What Should I Do If I Find A Lump
Donât panic. It could be many things other than cancer. But do check in with your doctorâs office if you notice any new breast changes, such as:
- An area that is different from any other area on either breast
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that lasts through your menstrual cycle
- A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast
- A mass or lump
- A marble-like area under the skin
- A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple
- Bloody or clear fluid discharge from the nipples
- Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple
Easy Steps To Do Your Diy Breast Self
Doing a DIY breast self-check every month helps you to understand and be familiar with the condition of your breast
Step 1: Look
Put your hands on your hips and look out for changes in breast shape, skin surface and nipple abnormalities. Raise your arms above your head to look for changes on the underside of your breast.
Step 2: Touch
Touch and feel your breast using your middle 3 fingers, moving in a circular motion from outer area towards the nipple. Gently squeeze your nipple to check for any discharge.
Repeat this step for your other breast
Step 3: Check
Check for lumps by examining your entire breast from your armpit to your cleavage with different pressure.
Repeat this step for your other breast.
Should Men Be Breast Aware Too
Breast cancer affects both men and women, because both men and women have breast tissue. Although it is uncommon, men can be diagnosed with breast cancer too. About 1 in 700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Last year alone over 30 Australian men lost their lives to breast cancer. If you are a man, and you notice any new and unusual changes in your breasts, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible so that the changes can be examined by a health professional.
Anyone can get breast cancer. Men and women. Young and old. Breast cancer does not discriminate.
As everyone knows early detection makes all the differenceIve got no doubt that if Anni was diagnosed just 2 months before shed still be here Mark, NBCF Ambassador.
Three points to remember
- Breast awareness is recommended for women of all ages. However, it does not replace having regular mammograms and other screening tests as recommended by your doctor.
- Women and men can be diagnosed with breast cancer. Anybody can. For both men and women, if you notice any new or unusual changes in your breasts, see your doctor without delay.
- Most breast changes are not due to cancer, but it is important to see your doctor to be sure. When in doubt, speak to your doctor.
Together, we can stop breast cancer
Help stop deaths from breast cancer, we cant do it without you.
Don’t Miss: Breast Cancer Stage 3 Life Expectancy
How Should I Check My Breasts
Take the time to get to know how your breasts normally look and feel through normal regular activities .
You dont need to use a special technique, but ensure you look at and feel your breasts regularly. Make sure this includes all parts of your breast, your armpit and up to your collarbone.
For women of all ages, it is recommended that you be breast aware. Breast awareness is being familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts, so that you can identify any unusual changes .
What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit
- A change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling
- A change in the colour of the breast the breast may look red or inflamed
- A nipple change, for example it has become pulled in
- Rash or crusting around the nipple
- Unusual liquid from either nipple
- Changes in size or shape of the breast
On its own, pain in your breasts is not usually a sign of breast cancer. But look out for pain in your breast or armpit thats there all or almost all the time.
Although rare, men can get breast cancer. The most common symptom of breast cancer in men is a lump in the chest area.
You May Like: Carcinoma Left Breast
When To Get Help For A Breast Lump
If you find a breast lump or notice any other signs, always see your doctor as soon as possible, says Dr Rosen. Try not to panic, as the vast majority of lumps are benign and there may be other reasons for them. Also, lumps that hurt are usually not cancerous but hormonal. Your GP will examine you and refer you to a breast cancer unit or clinic for further tests.
When Should You Do Your Diy Breast Self
A breast self-examination should be done once every month.
The best time to examine your breasts is 7 to 10 days after the start of your period, when your breast are least tender and least swollen.
If you no longer have periods, then choose a date that is easy to remember.
It is best done while lying down on the bed. You can also check while standing in the shower or in front of the mirror.
Recommended Reading: Can Getting Hit In The Breast Cause Cancer
What Does A Lump In Your Breast Feel Like
A new lump is one of the most common signs of breast cancer. Lumps that are breast cancers can vary. For example, they may be painless or painful. Lumps can also be a sign of a benign breast condition. However, if you have found a new lump or breast change, it is important to see your doctor so that it can be checked by a health professional.
In The Shower Or Bath
It may be easier to check your breasts while youre in the shower or bath, as your hands are wet. This makes it easier to slide your hand over your breasts.
An easy way to check your breasts is to:
Recommended Reading: What Does Stage 3 Cancer Mean
Why Should You Know How To Do Breast Cancer Self
Here are a few reasons why you should know how to do complete self-examination for breast cancer:
- To Ensure Timely Detection& Treatment: Having awareness of breast cancer self-check steps can help you discover lumps or tumors at the early stages. In many developed countries, you have to go for periodic screening for breast cancer. Early detections are easier to treat & improve longevity.
