A breast lump is a swelling, protrusion, or bump in the boobs thereby making the affected part different from the initial breast tissues around it. Most of the lumps are not cancerous and have different causes such as infections, trauma, fibroadenoma, cyst or fibrocystic condition of the breast.
Regularly examining your boobs on your own can be an effective means to detect breast cancer early, when it’s more likely to be treated successfully. Make it anhabit of doing a breast self-examination twice in a month in order to familiarize yourself with how your boobs look, grow and feel. Examine yourself some days after your period, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen, tender and before your period.
You might need to keep record of the findings of your breast self-exams, this can be like a small map of your breasts and write notes about where you feel lumps or irregularities. Especially in the beginning, this will help you remember, from month to month what is normal for your boobs. It is usual for lumps to appear at certain times of the month, but then disappear, as your body changes with the menstrual cycle so also will the lump change. Only changes beyond one full cycle, or if they seem to get bigger or more prominent in some way should be cause for alarm. Don’t panic when you notice or feel a lump, just consult your doctor and not seek traditional means because it might not help.
Stand naked in front of a mirror, start by looking at your boobs with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Check out for any changes in the two boobs like any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right boobs will not exactly match though, so lookout for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side; Use light, medium, and firm pressure to squeeze the nipples, check for discharge and lumps.
You can also lie down to crosscheck. When lying down, the boob tissues will spread out along with the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Use your left hand to move the pads of your fingers around your right boobs gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit, feel the whole boobs and do this thrice in a month to easily detect lumps or any swollen part.
You can also try doing it in the shower, run a warm shower or bath. Use soap or bath gel to create a soapy, slippery layer over your breast region. Well-soaped skin will be much easier to examine because it allows your fingers to slide along your skin without rubbing, use the pads of your fingers to move around your entire boobs in a circular pattern, move from the outside to the center, check the entire boobs and the armpit area. Check both boobs each month for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. If you notice any changes and lumps consult a qualified medical personnel.
Check the texture of your boobs as well, raise your left arm over your head and put your left hand on the back of your head. On your right hand, put your index finger, middle finger, and ring finger together as a group and use the three fingers to check your left boob. Check the texture of your left boob by starting out at the outer edge, place your three fingers flat onto your skin, press down and move in small circles. Repeat this all around your boobs and don’t rush when performing the experiment.
Detecting a lump in your boob or hearing a doctor informing you that there is a tumor in your boob can be scary, awkward and unsettling. Breast lumps are not always indicative of cancer, there are benign conditions that causes lump and one of these conditions is intraductal papilloma. The Intraductal papilloma is a small noncancerous tumor originating from a milk duct in the boobs, these tumors are composed of gland, fibrous tissue and blood vessels.