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Checking breasts and now making myself worried...

(5 Posts)
UncomfortableWithMyFeelings Tue 29-Jan-13 10:40:04

Ok, I hope this isn't insensitive (please ignore/hide if it is, I really don't want to upset anyone, but don't know how to phrase this better) but how do you know if you feel a lump when you check your breasts?

We had a talk about doing it, so I do it in the shower, up along my collarbone etc. and I think I'm doing it right, but I always feel lumps and bumps. They've never changed so think I probably just have 'lumpy' breasts rather than anything sinister.

But, it worries me as you hear about people who have felt pea-sized lumps and it's been cancer. Do they feel different in some way? I'm worried that I'd miss something completely, especially if it were pea-sized.

I know it sounds daft, but I'm really anxious about it. Would it be possible for me to have a breast exam or something, just so I know it's all ok and then carry on from there? Or a chat with a nurse about checking? I'm fine most of the time and then I suddenly think about it and can't get it out of my head.

cravingcake Tue 29-Jan-13 10:55:04

By the sound of it you are doing it correctly. I think the general advice is to check about once a month, that way you notice any changes. I am full of lumps and bumps but have been checked a few times and had biopsy's and ultrasounds so know that I'm ok, unless anything changes.

I do it in bed, lying flat on my back. Then start at the top/armpit area and sort of roll your fingers down one after the other, keep doing that from top to bottom working your way across IYSWIM.

If you are really worried I would phone your doctor surgery and ask to be booked in to see a nurse, I'm sure they would do an appointment to show you how to check your breasts properly.

digerd Tue 29-Jan-13 11:09:18

In Germany, we had yearly checks with gyny. I had to stand and put my hands on my hips and she would feel them. She always used a circular upwards movement. Felt my armpit glands with same movement but pressing more.
Being older, I have lumpy breasts, which can feel tender at times.
My neighbour in her 60's, decided to test them lying in bed and did feel a small hard lump and was cancer. No chemo needed nor a mastectomy, just a lumpectomy, as caught early.

smee Tue 29-Jan-13 14:10:09

Go to practice nurse or GP and get them to reassure you, then you can do it regularly like craving says after that. I've had breast cancer, always had lumpy breasts, but the cancer was small, hard, pea like and thankfully v.obviously different, which is why I went to GP. From sound of things, you're fine, but you might as well get a base line check. BC is v.treatable these days, but only if you get it early enough.

UncomfortableWithMyFeelings Tue 29-Jan-13 23:30:50

Thank you smile

It's nice to know other people have lumpy breasts too (ok, that sounds weird but you know what I mean). I will give the doctors a ring and ask if I can have an appointment to go over checking etc.

Thanks again thanks

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