Remember, most breast lumps are not cancer. Pay attention for lumps that persist more than a month, or that grow or change shape with time. Again, new research says that just because you might be prone to lumps does not mean that you will inevitably get cancer.
You doctor can perform tests to determine if a bump is cancerous or benign; so you should see them with any concerns.
It is important to perform breast self-exams regularly, not just once or twice. This is because a breast exam is looking more for changes rather than problems that are noticed with one exam.
You need to know how your breasts look and feel normally to determine if something has changed or is changing. This means keeping it up regularly to find problem.
If you have breasts with a more lumpy consistency, or if you’re just not good at remembering your breast texture enough to notice changes, you might want to start keeping a journal.
This way, you can make notes or even draw a quick sketch to help yourself remember. If you do notice changes, you can simply take the journal to your doctor to help find the problem. You can also note down your dates on a calendar to remind yourself to do the exam, and check your health diary to make sure you are keeping up.
Because your breasts change somewhat during your cycle, perform exams at the same time every cycle. While some people pick a day every month, this will gradually move to different times in your menstrual cycle. A better time would be to perform is right after the end of your period every month.
While mammograms and annual exams are also essential, the self-exam is your most powerful tool in detecting breast cancer early, and therefore having a better chance of treating it successfully.