Thursday, February 16, 2012

Breast Lumps – Are they normal?

One of the reasons for doing a monthly self examination of your breasts is to become familiar with their structure so you can recognize changes that may indicate the onset of breast cancer.   However, some breast lumps are normalIf your breast feels especially lumpy and uncomfortable, you're probably experiencing fibrocystic breast changes.
Sixty percent of all women of child bearing age have lumpy breasts caused by fibrocystic growths.   These benign cells are characterized by irregular areas of thicker tissue with a lumpy or ridge-like surface, or tiny bead-like masses scattered throughout the breasts.  As a result of these growths, your breasts may feel tender and sensitive to the touch.
Fibrocystic changes are associated with hormonal shifts in estrogen and progesterone, which affect the breast tissue. During the menstrual cycle, the breasts swell as the milk glands and ducts enlarge and the breasts retain water. After menstruation breast swelling decreases, but overtime fibrocystic growth may appear.  Generally beginning when women are in their twenties or thirties, these growths usually last until menopause.

So how do you know if a lump is normal or if it poses a threat to your health?  The fact is you won’t know until you become familiar with the feel of your own breasts by doing a monthly self examination.   Keep in mind that a lump that grows quickly over a short period of time is always a cause for concern, and seek medical attention from your doctor immediately.  Recognizing that the majority of breast cancer occurs in women over the age of 40, it is important that you begin breast self examination at an early age to ensure you are well equipped to recognize abnormalities within your breast tissue. 

 If you aren’t already doing a monthly breast self examination and need material on the proper procedure, or if you have trouble remembering to do it, follow us on Facebook, twitter (@thegirlsbrashop), or join our email newsletter and we'll send you monthly reminders and resources we find.


Ann and Tammy

real women. real bras. real beauty. ©2012, The Girls Bra Shop Inc.

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