About two weeks ago, right before my period, I found a lump in my left breast. It was right near my nipple and it was red and painful for the first 2-3 days. The lump is still there, but it is not red and it is under the skin, so I can't see it. It's small--just a little bigger feeling that a pea and it's firm and does not move. The edge of my nipple looks different than normal. A little different in color and sort of wrinkled looking. Should I be concerned? I'm only 18 and I'm pretty sure breast cancer does not run in my family. I just want to know if I should make an appointment. Thanks!
Yes, yes and yes, please make an appointment to see your doctor. All lumps in the breast need to be examined and tested accordingly. What you are describing sounds like either a blocked duct, infection of a duct, a cyst or a benign tumor called a fibroadenoma, which can form in and around the breast. The treatment depends on what it is, cysts will usually be aspirated with a fine needle, with you being asked to return for a checkup in a few months, or some are left alone, infections may require draining and antiboitics will be needed, and a fibroadenoma can be removed surgically with minimal scarring.
Breast cancer in a woman your age is very rare, less than 1% of women your age will develop it, but all lumps in the breast require assessment by a doctor, and usually a referal for an ultrasound. I doubt you will be given a mammogram as the breast tissue in younger women is too dense, ultrasound is better, radiation free and painless.