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How to check fibrocystic ‘lumpy’ breasts

(22 Posts)
jinglebellmel Thu 04-Apr-19 11:20:04

My breasts really lumpy all over, the breast tissue feels like a series of various sized and shaped lumps. Both are the same so I presume they’re fibrocystic. Does anyone else have breasts like this? How the hell do you check them for lumps when they are so lumpy?! I checked yesterday and have got myself into a right state trying to check that the lumps are similar on each side, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to spot a worrying lump in there though! Any tips?

OP’s posts: |
Walkaround Thu 04-Apr-19 20:25:49

Don't check them in the run up to your period - try a few days after, when they are at their softest, smallest, least uncomfortable and least lumpy. After a few cycles of feeling them, you start to recognise what they are "supposed" to feel like. If concerned, ask your GP to check and give you advice.

jinglebellmel Fri 05-Apr-19 12:57:23

Walkaround Thank you. I’ve never really done thorough checks before (stupid I know) although I’ve always been aware they’re quite lumpy. After some other health concerns I had a good rummage the other day grin they are both v lumpy, the lumps in one seem a bit bigger denser but I’ve no idea if they’ve always been that way! I’m one week before my period so I guess it would make sense to check them after that before rushing to the gp.

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wotonearthisthis Fri 05-Apr-19 13:29:13

Hi, I have fibrocystic breast disease, you need to check very regularly so that you know what is your own "normal". So check at different times of the month, ie during ovulation, before during and after periods. The lumps can grow, shrink and feel tender etc at different times of the month. What you're looking for is anything that isn't normal for you.
The NHS page on it is pretty helpful and you should be able to book an appointment with your GP to get more information on what needs to be checked out and what is usual for you. My GP showed me how to check properly and we went through the things that need to be kept an eye on.

jinglebellmel Fri 05-Apr-19 13:35:42

wotonearthisthis That’s really helpful thanks. Any suggestions starting out when I don’t really know what’s normal? Would you get a gp to check them and go from there, or just keep an eye out from changes here on in?

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wotonearthisthis Fri 05-Apr-19 13:38:32

I would do both really. My GP told me to keep a little diary for a couple of months of what I could feel at different times which really helped me to focus on what was my normal and it also highlighted a (completely benign but troublesome) problem that did need sorting out.

I think mostly, you need your mind put at rest so that you can feel more confident about what is completely fine and what might just need a quick check up.

sandi2019 Fri 05-Apr-19 13:47:52

Hi hun x
I have the same...cystic breast tissue..some months it feel like a scattering of marbles under my boobs. My lumps are different sizes and they are not in the same places on each boob....eg.....the top of one is always giving me jip but the top of the other isn't cystic at all. One side of boob is cystic and the other barely has any.
Been referred to the breast clinic several times....it has only ever shown cystic tissue.
It can feel sore...also had a large breast aug which I dont think helped.
I agree with PP...you'll get used to what feels normal for you. If you're not sure...nip down to your GP to put your mind at rest. Ask your GP if he or she thinks it appropriate for you to await your period xx
Most lumps ladies find are completely innocent xx
Years ago at the breast clinic, they let me feel on a dummy pair of boobs what breast cancer would feel like. It felt like a very hard lump/stone....irregular shape. Nothing like a cystic lump...xx

ShakeYourTailFeathers Fri 05-Apr-19 13:57:34

I have an annual ultrasound, and these days a mammogram too (not UK but similar healthcare system).

I've no chance of self checking and don't even bother any more. I just feel a load of lumps and bumps and it's different every time.

I'd see your GP if i were you - they might be happy to send you for a check up, put your mind at rest.

jinglebellmel Fri 05-Apr-19 13:58:22

wotonearthisthis Thank you - I think I’ll see how they are after AF and then visit the gp if I still have any doubts then. Hopefully that’s a sensible approach - I’m a bit anxious at the moment and have been to the gp quite a bit so would rather not rush straight off there. I think after that a diary is s great idea so will def try that.

OP’s posts: |
jinglebellmel Fri 05-Apr-19 14:05:50

sandi2019 Thank you, reasuring to heat others have this too and that it’s nit necessarily symmetrical! They weren’t sore, but are a bit now as I’ve prodded and poked them so much the last couple of days!

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jinglebellmel Fri 05-Apr-19 14:17:38

ShakeYourTailFeathers Thanks, I may ask when I see the gp.

