Breast Lumps: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Breast lumps are common, especially in women between ages 30 and 50. Many women's breasts feel lumpy and tender before their menstrual period. Women also may have lumps when they are breastfeeding. Breast lumps may go away after menopause. All new breast lumps in women after menopause should be checked by a doctor.

Although lumps may be normal for you, it is important to have your doctor check any lump or thickness that is not like the rest of your breast to make sure it is not cancer. A lump may be larger, harder, or different from the rest of your breast tissue.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Make an appointment to have a mammogram and other follow-up visits as recommended by your doctor.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new changes in a breast, such as:
    • A lump or thickening in your breast or armpit.
    • A change in the breast's size or shape.
    • Skin changes, such as dimples or puckers.
    • Nipple discharge.
    • A change in the colour or feel of the skin of your breast or the darker area around the nipple (areola).
    • A change in the shape of the nipple (it may look like it's being pulled into the breast).
  • You have symptoms of a breast infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around a breast.
    • Red streaks extending from the breast.
    • Pus draining from a breast.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Current as of: October 13, 2016