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Thursday, May 23, 2013
Difference between a lump and breast tissue
I found a lump in my left breast. My doctor told me it is normal breast tissue, but prescribed a mammogram. How can I tell the difference between what feels like and appears to be a lump and normal breast tissue?
In general, as a woman ages, her breast tissue becomes less smooth and more "lumpy". Instead of feeling like smooth sand on a beach, it feels like smooth pebbles on a beach. These "pebbles" are actually what are called lobules of breast tissue. They are soft, smooth, and usually easily movable. Cancer is hard, irregular, and fixed - like a rough rock buried in the earth.
Do a breast self-exam now to become familiar with what normal breast tissue feels like. You are looking for a change from this baseline...
Jean T Stevenson, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University