Many patients find their breast lump by chance- during showering, or wearing clothes. Some might have felt some muscle pain, and happened to touch the breast area and found a lump. A few patients practice regular breast self-exam, or their doctor detected the lump at a health screening checkup.
While a breast lump is commonly taught to be a sign of breast cancer, the truth is that most breast lumps are benign– they may be due to hormonal changes (fibrocystic changes), or conditions such as fibroadenomas, cysts, lipomas, angiomyolipomas, etc. To allay your fear and concern, consider seeing a breast specialist to get a fast, accurate assessment.
For Dr Tan Yia Swam’s practice, when patients visit the clinic for the first time, she will conduct a thorough interview for a personalised risk assessment, followed by a physical examination. Dr Tan Yia Swam will then recommend a radiology study, likely an ultrasound scan, and a mammogram as necessary (strongly recommended for breast cancer screening when a lady is 40 years old or older).
After these radiology tests are done, Dr Tan Yia Swam will then advise if you need additional tests (eg fine needle aspiration or core needle biopsy), or just a simple followup scan will be enough.
Some patients may require surgery (which may be any of these following types: excision biopsy, or lumpectomy, or vacuum-assisted biopsy “mammotome”).