34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health (Part 3)

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Your Breasts Say About Your Health
Your Breasts Say About Your Health

Your breasts can communicate a lot about what’s going on inside your body. Use these signs to learn what your breasts are telling you — and see your medical care provider if you suspect something is up.

25. You could have a non cancerous tumor. Also known as a papilloma (an overgrowth of milk ducts), it warrants a visit to your health care provider for investigation — especially if you notice this symptom in only one breast, which isn’t a great sign, Dr. Weintraub says.

26. It might mean you’re aroused. Nipple firmness rarely has anything to do with breast tissue abnormality unless there’s some sort of asymmetry, Dr. Weintraub says. It’s just a contraction of the small muscles around the nipple and is associated with stimulation before or after sex.

Your Breasts Say About Your Health
Your Breasts Say About Your Health

27. It might mean you’re cold. When sex is the last thing on your mind and your headlights are on, the simplest explanation is that the heat is off.

28. There could be breast cancer behind your nipple. Any kind of dimpling in the nipple or breast can indicate a cancer is growing back there. So if your first impulse is to see a doctor ASAP, you’re right on the money.

29. You don’t really have dense breasts. Most women who think they have this condition are sorely mistaken: The lumpy tenderness you feel during certain weeks of your cycle is very different from having “dense breasts,” a clinical diagnosis that can only be detected through a mammogram.

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Sport

30. You might have a greater risk of undetected breast cancer. But this is pretty controversial: Some doctors say it’s more difficult to detect tumors through dense breast tissue — it’s why many prescribe ultrasounds to double-check. The problem is that it’s all too easy to get a false positive cancer diagnosis via ultrasound — which can trigger unhealthy amounts of anxiety all for naught.

31. You may be more susceptible to skin cancer. Pale, translucent breasts are a predictor of fair skin, which makes you especially susceptible to sunburn. But as long as you don’t worship the sun and apply sunscreen liberally to exposed skin, you shouldn’t have any major problems.

32. You could have breast cancer. If your formerly smooth breast starts to feel rough (like an orange peel), with a hardened areola and nipple, cancer could be present, and you should definitely get it checked out, Dr. Weintraub says.

Your Breasts Say About Your Health
Your Breasts Say About Your Health

33. You could have a benign cyst. If it feels round and smooth, and it wiggles, it’s probably a benign, fluid-filled cyst. (Not a tumor.) Take the vitamin combo suggested in no. 21 and wait one cycle to see if it goes away. If it persists, your doctor can do an ultrasound to check out things.

34. It could be breast cancer. While the vast majority of breast pains and masses are a normal result of fluctuating hormones, “whenever you notice a breast mass, the question is always: Is this cancer or could it turn into cancer?” Dr. Minkin says. It’s a question your health care provider is best suited to answer — so make an appointment to get checked out if you’re concerned.