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Breast Cancer Health Center

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Benign Breast Lumps

What Will Happen at My Appointment?

Your doctor will ask you some questions about your health history. He will perform a breast exam to feel for lumps or other changes in the breast tissue and under the arms.

If there is fluid coming out of your nipple, your doctor will collect a sample and check for cancer cells.

He may also do a mammogram or ultrasound to see if the lump is solid or filled with fluid.

Your doctor may order a biopsy. He will take a tiny sample of the lump with a needle or small cut and send it to a lab.

How Do I Keep My Breasts Healthy?

  • Once you turn 20, your doctor may give you a breast exam in which he feels your breast tissue for changes. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a clinical breast exam every 1-3 years starting at 20.
  • Get a mammogram as you get older. It’s best to talk with your doctor to decide the right time and how often because experts disagree. The American Cancer Society recommends getting one every year once you turn 45. Others say every 2 years when you turn 50 until you’re 74.

If you’re at high risk for breast cancer, you should get a mammogram every year. You may start getting them at a younger age, too. You may also get ultrasound screenings too. Breast MRI screening, in addition to mammogram, is used only if your lifetime risk of breast cancer is greater than 20%. Talk with your doctor to decide what may be best for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 10, 2015
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