What's normal

Many women find lumps or changes in their breasts, since some of these are normal changes that occur at various points in the menstrual cycles. Finding a change or lump in your breast is not a reason to panic. Breasts often feel different in different places. A firm ridge along the bottom of each breast is normal, for instance. The look and feel of your breasts will change as you age.

When to contact your doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice:

  • A hard lump or knot near your underarm
  • Changes in the way your breasts look or feel, including thickening or prominent fullness that is different from the surrounding tissue
  • Changes in color, size, shape or texture
  • Dimples, puckers, bulges or ridges on the skin of your breast
  • A nipple that is pushed in (inverted) instead of sticking out
  • Redness, warmth, swelling or pain
  • Itching, scales, sores or rashes
  • Bloody nipple discharge

Your doctor may follow up with a clinical breast exam, mammogram and ultrasound.

Jul. 02, 2011