Breast Mass: Do I have Breast Cancer? What You Need to Know

Breast mass is a firm, sometimes tender, area within the breast tissue. Many women notice a breast mass at some point in their lives. There are many ducts and nodules within breast tissue and these can change with hormones and age. These changes are normal but you should not assume so until confirmed by a doctor. A breast mass can be scary when you do not know the cause, but there are many reasons for a breast mass to occur. The majority of breast masses are not cancer.

Treatment depends on the cause of the mass.

Lifestyle

  • Apply a warm, moist compress to the breast area as needed but make sure your mass has been seen by a doctor
  • Place a towel between the compress and your skin.
  • Try gentle massage of the affected area only if the mass is not cancerous.
  • Wear well fitting bra. Make sure it is comfortable.

Keeping Track of Your Breast Mass

Your doctor may ask you to keep track of your breast mass. Some things to pay attention to include:

  • Do you feel pain or tenderness? Is it getting worse or better?
  • Do you notice the mass during your menstrual cycle or at other times?
  • Does the mass change size with your menstrual cycle or does it stay the same?
  • Has the mass grown or increased in size over time?
  • Is there any redness or discolouration in the skin above or around the mass?
  • Do you have nipple discharge? Notice the colour
  • Is the nipple on the affected breast pulled inwards?
  • Do you see “dimples” on the affected breast?

When Should I Call My Doctor?

Call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • New or worsening sings & symptoms
  • Symptom goes on longer than 3 months. This is long enough
  • Signs of infection, including pus, redness, fever and chills
  • Increased pain & tenderness.
  • Discharge of any form from the breasts

 

NB: Breast cancer mass may be painless. It may not be threatening at the beggining. Always get a physician opinion when in doubt. Feel free to call or email us.


If you would like to share your breast cancer story, email your story on Microsoft word to cancerfreewomen[at]gmail.com.

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