- To Reduces Stress: The path after a breast cancer diagnosis is difficult for both the patient and her family. Chemotherapy and the fight alone brings a major mental & physical toll. So identifying the warning signs of breast cancer through self-examination can greatly reduce this stress.
- To Stay Prepared During Emergencies: During COVID, many women had no access to yearly mammograms. Women who know how to do breast self-check can stay alert and look out for any abnormal symptoms even if medical check-ups arent available.
Now lets move on to the self-check breast cancer guide. You can also jump right to the breast self-exam PDF.
What Is Breast Cancer
Typically, breast cancer forms in the lobules or the ducts of the breast. The lobules are the glands that produce milk, and the ducts are the pathways that bring the milk from the glands to the nipple.
Cancer can also occur in the breasts fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue in your breast.
Two categories are used to describe the most common types of breast cancer: invasive and noninvasive cancer. Invasive cancer means the cancer has spread from the breast ducts or glands to other parts of the breast.
Noninvasive cancer means the cancer has not spread from the original tissue.
You May Like: Stage 3 Cancer
How To Check Your Breasts
Theres no special way to check your breasts and you do not need any training.
Checking your breasts is as easy as TLC:
- Touch your breasts: can you feel anything new or unusual?
- Look for changes: does anything look different to you?
- Check any new or unusual changes with a GP
Everyone will have their own way of touching and looking for changes.
Get used to checking regularly and be aware of anything thats new or different for you.
Check your whole breast area, including up to your collarbone and armpits.
What To Do If You Find A Lump
Dont panic if you think you feel a lump in your breast. Most women have some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts all the time, and most breast lumps turn out to be benign . There are a number of possible causes of non-cancerous breast lumps, including normal hormonal changes, a benign breast condition, or an injury.
Dont hesitate to call your doctor if youve noticed a lump or other breast change that is new and worrisome. This is especially true for changes that last more than one full menstrual cycle or seem to get bigger or more prominent in some way. If you menstruate, you may want to wait until after your period to see if the lump or other breast change disappears on its own before calling your doctor. The best healthcare provider to call would be one who knows you and has done a breast exam on you before for example, your gynecologist, primary care doctor, or a nurse practitioner who works with your gynecologist or primary care doctor.
Make sure you get answers. Its important that your doctor gives you an explanation of the cause of the lump or other breast change and, if necessary, a plan for monitoring it or treating it. If youre not comfortable with the advice of the first doctor you see, dont hesitate to get a second opinion.
Also Check: Invasive Breast Cancer Meaning
It Can Be Scary To Find A Change That Doesnt Feel Or Look Normal But Its Important To Get Any Concerning Signs Checked Out By Your Gp Even If Youve Had A Mammogram Recently
Most breast changes arent caused by cancer but check with your doctor to be sure. If youve had a breast change checked out by your GP and they arent concerned but it continues to grow or change, its important to go back and have it checked again or seek a second opinion.
If youre not sure about talking to your GP, tell someone you trust, like a girlfriend or your mum. They can support you to see your GP. BCFNZ also has nurses available, who can give you free advice. Get in touch at 0800 226 8773
Self Breast Exam Tips
Its best to perform your monthly self breast exam a few days after your period ends and breast swelling and tenderness has reduced. A lump associated with breast cancer is often painless, hard and immobile, although this may not always be the case depending on its location in the breast and cellular makeup. If you find a lump, dont panic most breast lumps are not cancerous. Still, be sure to consult a medical professional if you notice a breast lump or any visible abnormalities in your breasts.
Moffitt Cancer Centers breast clinic provides breast cancer screening, diagnostics, treatment and supportive care, all in one location. To visit Moffitt with or without a referral, call or complete a new patient registration form online.
Don’t Miss: Stage 3b Breast Cancer Prognosis
Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women.
The most common signs are:
- A change in the look or feel of the breast OR
- A change in the look or feel of the nipple OR
- Nipple discharge
If you have any of the warning signs described below, see a health care provider .
If you dont have a provider, one of the best ways to find a good one is to get a referral from a trusted family member or friend.
If thats not an option, call your health department, a clinic or a nearby hospital. If you have insurance, your insurance company may also have a list of providers in your area.
Learn more about finding a health care provider.
In most cases, these changes are not cancer.
One example is breast pain. Pain is more common with benign breast conditions than with breast cancer, but the only way to know for sure is to get it checked.
