Specialists in Breast Care & Disease Management

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I Found a Breast Lump. Now What?

Monthly self breast exams are recommended by almost all healthcare providers for an average risk person.  So if you’re doing your part and following instructions, what do you do in the case of actually finding a lump in your breast?

It’s naturally to be alarmed or frightened at first. The first thing most women, or men, think when the find a lump is breast cancer.  In reality, the majority of lumps are not cancerous. However, making a definitive evaluation of a breast lump will require consulting a healthcare provider.  When doing so, you should be prepared to provide the following information to your healthcare provider:

  • When did you first find the breast lump?
  • What is the size of the lump? For example, pea-sized, quarter-sized?
  • Is the breast lump painful?
  • Is the breast lump soft/hard or movable/non-movable?
  • Do you also have breast discharge?
  • If applicable, what point in your menstrual cycle was the lump found?
  • If you have observed the lump through more than one cycle, did the lump change?  Get harder/softer or smaller/bigger?
  • Have you had a previous mammogram? If so, when was the last one?
  • Have you had a previous breast biopsy? If so, when?
  • Do you have a family history of breast cancer?

Being prepared to answer these questions will allow your provider to effectively evaluate your breast lump or change.  A clinical breast exam will most likely be administered. If deemed necessary after the clinical exam, full history and evaluation by your provider, additional imaging or testing may be then required.

Remember, early detection and bringing any concerns to a specialist’s attention is a key factor in potentially curing any cancer. Too often young women think they are immune from cancer and do not follow through on routine exams and may end up finding disease at later stages.