Knowing how to check for lumps can save your life. If you have a hard lump, you should see your doctor immediately. It does not necessarily mean that you have cancer, it can be a variety of other benign illness, but you need to have it looked at right away. If it is cancer, the earlier you begin treatment the better. Starting treatment sooner rather than later can save your life.
LUMPS - Feel your body for unusual lumps or bumps. Mostly you are looking for hard lumps. It will feel like a hard stone pebble. You may find other lumps that are softer or squishy. All need to be looked at by a doctor, but it is the hard ones that are of greatest concern. Checking breasts for lumps is easy to do. You may find lumps in your lymph nodes. You should be looking for a very hard lump.
BREAST - Check your breasts for lumps. You need to check your breasts whether or not you are female. Males may not need to check as often, however, men can get lumps too. Women should do a monthly breast exam. With your fingers pressed together, gently press down on all areas of your breasts to feel for lumps. If you have a lump, do not become too concerned until you have seen a doctor. Breasts change over time and benign lumps can form. Normally women who are at greatest risk for breast cancer are those with a history of breast cancer in their families or women over 65.
UNDER ARMS - Check in your underarms when you are giving yourself a breast exam for lumps. Under the arms and in the arm pit are areas where lumps may form. Check out this area thoroughly and report any findings to your doctor.
NECK - Check your neck and throat area for lumps. This is another area that may show lumps. If you check yourself on a regular basis, you will become familiar with your own body and easily notice any changes. Knowing how to check for lumps will keep you worry free.
ALL OVER - Check your entire body for hard lumps periodically. This is not something that you need to do every week, but once every six months can't hurt. As you age, you may want to check more often. If you find anything report it to your doctor immediately.
If you have other symptoms such as nausea, headaches and changes in your bowel movements, you should see a doctor immediately.
If you need additional information, look in the Resources section below. Knowing how to check for lumps can save your life.