For anyone inspired to check themselves or their loved ones in honor of Pinktober - here are common indicators of a malignant tumor...
  1. Lumpy in texture, like cauliflower
    Benign tumors like lipomas and fiber adenomas tend to feel smooth (I've had both) whereas cancer grows irregularly and will most likely feel textured on the surface
  2. Fixed, not moveable
    Benign tumors will slide around a little bit under your skin, as will plain old lumpy breast tissue.
  3. Irregular shaped, not symmetrical
    My fiber adenomas was shaped like a large jelly bean. My giant lipoma (fatty, benign tumor) is shaped like a mango. My cancerous tumor was shaped like a squashed orange with protrusions sticking out every which way and one side narrower than the other.
  4. Not painful
    It doesn't make sense I know, but breast tumors (as opposed to like, cystic acne or a clogged milk duct) are not painful. So if you notice something small that hurts, it's most likely benign. There are a few exceptions to this.
  5. Does not disappear and reappear as part of your menstrual cycle
    This may be the trickiest part of breast self awareness - because it requires a familiarity with both your breasts and your cycle, but the texture of normal healthy breast tissue is impacted by your menstrual cycle and lumps and other changes will wax and wane based on hormones. so basically it's not enough to just check during Pinktober - try to think of it as a whole season, like Pink-Fall.