If the change turns out to be breast cancer, its best to find it at an early stage, when the chances of survival are highest.
Ways To Check For Breast Cancer
The most important way to check your breasts is self-examination.
Self-examination will help you become familiar with how your breasts look and feel, so you are aware of any changes that could indicate breast cancer.
Its a good idea to examine your breasts once a month, at the same time each month, since breasts can look and feel different at different times during the menstrual cycle.
You can also opt for a private consultation with a specialist and a breast ultrasound to check for any abnormalities.
If you identify a change or are in doubt, it is recommended to see a specialist breast surgeon who will assess your risk factors and examine your breast.
If an abnormality is detected you will require an ultrasound assessment and if over the age of 40 years old a mammogram also.
Women over 40 years old should have regular mammograms at a breast clinic to look for any changes in their breasts.
In addition, an important part of breast cancer screening is self-examination.
Recommended Reading: Symptoms Of Stage 2 Breast Cancer
When Should I See A Doctor
It is important to remember that most breast changes are not caused by cancer, and the signs and symptoms can be caused by other medical conditions. However, if you have noticed any symptoms or changes in your breasts, it is important that you see your doctor without delay so that the changes can be checked. This may include a physical examination or imaging of your breasts. Early detection gives the best possible chance of survival if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.
It is important to remember that breast awareness does not replace having regular mammograms and other screening tests as recommended by your doctor. Some people diagnosed with breast cancer have signs or symptoms. However, some women have no signs/symptoms and the breast cancer is found during a screening mammogram.
In order to detect breast cancer early, it is recommended that all women between 50-74 years attend regular screening mammograms every two years. These are offered for free by BreastScreen Australia. Women aged 40-49 and 75 years and older are also eligible for free mammograms if they choose to attend. In deciding whether to attend a screening mammogram, women in these age groups can speak with their doctor and should also consider the potential benefits and downsides of screening mammograms for them.
Invasive Breast Cancer Symptoms
Most breast cancers start in the ducts, or the tubes that carry milk to the nipple, or in the lobules, the little clusters of sacs where breast milk is made. Invasive breast cancer refers to breast cancer that spreads from the original site to other areas of the breast, the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body. In these cancers that form in the ducts or lobules, invasive ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma , the cancer spreads from the ducts or lobules to other tissue. Depending on the stage, you may notice symptoms.
Invasive breast cancer symptoms may include:
- A lump or mass in the breast
- Swelling of all or part of the breast, even if no lump is felt
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- A lump or swelling in the underarm lymph nodes
Also Check: Baking Soda Honey Cancer
How Do They Test For Breast Cancer
A biopsy is done when mammograms, other imaging tests, or a physical exam shows a breast change that may be cancer. A biopsy is the only way to know for sure if its cancer. Tests to look for breast cancer spread. If your doctor suspects your cancer may have spread to other parts of your body, you may need more tests, such as chest x-rays, CT
What Should You Look For In Your Breasts
Be aware of any new or unusual changes in your breasts. If you notice any signs or symptoms of breast cancer , see your doctor immediately.
Sign or symptoms of breast cancer will depend on where the tumour is, the size of the tumour and how quickly it is growing in the breast. For example, some women will not have any symptoms and the breast cancer is found during a screening mammogram .
Read Also: Stage 3 Grade 3 Breast Cancer
Potential Breast Cancer Vaccine Undergoing Testing
A potential vaccine that would prevent the most deadly and aggressive type of breast cancer triple-negative breast cancer is undergoing testing.
The key protein for the vaccine, which would be a “holy grail” of cancer treatment, was found through “a matter of luck and tenacity in going through databases and looking for proteins,” Dr. Vincent Tuohy said, almost like finding a needle in a haystack.
The vaccine works by jumpstarting the immune system and attacking any tumors that contain a specific protein that should not be present unless a woman is lactating.
“Once we’ve established that we can produce an immune response, we want to rapidly move it earlier to the disease process again, to the prevention setting where we think it will have an even greater impact,” Dr. Thomas Budd said.
Tuohy and Budd are leading a trial still in its early stages. If successful, the vaccine would be given to young healthy women at higher risk for breast cancer, which is known as a triple-negative.
“It’s prophylactic, and it targets six different pathogens,” Tuohy said when asked how this vaccine differs from previously seen treatments. “We need a 21st-century vaccine program to develop the immune defenses and primary immune defenses against diseases we confront with age like breast cancer and ovarian cancer.”
The medical achievement that was unimaginable 50 years ago is now a possibility.