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Symptoms, Conditions and Diagnosis

What am I looking for when I do a breast self-exam?

You are looking for:

  • a hard lump or knot in or near the breast or in your underarm
  • a change in the way your breasts look or feel

If you find a lump or other change in one of your breasts, check out the other breast. If both breasts feel the same, the lumpiness is probably normal. Get to know your breasts better by doing breast self-exams. This will help you to tell the difference between how your breasts normally look and feel and any changes. Here are some other changes to look out for. If you see or feel any of these changes, see your doctor right away:

  • dimpling, puckering, or ridges of the skin on the breast
  • a nipple that is pushed inward rather than sticking out
  • redness, warmth, swelling, or pain
  • itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • change in color, shape, size, or texture of a breast

Mammograms are the key to early detection

Perform monthly breast self-exams, and, starting at age 40, get a mammogram every year. With three imaging locations and flexible, one-call scheduling – 847.618.3700, The Breast Center at NCH makes it easy to fit a mammogram appointment into your busy schedule.

Advanced diagnostic options for further evaluation

We provide you with the latest in advanced breast biopsy options such as ultrasound-guided, MRI-guided and stereotactic breast biopsy, as well as intact breast excisional biopsies and accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI).

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Last Updated 06/25/2009