Breast Cancer Expert Forum
NOT SURE ABOUT SELF BREAST EXAM?
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NOT SURE ABOUT SELF BREAST EXAM?

i AM A 26 YEAR OLD FEMALE. ONE CHILD AT 23. NO HISTORY OF BC ON EITHER SIDE. HAVE HAD NORMAL GYNO. EXAMS FOR 8 YEARS(DOC. HAS NEVER FOUND ANYTHING IN MY BREAST)  THIS TIME LAST YEAR I FOUND WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A LUMP. WENT TO MY GYNO. AND SHE CHECKED ME. SAID IT WAS NORMAL BREAST TISSUE BUT SENT ME FOR AN ULTRA SOUND.  THEY SAID THE SAME.  SINCE THEN I HAVE BEEN TOLD I HAVE SOME FIBROCYSTIC DISEASE. WHEN I DO MY BREAST EXAMS( WHICH SEEMS LIKE ALL THE TIME, CAUSE I AM WORRIED I AM GOING TO MISS SOMETHING) I FEEL LIKE I AM NOT SURE IF WHAT I AM FEELING IS LUMPS OR NORMAL TISSUE. IF I CHECK MY BREAST REGULARLY AM I GOING TO NOTICE A DEFFINATE CHANGE OR WILL IT BE TO SUBTLE FOR ME TO NOTICE? IT SEEMS LIKE I AM ALWAYS SAYING AFTER MY EXAM, " I THINK IT WAS ALL NORMAL"  AND THEN I GET SCARED THAT THE SMALL NODULES I KEEP FEELING MAY BE CANCER AND I AM NOT GOING TO NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE.  I KNOW MY DOC'S ARE TIRED OF ME BECAUSE I WORRY ALL THE TIME. MY DOC TOLD ME THAT IF I EVER FOUND A LUMP, BENIGN OR CANCER, I WOULD KNOW IT WAS DIFFERENT. DO YOU AGREE?  ALSO, IF A LUMP IS CANCER, DOES IT ALWAYS GROW. LIKE, WILL YOU BE ABLE TO TELL THAT THE LUMP HAS GOTTEN BIGGER. ANY INFO. WOULD BE APPRECIATED. THANKS
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear ally'smommy,  When doing a self breast exam you are looking for changes.  The recommendation (so you're not driving yourself crazy) is to choose a day, the same time each month, for your self-breast exam.  Choosing the same time each month takes out some of the question of normal changes in the breast that may happen over the month.  Many people who find a lump (cancerous or not) will say there was no question that it was "different than usual", which then would be evaluated.
If there is a change in a lump or increasing pain, you should be evaluated by your doctor.
2 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Self breast exam is, like everything else, imperfect. But in general it's true that a pathological lump is different from normal. The best advice is to keep doing self-exam. The best time is a couple of days after your period ends, at which time the breasts are usually most "deflated" and abnormalities stand out more. With time, you'll get a sort of sense of what's usual for you, and when you think you notice something different, it's better to err on the side of getting checked out.
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