If you feel a lump in your breast, you know enough to take it seriously. But did you know that a lump in your armpit should be taken just as seriously? Read the following FAQS for informatiton about the types and causes of armpit lumps, and guidance on whether/when to see a doctor if you feel one.
Q. I recently noticed a small lump under my left arm, in my armpit. Could this be a sign of breast cancer? A. It could indeed be a sign of breast cancer, for two reasons. First, breast tissue sometimes extends up into the armpit region. A lump felt in your underarm could in reality be a lump in your breast; you just never realized your breast extended that far. Second, the lymph nodes in your armpit filter out any abnormalities (infections, reactions to drugs, cancer) in the same-side chest wall, arm, or breast. So a lump under your arm may indicate that your lymph nodes have identified, and are trying to fight, cancer cells that have reached them from your breast. Q. Well, now I’m...
Self-examination of the breast; BSE
Many women feel that doing a breast self exam is an important part of their health care. It helps them learn how their breasts normally feel, so that if they find a lump they will know whether it is something to discuss with their health care provider.
However, there is not agreement among experts about recommending breast self exams. It is not known for sure what role breast self exams play in finding breast cancer or saving lives.
Talk to your health care provider about whether you should do breast self exams.
If you do decide to perform breast self exams, be sure to do the exam about 3 - 5 days after your period starts, when your breasts are not as tender or lumpy. If you have gone through menopause , do your exam on the same day every month.
First, lie on your back.
Place your right hand behind your head. With the middle fingers of your left hand, gently ...
Cancer and breast lumps
It is understandable thata newly discovered breast lump maycause fear andconcern, but the fact is that only a small percentage of lumpsturn out to be cancer. Many women have "lumpy breasts" or fibrocystic breast disease , a common and benign (harmless) condition.
If you have this condition, examining your breasts can be confusing and, at times, alarming. It is still very important to check your breasts at the same time each month and bring anything that feels new or different to your doctor's attention. It may be helpful to know that a cancerous lump tends to be hard and unmovable. See breast lump and fibroadenoma .
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