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  • #106286
    Aunt_FloAunt_Flo
    Moderator

    How do you perform a breast check? What are some things you should look out for? How can you tell the difference between lymph nodes and a breast lump?

    #108999
    Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie
    Keymaster

    There used to be a lot of detailed instructions about how women should examine their breasts, but research has shown that the most important thing is to just be familiar with how your breasts usually look and feel so that you notice any changes!

    We now recommend breast awareness which simply means looking at your breasts in the mirror and feeling them all over (from collarbone to below the bra line & into the armpit). 

    Things to look out for include:

    • Lumps, hard knots or thickening
    • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
    • Change in the size or shape of the breast
    • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
    • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
    • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
    • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
    • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

    Having any of these symptoms doesn’t mean there’s definitely something seriously wrong. Some changes can be hormonal or due to mild infections, but always a good idea to have a GP take a look for peace of mind!

    #109000
    mak_trouble891
    Participant

    When is the best time to check?

    #109001
    Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie
    Keymaster

    @mak_trouble891 It’s great to do it throughout the month so you get used to the normal changes that happen in your cycle, but a few days after your period is when your breasts will be least swollen and maybe easier to feel deeply without discomfort.

    #109002
    mak_trouble891
    Participant
    Another question related to boobs, do breasts ever stop growing?
    #109003
    Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie
    Keymaster

    @mak_trouble891 breasts usually finish developing in late teens, but they will continue to change throughout a lifetime! Breast size and shape is effected by hormone changes (e.g. in pregnancy or at menopause) as well as weight loss/gain and changes in muscle tone. 

    #109004
    MsBlueStreak
    Participant

    @Nurse_Nettie – why did mine grow (in cup size) quite exponentially when I gained weight (unhealthy size 8 to comfortable 12 over a couple of years)… but when I lost a crap load of weight after first being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes they only shrank a teeny little bit (like not even a whole cup size)?

    #109005
    Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie
    Keymaster

    @MsBlueStreak I can’t tell you exactly why you didn’t lose the same amount of weight you’d gained in your boobs. Sounds like more than just weight gain & loss was at play. Our bodies are complex and not always completely symmetrical in the way they look or behave!

    #109006
    mak_trouble891
    Participant

    Why do I gain pains in my boobs?

    #109007
    Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie
    Keymaster

    @mak_trouble891 There are lots of reason a person can get pain in their breasts: injury, infection, hormone surge before your period or in pregnancy — even a bad-fitting bra! For more info about breast pain, check out this info from Family Planning Australia!

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