Finding a lump in the breast can be worrying. It seems human nature to assume the worst when we find an abnormality in our bodies where there shouldn’t be one. However, if you find a breast lump, it’s important not to panic. Most breast lumps are noncancerous. The only way to find out if yours is of concern is by seeing a doctor as soon as possible.
Assess The Lump
Breast lumps may seem frightening, but they are more common than you think. Regardless, all breast lumps must be evaluated by a physician. While most breast lumps are harmless, any lump could be breast cancer, and it’s impossible to determine whether it’s cancerous or benign as soon as possible.
Some features that might make a lump particularly concerning include:
- Changes in the skin over lump (e.g., puckering or dimpling of the skin)
- Nipple changes (e.g., bloody discharge, enlargement, a sore or rash)
- Changes in the lump size
- Pain that doesn’t go away
Having a family history of breast cancer can make it more likely that the lump might be cancerous, in addition to other factors, such as age and lifestyle. Whatever the case, it’s critical to have any lump you may have evaluated by a doctor.
Get A Diagnosis
When you feel a lump, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. You’ll need to get a proper diagnosis to know for sure whether a breast lump is cancerous or not. Here are the possible diagnostic tests your doctor might perform.
Simply, this test is a breast X-ray. Mammograms are often used to detect breast cancer early, but they can also be used to look more closely at another breast problem you might have.
MRIs use strong magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the structures within the breast. It’s used to learn more about the size of the lump and search for other breast tumors.
High-frequency sound waves produce an image of the inside of the breast. It shows any lumps and abnormalities and determines if a lump is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass that could be cancerous.
During this test, your doctor will take a sample of breast tissue to check for cancer cells. There are many different types of biopsies. The choice of which type to use depends on your condition.
Waiting for results on an uncertain diagnosis can be difficult — and it may cause your mind to wander to worst-case scenarios. Instead, be proud of yourself for listening to your body as soon as you did. No matter the outcome, you won’t face it alone.
Keep Doing Self Exams
Whatever the outcome of the testing, women should conduct a breast self-exam at least once every month. Here’s the right way to do it:
- Lift your arm over your head.
- Flatten the breast tissue as much as possible.
- Feel all of the breast tissue, including the underarm.
- Take note if anything feels different or painful.
Regular self-exams allow you to know your breasts, how they feel, and their irregularities. So, when something’s off, you’ll know it quickly. Consult your doctor if you experience any breast changes or pain.
Start Your Treatment
If diagnostic testing reveals breast cancer, it’s important to get prompt treatment. Your treatment will depend on the stage and grade of cancer, your age and health problems, the chances a treatment might work, and your feelings about a certain treatment.
Some examples of treatments for breast cancer include:
- It removes the lump and a bit of healthy tissue around it, allowing you to keep most of your breast. You’ll likely need radiation treatment post-surgery.
- This is the removal of the entire breast.
- Radiation treatment. It uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It’s often given after a lumpectomy or mastectomy to kill leftover cancer cells.
- It uses drugs to fight cancer and usually needs to be taken for a few months.
- Hormone therapy. Drugs that cut down estrogen levels or completely block the effect of estrogen, which causes breast cancer to grow, can be used to treat breast cancer.
- Targeted drug therapy. It uses drugs that target cancer cells and rarely affects normal cells. It can only be used for certain types of breast cancer.
- It boosts your immune system through drugs injected into a vein or ingested as pills to attack breast cancer cells.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment In Bronx, NY
Detecting breast cancer early saves lives. The earlier breast cancer is found and diagnosed, the better chances you’ll have to treat it successfully.
At Starling Diagnostics, we understand the importance of preventing, diagnosing, and treating breast cancer promptly. That’s why we offer cutting-edge diagnostic services, including services specific to women’s health issues. The mere thought of having breast cancer may be terrifying, but our providers are committed to providing comprehensive, compassionate care.
If you suspect breast cancer and want to get tested, call our friendly staff at (718) 319-1610 or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!