It’s every woman’s nightmare.
You feel a lump in your breast… or one shows up on your mammogram screening.
In the best-case scenario, it’s nothing… and in the worst case, it’s cancer.
But there is A LOT of gray area in between.
There are MANY breast conditions that are NOT cancer… will NEVER become cancer… and usually resolve on their own.
But many women are being treated anyway with BARBARIC treatments, including serious surgeries.
Here’s how to keep from being the next victim.
Lay off the panic button
There are plenty of other culprits – besides cancer – behind why your breasts might seem a little “off.”
With fibrocystic breast disease, the formation of non-cancerous cysts makes your breasts feel lumpy. It may cause some discomfort… but generally, it’s no cause for concern.
Even if you’ve survived breast cancer before, it’s not necessarily a recurrence.
In fact, it’s incredibly common — with more than 3 million cases of it every year affecting women of all ages.
Ladies, the fact is that our breast tissue changes over time. Half of women in their 50s will experience changes like these… and post-menopausal gals who are on hormone therapy may as well.
If the lumps turn out to be fluid-filled sacs, all you need is a hot compress and a good brassiere to feel better until it completely resolves (within a couple of months).
Another condition of the breast that can imitate the return of cancer is called fat necrosis.
Again, a lump may form, but as a result of surgery — like a biopsy, lumpectomy, mastectomy, or even reconstructive surgery.
It could also happen after radiation.
But not right away.
The lump – most likely an “oil cyst” — can show up nearly a year and a half later! Which is why it can seem so alarming when it shows up on a mammogram or you feel it.
To rule out anything more sinister, your doc will probably order a breast ultrasound. He may even use a needle to extract some of the fluid for testing.
He could also, of course, drain the cyst or remove it altogether – but fat necrosis usually goes away on its own.
Not all benign breast conditions are entirely harmless.
If you’ve got mastitis, for instance, you WILL need to be treated.
But you won’t need to be cut open… or zapped with radiation.
Mastitis – which causes swelling, redness, and pain — is simply an INFECTION.
And if you’ve got it, all you need are antibiotics to clear it up.
This breast infection most often occurs in breastfeeding women… but your breasts can get infected even if your childbearing years are FAR behind you.
Obviously, if you have a family history of and a genetic predisposition to breast cancer, you’ll want to take any changes in your breast seriously.
But the new, high-tech mammograms are often TOO sensitive – and they’ve been fraught with false positives.
Remember that a tumor is usually hard and not squishy. And any nipple discharge (whether clear or bloody) is NOT normal and should be investigated right away.