Cancer Care Center

Location Information

Locations

The Armes Family Cancer Care Center

15990 Medical Drive South
Findlay, OH 45840
Office Hours:

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

What To Do if You Find a Lump on Your Breast

People of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Although discovering a breast lump can be alarming, it is worth noting not all lumps, found either during an exam or incidentally, are cancerous.  

Regardless of the cause, it is essential to notify your healthcare provider if breast changes or breast lumps appear.  

Before your appointment, write down answers to the following questions and bring them to your appointment. These questions will help you and your provider gain a better understanding of your breast change. 

  • When did you first notice the lump? 
  • Is the lump in one breast or both breasts? 
  • What is the size and location of the lump? It can be helpful to use common objects such as a grape, pencil eraser or raisin to estimate the size. You can think of the breast as a clock face for the location and use the hands to locate the lump at a position such as three o'clock or noon. 
  • Can you feel the lump if you change positions (such as going from lying down to standing or sitting to standing?) 
  • What does the lump feel like (hard, tender, firm)? 
  • Is the lump fixed in one place, or does it move? 
  • For pre-menopausal women, does the lump correlate with your menstrual cycle? 
  • For women with children, provide a breastfeeding history if applicable. 
  • Is the lump painful, if so, describe the pain (sharp, stabbing or throbbing) and the pain's intensity? 
  • Have you noticed any other changes to the breast or nipple such as skin dimpling, skin color changes, nipple retraction or nipple discharge? 
  • Have you noticed any areas of swelling near the breast or armpit? 
  • Is there anything that seems to make it worse? 
  • Is there anything that seems to make it better? 
  • Do you have a personal or family history of cancer? Has anyone in the family been found to have either a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation? 

In addition to your healthcare provider conducting a detailed health history, they will likely perform a physical exam to evaluate a breast lump. To determine whether that lump is benign, your doctor may order a mammogram and breast ultrasound. These tests will take detailed images of the mass inside your body. They provide additional diagnostic information to your clinician that they cannot obtain through feeling the lump. If there is a suspicion of cancer, a breast biopsy may be performed to remove a breast cell sample for further examination by a pathologist. 

Your healthcare provider will be there to provide guidance and recommendations. 

If you don't have an established primary care provider or a provider for women's health, visit BVHS Find A Doc listing of providers.