BF and breast exam for cancer detection — The Bump
Breastfeeding

BF and breast exam for cancer detection

Hi ladies,

I want to hear from other mamas who were breast feeding and did self exams or had a breast exam done for them by a professional while breast feeding.

I'm the daughter of a breast cancer survivor who got it in her 30s so I have to keep checking myself, the risk is really high for all women now anyway that everyone above 20 should do a personal exam every month about a week after their period regardless of a family history. With a family history of course my risk is higher, so you could understand my anxiousness.

I had detected a lump in my right breast before I got married (about 2 years ago at the age of 25) and got ultrasounds done, got it checked by an oncologist and a surgeon who specializes in breast cancer. All of which confirmed that it was either fibrosis or an enlarged lymph node because non of the cancer lumps characteristics applied to it, and I was asked to check it monthly by doing a self exam (I lacked the consistency but still checked it) and to get ultrasounds annually just to make sure it hasn't changed or gotten bigger which it hasn't.

Now I don't know how to do a self exam while breast feeding since all the glands are enlarged, you got milk, or even if your breasts are empty it feels different than when your not breast feeding.

a couple of days ago I had a plugged duct in the breast with the lump (I normally had to really press to feel the lump) and although eventually the plugged duct cleared with nursing/pumping and hot shower/massage. The area is really tender, I touched it and I can clearly feel the lump now without having to press very hard. I don't know if it's in my head or if it's just because of breast feeding that it feels like it's different or if I'm only worried because the area is tender although I know for a fact cancer doesn't hurt.

I'm definitely going to my surgeon on Saturday, but any words of comfort or information if you've been there or had done exams while BFing and know that there is indeed a difference would help. Also would you go to a GYNE or an oncologist for this? I'm only thinking GYNE because she would have more experience with BFing than an oncologist or a surgeon
imageimage
God Bless You my Little One
Farida, our first child, born on the 19th of July 2014
image
Farida, at 8 weeks
image

Re: BF and breast exam for cancer detection

  • Is your surgeon a breast surgeon? I would probably go to either a breast surgeon or an ob/gyn since they would be more familiar with breast tissue changes. I have benign fibroadenomas and get yearly ultrasounds at my breast surgeon's office to monitor them as well. I had my last one when DD was 5 months and the doctor said that while the pictures look very different from my baseline because I'm currently breastfeeding, she was still able to say that nothing looked abnormal. She also recommended a repeat ultrasound once I'm no longer breastfeeding.

    As far as self-exams, I haven't really been doing them because everything feels so different. I know where my lumps are, but it's harder to find them now. I also have had several clogged ducts, and while they do feel similar to a lump they are tender as you mentioned, and mine always went away after a few days. Hopefully if you continue to apply heat and massage, they will subside and you won't have anything to worry about!
    BabyFruit Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker


  • Sorry you're going through this. FWIW, I had a lump that turned out to be a blocked milk duct and my obgyn said breast cancer while breastfeeding is very rare. 

  • Loading the player...
  • After clog my breasts always felt really tender around the area. I'd go to dr to check but I think it's normal!

    image

    -My step-daughter is 12 years old.

    -BFP #1 on 9/2/12, D&C 10/18/12 no heartbeat on US @ 10 weeks.

    -BFP #2 on 1/7/13, R was born on 9/22/13 via C-Section

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • My mum also had cancer in her early 40's so i am also sensitive to this subject. While breastfeeding i also got a lump and went for an ultrasound. The dr decided then to do a biopsy and you can imagine how scared I was. He was super nice and said he was doing it just because of my mum history but that was most probably milk! He aspirate and came out... A lot of milk!!!! Go see a doctor ,most probably is nothing but will make you feel much better to confirm it!
  • thank you ladies,

    amichelle723 described. It's a benign fibroadenomas and I had it long before I got married/pregnant/breast fed but it's just that I notice it now more and it's easy to locate while before I had to dig deep to find it. it might be just because my breast tissue changed while breast feeding and it pushed the fibers out a little.

    my surgeon is a breast surgeon and he normally orders annual ultrasounds for me to monitor it because of my mom's history and I haven't been in a while. the plugged duct is long gone but I got worried because the area was sore even after it cleared out...I hate all of this worry and guess and waiting to go see the doctor...one of the reasons I'm breast feeding is to lower my risk
    imageimage
    God Bless You my Little One
    Farida, our first child, born on the 19th of July 2014
    image
    Farida, at 8 weeks
    image
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards