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Education - Truths and misconceptions about breast lumps

Published: 08/12/2013

Pregled dojki

When you feel a lump in your breast, concerns are understandable. Advice is not to rush to conclusions. Before you pay a visit to your doctor, which is compulsory, in order to encourage yourself, check whether you fell for some of the myths associated with lumps in the breast.

Myth No. 1: A breast lump is definitely cancer.

Most of the lumps women fill in their breasts (8 out of 10) are not cancer. Most often those are cysts, fibroadenomas or cysts that appear during menstrual cycle. It is important that a woman knows her body and notices its changes, since it can save her life.

Myth No. 2: If you felt a lump in your breast, it is enough just to get a mammogram.

Sometimes, in addition to mammography, some other checks are necessary to be performed in order to establish an accurate diagnosis. These are breast ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, or control mammography. Sometimes, there is a need for biopsy, i.e. taking a tissue sample which is examined under microscope.

Myth No. 3: Cancerous breast lumps are always painless

This may not be true. If you feel pain in your breast, that does not rule out cancer. An example is inflammatory breast cancer which exhibits symptoms such as redness, swelling, temperature and breast pain.

Myth No. 4: If you have felt a lump in your breast while breastfeeding, it is definitely not cancer.

Although breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, it can still develop. If you have already felt a breast lump, do not ignore it, do an ultrasound to make sure.

Myth No. 5: If you are under 30 years of age and you have felt a lump in your breast, it is definitely not cancer.

It is true that women usually get cancer after menopause or after 50 years, but it may be found in much younger women.

Myth No. 6: Lump size indicates its nature.

It is not true that a small lump is not a sign of cancer, as opposed to a big one. The size of breasts varies among women, as well as changes inside them. If you feel a lump, even if it is small, contact your doctor. Sometimes a small lump may indicate very aggressive disease.

Myth No. 7: If you have felt a lump soon after mammography it’s okay to wait for the next one.

If you notice a lump soon after mammography, the results of which were normal, be sure to see your doctor. Mammography can sometimes overlook some cancer types if you have dense breast tissue or if cancer is in an awkward place.

Myth No. 8: If you have family history of breast cancer, you will have it as well.

According to information from the American Cancer Association for fight against cancer, less than 15% of women with breast cancer have a relative who suffered from the same disease.