The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) most recent guidelines reflect that self-exams haven’t shown a clear benefit, especially for women who also get screening mammograms, even when doctors conduct those exams. Still, some men and women will find breast cancer and be diagnosed with it as a result of a lump detected during a self-exam.
If you’re a woman, it’s important for you to be familiar with how your breasts look and check them regularly. This will help you become aware of any changes or abnormalities as they occur.
All breast lumps deserve medical attention. Unusual lumps or bumps in breast tissue are something that should be examined by a doctor. The vast majority of lumps aren’t cancerous.
What does a lump feel like?
Breast cancer lumps don’t all feel the same. Your doctor should examine any lump, whether or not it meets the most common symptoms listed below.
Most commonly, a cancerous lump in the breast:
is a hard mass
has irregular edges
is immobile (doesn’t move when pushed)
appears in the upper outer portion of your breast
grows over time
Not all cancerous lumps will meet these criteria, and a cancerous lump that has all of these traits isn’t typical. A cancerous lump may feel rounded, soft, and tender and can occur anywhere in the breast. In some cases, the lump can even be painful.
Some women also have dense, fibrous breast tissue. Feeling lumps or changes in your breasts may be more difficult if this is the case.