My boyfriend and I were messing around the other night, and he was touching my boobs (because... foreplay). Everything was normal, and then he sort of just stopped and looked totally freaked out. He said he'd felt a lump in one of my boobs, which was obviously an instant mood killer. I wasn't worried at first, I've kind of always had lumpy boobs – they're not very big and when I do my self-checks, there are always lumpy BITS. I've brought it up with doctors in the past, but I still feel really unsure how to tell which lumps I should be worried about and which ones I shouldn’t, and the more I've been thinking about it, the more I'm freaking out that I SHOULD be worried. There's just so much information out there these days, I'm feeling totally overwhelmed and scared that I'll miss something serious. What should I do?
I get it – the overwhelm is real. There is so much information out there about different health concerns and what we should be doing to reduce our risk of disease.
A big part of being a GP is what I like to call ‘therapeutic harassment’. I promise, it is therapeutic even when it feels like your GP is nagging you. It’s our role to ensure patients are up to date with all the recommended screening and lifestyle measures to optimise their health. So, my advice is to find a lovely GP who you feel comfortable with and they can help keep track of all your screening tests and get to know your individual health needs.
But back to 'lumpy' boobs! It's common for women under the age of 40 to have dense and fibrous breast tissue. This can make it difficult to work out which lumps and bumps are concerning and which ones aren’t.
My first tip is to get to know your boobs. Like a first date, it may feel a bit weird and awkward at first, but it is the best way to keep track of your breast health.