General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

Ladies, a question about your ta-tas.

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15623points) May 22nd, 2014

This is more of a question of curiosity, as the only breasts I’ve really examined are my own. I went bikini shopping a few weeks ago and, in the horrible lighting of the Dillard’s dressing room, I could see a little unevenness on the top of my left breast if I leaned my shoulders back. More in the chest area, but it’s technically breast. Upon closure inspection, it was almost like a line that bulged up more than the other areas of the breast. If it were a lump, it would be huge in order for me to see it, and it wasn’t really shaped like you’d expect a lump to be shaped. I’m wondering if it’s a vein or something that I never noticed in my much more forgiving bathroom lights. Now that I noticed it, though, I can see it in any lighting if I position my body correctly. I haven’t felt it, as the mere thought of feeling for any bump/lump/abnormality on my body nearly sends me into panic mode (my own issue, don’t worry about it), but I was wondering if any women here have something like that.

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17 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Fibrocystic or lumpy breasts are very common. They run in my family. You should start to feel yourself up regularly to get a base-line of what your unique breasts feel like.

Lumpy breasts

There’s a lot of stuff under the skin; it’s a milk-making plant getting ready for the signal (which could come at any time) to start producing.

Years ago my doctor described it as feeling like tapioca pudding. I doubt that the younger generation knows what that is.

JLeslie's avatar

Breasts can certainly be uneven, and if the muscle below the breast is very built up you can sometimes see the muscle shape if the breasts are on the small side which can look “uneven.” without seeing your breast it is hard for me to be sure what you are describing. Feeling the area would help you maybe determine what it is, but I certainly don’t want you to be in a panic. I feel reluctant to give too much detail about lumps, cysts, and cancer, because I know you tend to worry about this a lot, and I don’t want to cause you unnecessary worry.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie I doubt you could tell me anything I don’t already know. Like you said, I’ve worried a lot about breast cancer in the past, so I’ve done more than my fair share of research on the topic.

The panic doesn’t come from, “oh no, I have breast cancer” when it comes to feeling weird stuff. I feel the same way about ANYONE’S weird stuff. My mom had a baker’s cyst on the back of her knee that was quite large. We knew what it was, she was scheduled for surgery, and I still refused to touch it. It gives me the creeps, so I just don’t do it. It’s strange – I can handle blood and puke and needles, but not feeling people’s lumps and bumps.

I’m 24, no family history of breast cancer, had an exam a few months ago. I’m not exactly rushing to the doctor about this, but I was just curious. I do have A-cups, though, and I recently started lifting weights, so you might be right on the money about a muscle.

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JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Maybe have your husband feel it? In fact, if I were you I might ask my husband to feel me up once a month or when I am worried about something, so he can tell me if something feels different or new.

I usually am not freaked out about feeling weird things on my own body, but I understand being weirded out by it.

Can you flex the area, meaning flex the muscle? Does it show up more during or immediately after a work out?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 If you want some resource sites on breast exams I have some really good ones. And yes, I learned how to do a breast exam for a woman who’s parents didn’t want to discuss it. Let me know. And very few woman are symmetrical.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I know how to do it. It just makes me panicky. It’s all in my head. My mom used to do it for me, but at 24 I wouldn’t want her to. I’d rather pay a doctor to do it, quite frankly.

And yes, I’m aware of uneven boobies. Been aware since they sprouted, the right one at a slightly quicker pace.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Okay. Don’t panic about it, you’re unlikely to find anything when you do the self exam. But you can look for differences from one month to the next. Maybe hubby would help you out with it? And I know the panic feeling. I found a lump on one of the boys one morning.

seekingwolf's avatar

I have VERY lumpy breasts, fibrocystic breasts, oh man. I love it when the doctor says “oh just feel yourself everyday and learn what your usual lumps are”. LADY, THERE ARE LUMPS EVERYWHERE. A new one could pop up and as long as it doesn’t hurt, I’d have no idea.

I plan on getting yearly mammograms when I’m older. I give up on self exams. I have lumps everywhere. When it’s that “time of the month”, some of them hurt. I’d be crying wolf every week if I relied on self exams.

I don’t think they would work for someone like me. Sorry, just being honest.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Have you ever heard your doctor say to do monthly breast exams at home? Mine always says that. Ask your doctor about this. Nothing you get here is going to alleviate your fear.

JLeslie's avatar

@MollyMcGuire I’m pretty sure she knows about monthly exams.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@MollyMcGuire Yes, being an adult woman, I have indeed heard of self-exams. In fact, @Adirondackwannabe and I discussed it just a couple of responses above yours. I also know that, according to recent research, self-exams do not seem to be nearly as helpful as people like to think. More “false positives” than anything else.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I will say that the women I know who had breast cancer before the age of 50 all found their own cancer, and mammogram did not show it, even when they indeed had the cancer. I think this was also the experience for famous people like Suzanne Smmers and Olivia Newton-John. A close friend of mine had pain, which is more rare as a symptom, I don’t remember if she could feel anything. Her cancer was finally confirmed on MRI and later a lumpectomy.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie I didn’t say that no one found their own lump during a breast exam. I’m just saying that, statistically, they don’t make much of a difference when it comes to survival rates.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I didn’t think you were saying that. I’m just saying I think knowing your own breasts/body is important, and that I agree with the studies that were talked about a few years ago that mammogram before 50 is questionable.

Women like @seekingwolf, I can understand why self exam is impossible. I’ve never felt fibrocystic breasts. Are the cysts perfectly round? Or, do the breats just feel lumpy? I don’t have any lumps in my breasts or any discomfort like she describes. I have had a cyst in my breast, and at one point some very localized pain, but not a chronic state like @seekingwolf describes. I’m sure that is very frustrating.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ In the case of my family, fibrocystic breasts feel like tapioca pudding… very small, malleable lumps that shift around. The condition varies in levels of discomfort. See the link to official description in my first answer..

seekingwolf's avatar

The lumps are under the fat, so it’s not like they feel/look lumpy RIGHT away. I don’t think my partners have ever noticed them. It’s because I know what to look for. My lumps are not REALLY small, but they aren’t perfectly round. Some of them shift around. usually, they don’t hurt except during my time of the month, and then I have some pain, but I think that’s normal.

I am just going to rely on a yearly mammogram when I’m older, and notice if any pain appears that is out of the ordinary. That’s all I can really do.

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