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Found a breast lump(s), clinic booked. But have I checked my breast 'properly'?

(3 Posts)
MajorClanger123 Tue 07-Feb-17 09:59:36

A bit of back history - I'm 38 and I last visited the breast clinic 18 months ago (August 2015) about my left breast - underarm pain radiating into the breast. After a thorough check by consultant, no lumps found, ultrasound etc, all deemed fine and the pain went quickly once i started taking evening primrose capsules. They did comment that the left breast is dense and fibrous (I reckon it did double the breastfeeding compared to the other one, was permanently overfilled with milk blush).

Fast forward to last November (2016) when I started to get cramping / light spotting and a painful stabbing pain behind my left nipple. I had a mirena coil fitted 2 years ago and my periods stopped 5 months after the fitting. Seems they're starting back up again as I've been logging all the symptoms since November and they do indeed seem to be cyclical and related to the returning periods.

Mid Jan (2017) I visited my GP mainly about the mirena periods plus the nipple stabbing pain, who checked my coil strings - all fine and in place, and he examined both breasts and said all the breast tissue felt fine. I've started taking evening primose again and no nipple stabbing since Christmas now.

However, I just couldn't leave the left breast alone & have been prodding and poking relentlessly. 10 days after my first Jan appointment, I was back at the GP's in tears about my lumpy left breast - he didn't even examine it again, he just referred me straight to the breast clinic because he said I was clearly very anxious about it. So, I never got to show what I found - which is a very lumpy area behind my left nipple, together with what I believe is a discreet, stand alone lump. However, this lump / lumpy area is not palpable using the 'standard' breast exam techniques - the GP certainly never felt it 10 days previous, and I've never felt these lumps before, they're only detectable when I firmly hold my breast from the underneath side, and raise up the breast tissue, I can then feel the lumps from pressing down fairly deep beside my nipple from the top.

My query is, am I doing this right, or is this distorting the breast tissue into a lumpy patch?

I guess i'm concerned that, using the usual guidance online, I wouldn't have felt this lumpy area had I not been prodding and poking around due to the previous stabbing pains in the same area. I therefore don't know how long the lumps have been there, or whether i'll go to the breast clinic & they tell me I'm doing it all wrong and i'm actually creating the lumps out of my own breast tissue.

Glad for the referral as I can get to the bottom of what is normal and what isn't. After a very anxious week last week, I'm feeling better (not so psycho!) this week. Anyway, epic essay, any thoughts or experience of similar?

WheresEeyoresTail Tue 07-Feb-17 14:13:46

You should only check your breasts with the technique taught; using the palm of your hand.
If you use your fingertips you will inevitably feel all sorts of lumps and bumps that is essentially just normal breast tissue.
Im a nurse and have been told this before by one of the GPs I work with

MajorClanger123 Tue 07-Feb-17 14:26:44

Many thanks whereseyorestail, that's reassuring to know. I would still like the lumps checked as they don't feel right and are not mirrored at all in the other breast (although the other breast is not dense like the 'problem' side). Fingers crossed I've just been too deeply prodding with my self examination.

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