What to do if I find a breast lump?

Most breast lumps will turn out to be benign but they should all be investigated.

  • Step 1 - See your Gp- they will be able to examine you and hopefully calm your fears. They will organize imaging such as a mammogram or ultrasound if necessary
  • Step 2 - Imaging- mammogram/ ultrasound- this will tell you a bit more about the lump- is it fluid filled or solid or is it normal breast tissue? does it look benign or worrying?
  • Step 3 - Biopsy- often a biopsy is recommended to give a definitive diagnosis of your lump. This can be a fine needle aspirate where a few cells are taken or a core biopsy where a tiny piece of the lump is taken. These pieces of tissue are sent to a pathology laboratory where a pathologist can tell you what the lump is.
  • Step 4 - Consultation - back to the gp for the results of the tests- if necessary your Gp will send you to a breast specialist- for an opinion and management of the lump

Not all steps apply to all lumps. Step 1 may be as far as you need to go but do get your lump checked out. It saves you worrying and may potentially save your life.