As soon as you hit puberty, you begin to get lectures from parents, doctors, and even teachers on what it means to be a woman. And one of the many things you are told that you have to do to be a responsible, health-conscious woman is to perform breast self-exams every month to look out for abnormalities or lumps that may be signs of a problem. The primary problem you are taught to fear when performing these breast self-exams is, of course, breast cancer. So, as a good, responsible woman, you begin to perform those self-exams every month. All is well until you notice a lump or growth. Now what do you do?
Step #1: Don't Panic!
Because you have been so ingrained to look think about cancer prevention, your first instinct when you find a lump is to think that you have breast cancer and that you are going to die. This is a natural fear-based reaction, and it is definitely okay to feel a little scared when you notice an abnormality in your monthly self-exam.
However, do not let this fear get out of hand and, most importantly, do not panic. A lump on your breast does not mean you have cancer! In fact, the majority of lumps found in breast self-exams turn out to be benign (non-cancerous). So, take a deep breath, and do not assume the worst.
Step #2: Go To The Doctor
While the lump you found is more than likely not cancerous or dangerous, you should still schedule an appointment with your doctor to be sure. When you go to the appointment, your doctor will ask you when you last performed a breast self-exam.
Then, they will manually palpitate your breast and the lump in particular to get an idea of what you are dealing with. Depending on what they find, your doctor may also schedule you for a biopsy. This is when a doctor uses a needle to take a sample of the lump tissue to analyze.
Step #3: Dealing With The Results
If it turns out you have a benign cyst or a swollen gland, the "wait and see" method is usually employed by your doctor. However, if you do indeed have breast cancer, there is still some good news. Because you perform monthly breast exam, the lump is a new development which likely means your breast cancer is in the early stages and, as such, is easily treatable.
So, if you find a lump on your breast during a self-exam, just follow these basic steps, and remember to not assume the worst right off the bat. Stay calm and take care of yourself. For more information, contact a clinic like Women's Care Inc.