Breast cancer is expected, but it is not the only form of breast disease affecting women. You may experience some lumps that are not cancerous but can cause similar undesired symptoms as cancerous ones. How do you differentiate which types of lumps you have? Casper breast disease specialists at Wyoming Medical Associates can help you. You have to undergo some diagnostic tests to understand the type of breast disease affecting you. Here is more information on how your lumps can be diagnosed.
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It is critical to be familiar with your body, from your head down to your toes. It is vital to self-evaluate your breasts as it increases your chances of catching the lumps early enough, therefore improving the treatment procedures’ effectiveness. Here is how you can do it.
Stand in front of the mirror with your shoulders straight: your breasts should appear as their usual color, shape, and size. They should also be evenly shaped without swelling or distortion. If you notice redness, swelling, rash, or soreness, please contact your provider. If you also experience puckering, dimpling, bulging of the skin, or your nipple seems to have changed position, talk to your doctor.
Elevate your arms and look for the same changes: evaluate the same changes as mentioned earlier, and also look for any signs of any fluid coming out of your nipples.
Feel your breast as you lie down: employ a firm, smooth touch on your breast and use a circular motion to feel your breast. Ensure you cover your entire breast beginning from the nipple to the outer edge of the breast. Use light, medium, and firm pressure until you get to the deep tissues of your breast.
Feel the breasts while standing or sitting: apply the same hand movement mentioned earlier to cover your breast while you stand, particularly when taking a shower.
If You Have a Lump
If you discover a lump on your breast, do not panic yet. It is very much okay and normal. However, you have to contact your provider for an expert evaluation of your lump. The assessment will begin with a clinical breast exam where your provider will ask you questions about your symptoms and risk factors for benign breast complications and breast cancer. They will also examine your breast and your lymph nodes to feel for any other abnormalities. Your provider can also review your breast’s skin and check for nipple complications.
If your provider affirms the presence of a breast lump or other issues or concerns, you will probably require testing.
This is a procedure involving the removal of a tissue sample from your breast for microscope examination. Ultrasound techniques may be applied to guide a needle through your breast. Your test options include:
- Vacuum-assisted biopsy
- Stereotactic biopsy
- Core needle biopsy
- Fine-needle aspiration biopsy
- Surgical biopsy
After the biopsy, the samples will be taken to the lab for analysis.
Your provider can also recommend some imaging tests to evaluate your breast lump further. This may include:
- Breast MRI
- Breast ultrasound
- Diagnostic Mammogram
Through all these tests, your provider will let you know when to expect results. If your lump is noncancerous, your provider may recommend short-term monitoring. You should pay attention to any changes in your breast and report them to your doctor. If the lump is questionable, your provider will proceed to evaluate the available treatment options for your condition.
If you notice any changes on your breast or catch a lump, please contact Jacob Rinker, MD, FACS, a breast disease specialist at Wyoming Medical Associates, for help. Remember, it would help to report the lump as soon as possible to improve the treatment’s effectiveness.