Answers to Common Questions About Breast Health ~ Health Guide

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Answers to Common Questions About Breast Health

Written by Mystic on Monday, August 04, 2008

Are most breast lumps due to cancer?

No. Only one lump out of every 10 will be due to cancer. This means that 90% of all breast lumps are not cancer. However, the chances of a lump being cancerous do increase as you get older. Some women do not have a definite lump but can feel areas of general 'lumpiness' in their breasts. Often your doctor will be able to reassure you that this is normal but it is important that you ask your doctor to thoroughly check any changes.

Will the biopsy scar be noticeable?
A biopsy scar is usually small and will be less noticeable as it fades. Some women are not worried by the scar while for others it may be more of a concern. If you need a biopsy, check with your surgeon beforehand about the likely size and position of the scar. Sometimes rubbing Vitamin E cream into the scar afterwards will make it softer.

Do benign problems come back?
Generally, no, but a small number of women will develop new benign lumps in the future.

Will I be able to breast feed after a biopsy?
Yes. A biopsy will not interfere with your ability to breast feed in the future. Even if you need a biopsy while you are breast feeding, you do not need to stop breast feeding. Talk this through with your doctor.

If I have a benign breast problem, am I more likely to get breast cancer?
No, it is unlikely. However, some women with particular benign breast problems are more at risk. You will need to talk this over with your doctor.

What if a lump turns out to be cancer?
If breast cancer is detected early, it has the best chance of being successfully treated. Talk to your doctor for information on the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. If you wish to have more information about breast cancer contact the Cancer Help Line on 13 11 20.
What should I be doing?
You may possibly reduce your risk of breast cancer by:
  • Eating more vegetables and fruit.

  • Reducing total fat intake, especially animal fat.

  • Limiting alcohol to two drinks a day with some alcohol free days.

  • Participating in daily physical activity.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight range.

  • Stopping smoking.
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