, expert surgical and medical team, and ability to fully evaluate any breast condition in one day.

Meet Our Breast Health Experts

The Breast Health Clinic can be reached at (310) 582-7209. If you have questions regarding a new symptom or want to make an appointment for evaluation please call and a staff member will assist with navigating you in the right direction.

Schedule an Appointment For more information