Thursday, 2 July 2015

I found a lump in my breast!

What a hectic start to the year most of us have had! Here at Rebalance Myotherapy we love hearing and sharing in many of our client’s achievements and pathways through life. This blog is a little different to our past ones, it’s written still with plenty of health advice and has a hidden message for everyone…

My year to date has been very life changing, I’ve been busy running Rebalance Myotherapy Clinic while also managing to get married, move house and take a short trip to Japan. What all of you would be unaware off is, quite recently I was surprised to discover a lump in my breast!

Now being a Myotherapist we do develop palpation skills that enable us to feel taught bands and trigger points within muscles. It’s what makes us good at our job and getting the desired results you personally require. I guess I have these skills to thank for discovering my lump. Over the years I have had numerous patients present with all sorts of lumps and bumps. Usually they turn out to be lipomas, which is a growth of fatty tissue that slowly develops just under the skin and are usually quite harmless. Whenever we find these abnormalities we always advise patients to seek their GP‘s opinion. When we treat you at Rebalance Myotherapy Clinic not only will we inform you of any lumps we find but also any changes we notice on moles, especially on your back and other hard to self-monitor areas.

On discovering my lump I was filled with a mixture of emotions. My head raced to every amazing woman I’ve known that has battled breast cancer or currently still is. Pulling myself together, I quickly reassured myself with these simple facts; I fall in the wrong age category and I also have no family history. I thought it would be highly unlikely for this lump to amount to much but with my newly wedded husband’s insistence I made a doctor’s appointment to be examined.

On examination there was a definite thickening and lump on my breast, the next step was a referral out for a mammogram and ultrasound. Easy I thought, go and have these scans done and then we can put all this worry behind us and enjoy our newly wedded bliss.

Arriving at the hospital I started to fret what are these scans going to show? For those that have never had a mammogram done before, let me paint a picture of my experience. I was escorted to a dark room which contained a machine that looks like something out of star wars. All sorts of buzzing and flashing lights greeted me as I walked out of the change room. The robe they gave me was quickly removed and I was instructed to place my breast on the machine’s bench.  You are then instructed to relax as they move the machine and you into the correct position to be scanned.  For me, I felt like I was in a very bad tango dance move with this machine! Once they are happy with your position, a piece of plastic slowly squashes your breast down until it reaches a size that feels smaller than a pancake! Now let me tell you relaxing in this position is very hard, as I thought my breast was going to explode at any moment.

The ultrasound is a walk in the park compared to the mammogram. The only thing I will say about this experience is that it is a long process and also be aware that you will have a front row to every measurement taken. You see where you get your breast ultra-sounded is the same examination room that pregnant women receive their scans too. So promptly right in front of you is a monitor that shows you everything! I’m sure these screens bring lots of women joy but in my case it was quite the opposite.

Now because I had a front row seat to the ultrasound I knew my results would indicate something. When you physically see the radiologist measuring and pausing on masses within your breast tissue, it would have been a little naïve of me to think my scans would come back ‘all clear’. I think a wise decision for the hospitals to make would be to turn these monitors off when scanning breasts. My results indicated two lesions that most likely represent fibroadenomas with a suggested guided biopsy to confirm these findings. It’s quite common for these tests to discover other lumps you weren’t aware of, that is the beauty about getting them done you get the full picture. So now I had two lumps but this soon would change to three as the doctor discovered a third during the biopsy.

Fibroadenomas are not cancerous but can sometimes be hard to distinguish from cancer, hence requiring a biopsy. Researches are unsure what causes them and they are quite common especially in women aged 15 to 25. Up to 1 in 6 (15%) of women have a fibroadenoma at some time in their life. They can be also known as a ‘breast mouse’ as they are quite firm and rubbery, and when pushed on they can appear to move away under your fingers. A specialist doctor decides if it’s safe to leave them alone or if surgical removal is the better option but most fibroadenomas are left alone and do not require treatment.

Once again, compared to a mammogram, a breast biopsy is relatively easy to get through. Don’t get me wrong, it’s more than a tickle and you do take a while to recover but the pain and tenderness is manageable. I found out this week my biopsy results confirmed the initial indications that my lumps are fibroadenomas. All the worry and uncertainty I had surrounding these lumps was definitely worth going through to hear those results. I am lucky! I am lucky I found the lumps and lucky to have these results. The reason I have chosen to write a clinic blog about this experience is to raise awareness that if you find something abnormal or something is starting to show signs of change get it checked out. We live in a world where there are some pretty amazing medical tests and treatments available and early intervention can sometimes be the key.

We are very health conscious here at Rebalance Myotherapy Clinic and we want our patients to be proactive about their health. So after reading this blog I hope a few of you are sitting there groping your boobs or even booking that doctors appointment to get that mole checked out that you’ve been meaning to. 

Warmest Regards
Monica Canny
Rebalance Myotherapy Clinic

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