What to do about Breast Changes and Symptoms during Coronavirus

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Don’t let the virus hold you back from reporting symptoms or doing self-exam. Early detection is as important as ever. Here are 4 answers to your questions.

Are you a health organization that is trying to get the word out about the importance of self-exam and reporting symptoms? Our education materials can help you!

It can be an anxious time when you notice a change in your breast, but now during coronavirus restrictions it raises even more questions. This article answers the four most common questions we are getting from patients right now:

Q1: Do I need to wait until coronavirus restrictions are lifted before I can have the symptom investigated?

A: No. This is a health matter that is an exception to lockdown, and reporting changes in your breast when they are found is important. While many changes in the breast turn out to be nothing, if it is something and it’s found early, the amount of treatment needed could be reduced if discovered at early stages.

Q2: I don’t have any symptoms, but my mammogram was scheduled during this time. What can I do to keep up with my breast health?

A: While most facilities are not doing screening mammograms (mammograms for patients with no symptoms as part of a routine health check), this doesn’t mean that you don’t have any options available to take care of your breast health. Self-exam is a casual way to understand what is normal for you, so if a change does happen it’s much easier to notice.

Q3: I’m not sure how to do a self-exam. I tried once, but couldn’t tell what I was feeling for. How can I learn this with some confidence?

A: We have an app with an audio guide that walks you through step-by-step. Your breast coach, Mona Lisa, uses a little humor to make it fun and give you confidence in how to do a self-exam. Download the “Know Your Lemons” app on the app store.

Q4: How do I know when to report a breast change?

A: Some changes come and go with your menstrual cycle, such as tenderness and lumps. Other normal changes are part of breastfeeding, puberty, or age. If you notice something that lasts longer than a month, or if it gets worse, or just makes you feel like something is not right, then feel confident that it now is the time to tell your doctor and get answers to your questions about what is happening. Your doctor will want to know:

  1. How long have you had the symptom(s)?

  2. Does this come and go with your menstrual cycle? (If you still have one.)

The next step is usually a mammogram. If your doctor dismisses your concerns and doesn’t offer any testing, trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to ask for testing. You are the best advocate for your health.

To learn the 12 symptoms of breast cancer, and to see your testing options, go to knowyourlemons.com/learn