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Luscinia Fri 05-Apr-19 14:35:54

I've got the same and have been referred to the breast clinic several times. It's very difficult to tell as the lumps vary and they are not the same on each breast. The best way, I find, is to lie on my back on my bed or lean back in the bath with one arm stretched up above my head. Check with the palm of your hand and don't forget to check your armpits.

jinglebellmel Fri 05-Apr-19 14:44:35

Luscinia Thank you it’s really difficult isn’t it confused

Would any of you mind telling me what your breast feel like? Mine feel ‘gristly’ for want of a better word (attractive I know!) all of the breast tissue seems to be made up of lumps, some distinct, some feel more grouped/joined together, some tiny, some bigger, some round, some oval, some flatter, some ropey.

OP’s posts: |
jinglebellmel Fri 05-Apr-19 19:13:53

Ahhh I’m panicking a bit now sad I’ve been feeling and prodding them all day (getting some odd looks from my 5 year old!) and now it feels as though the whole one side of one breast is a giant lump with little lumps in/ on it! The one side def feels different to the other so I guess I will have to try and get it checked next week.

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Walkaround Fri 05-Apr-19 19:52:55

Don't keep prodding your breasts now - bruising them will only make them feel even lumpier than normal! What you describe is fairly typical for just before a period, anyway. Leave your breasts alone until a few days after your period has finished and then look up on the internet how you are supposed to examine your own breasts - you aren't supposed to prod and poke too much. It's perfectly normal to have one breast feel different from the other. My right breast is much lumpier than the other - I also have a benign lump in the right one which is particularly noticeable and which grows and shrinks with my hormonal cycle. I had a core biopsy done on that one several years ago, as ultrasound and fine needle aspiration were not 100% conclusive. I could have had it removed, but they said it wasn't necessary, so I just have to keep reminding myself that that lump is always there and not of any concern.

jinglebellmel Fri 05-Apr-19 20:07:38

Walkaround Thank you, you are the voice of reason that my brain is lacking!! I know I shouldn’t be poking, prodding and pulling at lump, but I seem to feel the need to do it every 5 mins in the hope it’ll all feel lovely and normal grin I will try to stop and wait until after af as you suggest.

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Tanfastic Fri 05-Apr-19 21:05:43

I have lumpy boobs and got myself in a bit of a pickle about it a couple of years ago. Went and saw the gp (two different ones) who both did a thorough exam and showed me how to properly check. The "lumps" I was feeling sounded very much as you describe and are normal breast tissue. I also have one lumpier than the other.

I now have a "baseline" for what's normal for me if that makes sense and so I know what a different lump would feel like.

I've also had it on authority that a cancerous lump is normally very distinct, hard and have heard it being described before as like a rock on a gravel road (something like that anyway!).

Tanfastic Fri 05-Apr-19 21:08:20

Also try not to keep prodding as you will feel all the normal glandular lumps if you feel with the tips of your fingers. Use the flat of your fingers in a rolling method. I was quite surprised at how light they pressed on mine.

I also kept prodding that much I ended up with a bruise on my breast!

jinglebellmel Sat 06-Apr-19 17:46:58

Tanfastic Thanks. Definitely feels like I’ve bruised them a bit now! Pretty sure there are a couple of much larger, different feeling lumps on the one breast though confused they feels irregular and lumpy, and after googling that I’m in full panic mode now! Feeling pretty sick and scared and don’t want to tell dh and worry him. Will try and forget about it for now and reassess on Monday - can’t do anything before then anyway.

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jinglebellmel Mon 08-Apr-19 11:56:47

I was going to wait and see how they were after AF but its been driving me crazy so I phoned to try and get an appointment with the GP this morning - all gone by the time I got through though! I'm never normally one to go to the drs but in the last month I've been just about every week with some new issue that I'm convinced is going to kill me. I think I'm definitely going to be marked down as unstable soon (if not already!) blush

I can be seen at a local private hospital at the end of the week and have ultrasound at the same time if needed, very tempted to go down this route rather than see the Gp again!

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jinglebellmel Thu 11-Apr-19 15:42:27

I just wanted to update this incase anyone will similar issues is looking in the future. I paid to have my breasts checked at a private clinic as I’d got in such a state over it (ridiculous I know!) they are fine, normal cystic breast tissue. I now have an idea of what my normal is at least to check for changes in future. She assured me I would feel a lump amongst the lumpy tissue and it would feel quite different and distinct.

OP’s posts: |
Tanfastic Thu 11-Apr-19 21:04:39

Thanks for the update, I hope that's put your mind at rest op smile

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