What to look for during my self-breast exam.

Peglove Community Member October 17, 2009


    What does my tumor feel like?


    One of the things my friends and random people keep asking is, "what does it feel like?" so I was hoping you and others would share with other women what a lump feels like. I for one was very confused as to what to feel for during exams. So I thought we might share our similes for comparing a lump, bump in the breast that "probably shouldn't be there, " as my GP said...


    I told Em, "It feels like a jelly bean under a blanket." It also feels "heavy," or makes my breast feel like a small metal weight is there...a penny weight, as a jeweler would measure.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:


    And turns out, it is exactly that, but not inanimate, but alive and has been growing until this moment I felt it and was certain it shouldn't be there. 


    What was your first "feel" of it, so that we have an idea of what to tell other women whate they're looking for?


  • PJ Hamel
    Health Guide
    Oct. 17, 2009

    Hi Peg - I never did feel my lump, it was discovered on a routine mammogram. Even when the doctors knew exactly where to look, they couldn't feel it; and they were very surprised to carve out a nearly 2cm tumor, when they thought it was tiny, due to not being able to feel anything. Cancer can be tricky for sure! PJH

    • Peglove
      Oct. 17, 2009



      No way. That is so crazy! Good to know. You may not feel a thing. Thank goodness for imaging!

  • Anjali
    Health Guide
    Oct. 28, 2009

    From the American Cancer Society: How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam


    Here's an interactive guide (with video) on breast self-exams from Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


    And from womenshealth.gov, a good description of what to look for when doing a breast self-exam.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 28, 2009

      Thanks, Anjali, all good resources. PJH

  • deaikin
    Oct. 18, 2009

    HI Peg,

    My tumor was rather large and it felt more like a hard rubber ball. It had grown large because I didn't have any insurance and had just ignored it for about a year before I found a free program to help me take care of it. Thank goodness for those programs!