Breast Lumps (Female)
All new persistent unexplained discrete breast lumps require referral for further assessment (vis urgent suspected cancer form) and will be seen within 2 weeks with imaging if appropriate. The imaging may be at the initial appointment or the patient may be asked to return for a separate imaging appointment.
Referral not usually required on first presentation to GP if:
- Under age 30 years in whom the sole abnormality is asymmetrical nodularity or thickening that has been present for less than one complete menstrual cycle, without other risk factors such as significant family history of breast or ovarian cancer (See Family History of Breast Cancer RMS page here).
- Under age 30 years in whom the sole abnormality is bilateral symmetrical nodularity
The presence of pain does not increase the level of urgency for referral in these cases. Please see Breast Pain guidance for advice regarding initial management of breast pain. See Breast Pain guidelines
These patients should be re-examined after menstruation / 2-3 weeks and referred if:
- Persisting discrete lump / asymmetric nodularity
- Development of other breast symptoms
Patients should be referred if there are skin changes (see RMS breast skin changes page here) that may be suggestive of breast cancer: Such as tethering / contour change / peau d’orange.
Men – See Gynaecomastia and Male Breast Lump advice here
Date Reviewed November 2021
Next Review Date November 2022
Author Dr I Boyd, RMS GP Sifter
Reviewed By Dr M Attridge, RMS GP Sifter
Contributor Dr Rebecca Osborne, GPwSI Breast, RCHT