Breast lumps in HIV disease

Question

I have had HIV for more than a decade. I do not use any medication. I have found a lump in my breast. Does having HIV make you more susceptible to breast cancer?? My breasts and stomach are very big, my hips have narrowed and my face has thinned. DJ.

Answer

Dear DJ: Having HIV does NOT make you more susceptible to breast cancer. All persistent lumps in the breast need to be evaluated. The majority of breast lumps are benign. Nevertheless, I would recommend that you see your healthcare provider. Depending upon the circumstances, your provider may choose to observe the lump over the next month, order a mammogram, or refer you to a breast specialist.

You mentioned that you do not use any medications. I would like to point out to others, who may be reading this note, and who may be taking anti-retroviral medications, that breast lumps can be seen on occasion in HIV-infected individuals taking medications. They may be related to the lipodystrophy syndrome. BD.