Most lumps in the breast are actually non-cancerous. Breast self examination forms really are a key part of being breast aware to fight again breast cancer and not having to get a breast cancer treatment in the future.
The vast majority of women discover breast lumps themselves and a few minutes spent each month can be valuable and save your life. Breast self-examination may be performed every month, preferably at the same point in the menstrual cycle, e.g. five days after the last day of the period.
Follow these steps when performing self-examination:
First of all, stand up in front of a mirror with your arms down by your sides. Make sure that the room has good lighting as it is very important for you to see clearly.
Then, look for any changes in the basic appearance of your breasts, such as puckering of the skin, in-drawing of the nipple, or enlargement of one breast. Those changes could be the early signs of breast cancer so you need to look carefully.
Afterward, repeat this with your arms rose above your head - this will make certain abnormalities more obvious than when you have your arms down by your side.
Once you have done all that, lie flat on your back on a firm, comfortable surface, such as a bed. Using the flat parts (pads) of your fingers to feel your breasts, begin with the right hand examining the left breast, and the left hand examining the right breast.
Any lump that persists through a menstrual cycle is best assessed by a specialist.
Any patient with a breast lump should be subjected to rapid triple assessment . Your GP can initially assess you or if you prefer to be seen in a one-stop clinic setting, breast clinics and breast cancer surgeon can provide expert assessment and management of all breast conditions. The majority of biopsies will actually only be benign and you will be strongly reassured after having seen a specialist.
The triple assessment actually involves the following:
You will get a detailed history and physical examination, an imaging of the breast using mammography, ultrasound and MRI scanning if required. Finally you will get a needle biopsy of any specific area of concern.
Obviously, you can still go to see an oncoplastic breast surgeon or any private breast cancer surgeon that will give you more information and help you do the right thing.