What is breast health?

The vast majority (more than 90%) of all breast lumps are not cancerous; they are benign. So, out of every ten women presenting with a breast lump, nine of them will not have a lump that is cancerous. Benign or non-cancerous breast lumps are often due to cysts (common fluid sacs that form in the breast tissue), fibroadenoma (this is due to fibrous glandular tissue building up and it is more frequent in younger women), or breast cell changes (which are more common in the 35 and over age group and consist of breast areas that feel lumpy and that become more obvious prior to menstruation).

Your IPSA Medical breast consultation

At your IPSA Medical breast clinic, a female IPSA Medical breast specialist will see you for your breast consultation in our calm, confidential and conducive clinic setting. Your IPSA Medical clinician is highly skilled at both examining and diagnosing these types of lumps, and will also teach you to confidently self-examine for lumps, fully explaining exactly what to look out for when you self-examine. Your care is always taken seriously, with immediate appointments and person-centred holistic treatment as IPSA Medical’s goals. At your IPSA Medical breast consultation, your IPSA Medical clinician will fully examine you to assess any lumps; if any findings are suspicious, then you will be immediately referred for further investigation.

Symptoms of breast cancer and what to look out for

The first symptom of breast cancer that is noticeable is a breast lump. The types of breast changes that might be linked to breast cancer are:

  • A change in breast size or breast shape
  • Swelling or a lump in the armpit
  • Sores on your breasts
  • Skin ‘dimpling’ on the breast
  • Unusual swelling on the breast
  • A discharge with blood from your nipple
  • Nipple shape change (especially when the nipple turns inwards or sinks into your breast, or if it develops an irregular shape)
  • A rash on the nipple or area surrounding the nipple which is often thought to be eczema (because it is itchy, red and scaly), but could be Paget’s disease (a rare type of breast cancer)

At your IPSA Medical breast clinic, your female IPSA Medical practitioner will discuss both your family history and your lifestyle with you as a way of assessing your breast cancer risk. Your IPSA Medical practitioner might also discuss you having full bloods taken which will include testing for the BRCA1/BRCA2 tumour markers.

Breast Pain

Usually, breast pain is not symptomatic of cancer, as it is common, and many healthy women do find their breasts to be both lumpy and tender just prior to having their period.

As some benign breast lumps are painful, and some breast cancers cause pain, it is critical that you visit your IPSA Medical practitioner to allay your fears, especially if pain and inflammation are present at the same time.

Women’s health and your IPSA Medical breast clinic

If changes to your breasts are not usual for you, then you are best to visit your IPSA Medical practitioner, as the changes are probably benign and so can be easily treated, putting your mind to rest.

If your lump is cancerous, then going to your IPSA Medical doctor early on means you have the best chance of having successful treatment.

Your IPSA Medical doctor will examine you and, if necessary, will send you to our specialist clinic for any further checks.

Remember: If your breast lump does turn out to be cancer, then early treatment gives you a better chance for a cure.

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It can often be quite difficult to book an appointment with your NHS GP at a time that suits you. Your symptoms might have already faded, or you might have recovered by the time of your NHS GP appoin

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