During October, women are reminded to perform self breast exams, schedule mammograms and keep an eye on their breast health. It can leave many women with questions about what it actually means to have “normal breasts.”
My breasts have a lot of lumps. Do I have cancer?
Some women have naturally bumpy feeling breasts while others experience lumps during different times in their menstrual cycle. If your physician performs a breast exam and is not concerned, it is likely that bumps are normal for you.
My breasts don’t match. Is that okay?
Breasts and nipples come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most women do not have symmetrical breasts. It is normal to notice differences. However, if there is a sudden change in the appearance of your breast or nipple, speak to your physician.
Something leaked out of my nipple. Could it be milk?
If you are not breastfeeding or have not recently breastfed a child, you should see a physician about any nipple discharge.
My breasts really hurt sometimes. Is this a bad sign?
Many women experience breast pain and tenderness at some point during their menstrual cycle. Pay attention to when the pain occurs in relation to your cycle. If it is at the same point every time, such as around day 14 and ovulation, then it is likely to be normal pain. If it occurs at random times or continues for multiple days, you should see a physician.
I have big breasts. Do I have a higher risk for cancer?
Studies have not been able to draw a conclusive link between breast size and breast cancer risk. Obesity has been connected to an increased risk for breast cancer, however, so always be sure you are at a healthy weight no matter your breast size.