It’s totally normal to panic when you feel something unusual in your boobs. You probably immediately think breast cancer, but that isn’t always the case. It turns out that there are a lot of reasons you could have lumps in your boobs, and most of them probably aren’t breast cancer.
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month gets closer, it’s important for us to remember to do self exams and ask our doctors when we’re unsure of what we feel. According to The American Cancer Society and Sherry Ross, M.D., ob-gyn, Women’s Health expert and author of the forthcoming book She-ology, there is lots of available information out there that can help you make an informed decision about your health.
Here are a few other reasons for those weird lumps in your boobs, that aren’t breast cancer:
You have one of these benign conditions
The American Cancer Society wants to remind us how important it is to get unusual findings checked out by a a doctor, but says, “Non-cancerous breast conditions are very common, and they are never life threatening. The 2 main types are fibrosis and/or cysts and other non-cancerous or benign breast tumors.”
Tumors, on the other hand “are non-cancerous areas where breast cells have grown abnormally and rapidly, often forming a lump. Benign breast tumors may hurt, but they aren’t dangerous and don’t spread from the breast to other organs.”
You just have dense breasts
Heavy boobs is a real thing, and it could be affecting the texture and makeup of the breast tissue. This could mimic the early symptoms of breast cancer and give you panic attacks too. Don’t worry.
Women’s Health reports, “Two-thirds of pre-menopausal and one-quarter of post-menopausal women have dense breast tissue.” And breast density is really just about how it looks on the mammogram, explains Parvin F. Peddi, M.D., of the UCLA division of hematology and oncology. This just means that frequent self-exams are key to knowing whether lumps are old or new. It’s the new ones that you should consult your doctor about.
You’re on your period
Yup, more good news about our periods. Although it’s probably not breast cancer, it probably is your hormones. Women’s Health cites the National Cancer Institute, and explains these lumps as “normal,” and it’s “thanks to extra fluid in your chest due to hormones which should resolve itself once your time of the month is over.”
The main takeaway from all of this is know your body. Perform monthly self-checks, have an annual check-up, and stay informed. Stay ahead of anything that could be wrong, and if you’re still scared it’s breast cancer, always see a doctor!