With October being breast cancer awareness month, this month’s blog focuses on breast health.
Thanks to breast cancer awareness and early detection, women are more in tune with their breast health.
Most women understand the importance of regular exams, self-checks and mammograms. Self-exams are a woman’s first defense against undiagnosed breast lumps, but patients should remember that breast tissue can be affected by many things including the menstrual cycle and exams should be performed at the same time each month.
What to do when you find a lump.
If you discover a lump, the first thing is to make an appointment with your Ob/Gyn or Primary care physician. If they suspect a lump, breast imaging such as a mammogram or breast ultrasound may be ordered to get a clear look at the mass. If the results are abnormal or inconclusive, you may be referred to a breast surgeon for further evaluation.
Even if a lump is diagnosed as benign or non-cancer, this is an opportunity to have your lifetime risk of breast cancer and family history assessed.
What a lump could be.
Breast lumps can occur due to many reasons:
- Fibrocystic changes in the breast tissue.
- Lipomas, which are benign fatty tumors.
- Infection or mastitis complicated by the formation of a breast abscess.
How Breast Lumps are treated.
Fine needle aspiration is a procedure performed by a radiologist or breast specialist. The procedure is most commonly used to drain fluid-filled masses, like cysts.
Image guided needle biopsies are performed under local anesthesia. The procedure involves the insertion of a core needle device through a small incision into the lump. A sample of tissue is then sent out to a pathologist for testing.
Surgery is often recommended when the biopsy does not provide conclusive results, the mass is symptomatic, or the patient is considered high risk.
If you have any questions, please contact our office:
Women’s Health Now
21321 E. Ocotillo Road, Suite 127
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Email: [email protected]