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Breast lump found – What To Do?

Finding a breast lump can be scary for a woman. Don’t panic. Examine the other breast. If it feels the same, you’re probably feeling normal breast tissue.

Breast lumps are common. Eighty percent of lumps are benign, meaning there is no cancer. If cancer is found at an early stage and treated, the five year survival rate is 85-95 percent. A breast lump of any size that does not go away after your menstrual period should be examined by a doctor. If you are past menopause and find a lump or thickening, see your doctor.

Breast cancer can be detected early by:

  • Monthly self-breast exams to look for lumps, thickenings, nipple discharge, skin dimpling, puckering or discoloration. The best time is a week after your period.
  • A breast exam done by your health care provider.
  • Getting yearly mammograms (x-ray of breast) if age 40 and over. This can often detect cancer before a lump is felt.

A breast lump is evaluated by a doctor in a number of ways:

  • Examining the breast and under arm by feeling the tissue.
  • Performing a mammogram.
  • Aspirating with a fine needle to determine if a lump is a cyst (fluid filled) or a solid mass.
  • Taking a tissue sample (biopsy) to examine for cancer.

The two primary risk factors for developing breast cancer are being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers occur in women with no other known risk factors.

Screening is available for women age 40 and older, with no insurance who meet certain income requirements through MDHHS’ BCCCNP via Ingham County.

For women under the age of 40, or who have insurance please contact our Family Planning Program.