A Young Woman’s Guide To Breast Surgery

“Help! I’ve found a lump on my breast!”

Don’t panic! If you think you’ve found a lump inside or even on the surface of your boob that hasn’t gone away within a few days then you should book an appointment with your GP right away. A large percentage of breast lumps are benign, which means they’re not cancer but that’s no reason not to get checked out. Typically a breast lump will feel like a pea inside the breast – it might be bigger or it might be smaller. It could feel springy to the touch or it might feel very hard, it could even be a bit painful. The golden rule here is that if it hasn’t gone away within a couple of days, you need to get it checked out.

Breast pain when there’s no visible lump
Quite a lot of women get painful breasts at some stage in their life, often just before a period. The pain can feel like a bruising or a stabbing sensation and can be worrying. Breast pain is usually diagnosed as a benign condition - that means it’s not cancer - but that doesn’t mean it’s not disruptive to your life! If you do suffer from breast pain, cyclic or other, then don’t feel silly going to see your GP. There are lots of different treatments that can ease the discomfort from natural therapies like Evening Primrose oil to prescription-only medicines.

Occasionally, and very rarely, breast pain that refuses to go away can be an indicator of certain types of breast cancer so it’s always worth getting it checked out just to be on the safe side.

Nipple discharge and inverted nipples
Some women are prone to nipple discharge – this usually occurs as a clear or milky fluid that collects in the nipple and can occasionally leak onto the bra. This is rarely anything to worry about unless you notice blood in the discharge. If you do notice blood, you should book in an immediate appointment with your GP as this can be an early warning sign of breast cancer.

Likewise, some women have inverted nipples. This is where the nipple lies flat against the breast and seems to sink in at the middle. This is perfectly normal and the only time you should be concerned is if your nipple suddenly inverts. The key message is: know your breasts and know what’s normal for you. It’s never too early to check your breasts for lumps and bumps.

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