Felt a breast lump? Here is what to do
1. For women who have felt a breast lump, this is the best time to have a provider you can call and get direction
2. for most women, as soon as you feel a breast lump, you should also let your gyno do what is called a clinical breast exam.
3. Mammograms can be helpful. however, studies show that 50-70% of masses felt by the patient or on a physical exam are actually not not seen on mammogram, but with 3D this data is improving. . If this seems confusing remember that on an x ray test, which a mammogram is, only structures which have different shadow densities will show up. So in breast tissue, which may be on the lumpy side anyway, you may have a mass that is not seen on the mammogram.
4. Masses in the breast for a woman who is young that also do not show up on mammogram well not worrisome in most cases, but it means the mammogram may not accurately predict what the mass is, so it may be a reason your gyno would recommend a breast biopsy.
5. Ultrasound has been said to be is more accurate than mammogram in young women (those under age 25) and in very dense breasts ultrasound may be more accurate for finding cancers, and the right answer...as to which test you need, has to be decided by your gyno, as based on what is felt, and what other symptoms you have, how long the mass in your breast has really been there, and your medications (are you on the pill?) and your family history (any breast cancer in your family) as well as your personal history (have you already had a mass biopsied).
6. For our practice at Women's Health Practice we can use ultrasounds as a primary screen in women who would prefer not to get a mammogram.
7. There is a way to examine breast cells from breast ducts, and that's what a Halo Breast Pap Test is. This really aren't for lump evaluation, or to replace mammograms as per the 2013 FDA communication.
8. Lumps should be evaluated whether or not you have pain.
8. See your Gyno yearly and discuss any breast concerns. and many women need a combination of these examinations! 95% of breast cancers start in the breast ducts, and that's the cells these tests are after.