I'm Brazilian, 23, and I went on a date with a Tinder match yesterday afternoon. At some point things got more intense and as I was fondling her breasts I felt two big lumps on her left one.

We've only talked for a week and that was our first date, I'm not sure how sensitive of a topic this is among women but I'm worried about her health.

She's 18 by the way, so it's very likely just benign nodules/cysts, but it wouldn't hurt to check with a doctor if she hasn't already.

How can I approach the matter with her as a male and without sounding too scary?

UPDATE: We had a second date last Friday night and after some more intimate talking I talked about it and it went more or less like this:

-Hey, on our last date I noticed a couple of lumps on your breast, is that common?

-(laughing a little)Yeah yeah, I've checked with a doctor and it's nothing really, maybe I should've warned you before...

And then the date just went on as if nothing happened! Thank you very much for your answers, they were really helpful!

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    Henrique, could you please let us know if you told her, and if so, what approach(es) you've taken and how did she react? It could be useful to other people in the future IMO. – avazula Jul 12 at 21:08
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    @avazula I agree with you and was planning to update the question with the outcome. We are having a second date next week in which I'll talk about it. – Henrique Bispo Jul 12 at 21:10
up vote 25 down vote accepted

On whether you should or not: yes, you definitely should. You don't know if she's aware of it.
IPS people please tell me if I'm wrong but regardless of being a sensitive topic, to my knowledge most women would like to know if something might be wrong with their health.

On how to tell her now, IMHO you should tell her that you noticed something might be wrong without prompting her to see someone, for it is her decision in the end. On this particular matter I would personally opt for a white lie about your lack of knowledge of the female body and say something like:

Hey Alice, it was nice to spend some time with you. I'm sorry if this feels awkward but I don't know much about female anatomy and I think I noticed a couple of little lumps in your left breast. You might want to check this out.

I would also opt to say it directly to her if possible rather than by text message, in order not to create panic and be here to support her if she feels scared about the news.
Also, if you're comfortable with the idea, it would be very nice of you to offer to accompany her to the doctor's appointment if she decides to go. I know she's your Tinder date, but this could be a pretty big deal for her and she might need support to go through this.

I wish you and your mate the best.

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    I'm curious to know why the downvotes. Is there anything I can do to improve this answer? – avazula Jul 16 at 9:31

First of all this won't be a pleasant conversation - and it does not have to be. This is one of the occasions where the information matters more than the tone. Think of it this way: If it is serious, you may save her life!

Just inform her that you found these lumps to be unusual. Ask her if she had this inspected. If not, then tell her that she absolutely needs to get this checked. You can try to soften the blow, by mentioning the very likely just benign nodules/cysts line, but leave absolutely no doubt that this has to be checked by a doctor ASAP!

You can also remind her that such a screening is, at a first step, a quick and harmless ultrasound inspection. If there is something suspicious, the doctors will take it from there.

Remember, chances are high you have handled more breasts than she has, so she might not be aware she has something unusual.

(Experience: Having breast cancer in my circle and also a woman who counts as a risk candidate and has to get regular screenings)

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    Unless the OP is a physician, then I would not recommend including information about lumps likely being being benign. That is a discussion for a medical professional. – kmm Jul 14 at 12:35
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    @kmm: But isn't it objectively true (to humanity's best knowledge) that the majority of lumpy breast tissue is benign? That's a relatively easy to confirm fact that doesn't require medical school. On a similar note, would you leave it to physicians to state that "the majority of instances of unprotected sexual intercourse do not lead to pregnancy"? – David Foerster Jul 15 at 12:15

This is going to be uncomfortable, for the both of you. Albeit, it'd be so much more uncomfortable for her if you never told her and she had to find out on her own.

I suggest you tell her you have something important to say, and lead with the fact that it may be uncomfortable. Explain your concern, about what you've felt, and explain that it may be minor. Suggest that you'd feel much better if she were to have them examined, out of concern for her health and safety.

You might consider sharing your findings with a discussion of a personal/family history of a medical encounter or preventative screening. I disagree about the importance of information over tone. Tone is incredibly important in discussing breast health, particularly in the context of your encounter. She may view this a negative commentary on her breasts. Interpretation is highly variable and any factual data you give will be colored dramatically by her emotional interpretation.

If you are not a physician or medical provider, the data you provide should be scant and heavily framed in the context of your concern. Then there should be a lot of listening, acknowledgment and understanding of what she expresses.

Statistically, any lump in that age group w/o a strong family hx, BRCA1/2, or other genetic disease is overwhelmingly likely to be a cyst, fibroadenoma or fibrocystic change.

Keep in mind that the angst generated by any breast disease is far out of proportion to what you would anticipate as a man. This includes the anxiety associated with workup and the common associated false positives.

I mention one last thing as an aside. Last I read, there actually has been no study showing breast self exam is effective in decreasing morbidity and mortality. Someone feel free to correct me as I have not combed cochrane recently. Much of what is "standard of care" in medicine has no factual basis, but then again, there has never been a double blind study showing parachutes prevent injury from gravitational challenge (look it up in the BMJ).

  • Today I learned that parachutes are a placebo! – ruakh Jul 14 at 4:30
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    "Keep in mind that the angst generated by any breast disease is far out of proportion to what you would anticipate as a man." I take exception at this over-generalisation. – Pharap Jul 15 at 11:06
  • Feel free to take exception; it is a matter of perspective and I respect your opinion of it being an over-generalization. How would you reword it? Perhaps "A significant amount of angst is generated by any breast disease"? There is clear documentation in the literature of the anxiety generated by workup of breast pathology, real or imagined. My statement is not literature based and I really don't know of a study comparing men's perceptions of breast disease to the patient's own perception, but it would be interesting to know. – G_L Jul 16 at 14:09

A significant element with breast lumps is whether they're painful or uncomfortable to touch. Or at least more so than someone generally poking at soft tissue! So instead of asking "Is that normal?", maybe ask "Does that feel uncomfortable? I'm asking because..."

It's not something you can easily mention right now, or perhaps even at the next date. You really don't want to throw in a passion-killer like that on a date!

But if things go "further" in future, then after sex (NOT straight after, but maybe while you're getting dressed?) might be a time when she's not embarrassed at you feeling her breasts, and where you can talk about intimate things like that.

  • That's very important info! She didn't demonstrate the slightest discomfort while I was at it, so that puts me a little at ease. So you don't suggest talking about it ASAP? I'll consider it, but I still plan to bring that up on the next date. – Henrique Bispo Jul 13 at 12:15
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    @HenriqueBispo It's not 100% guaranteed AFAIK, and I'm not a doctor. But soreness is the most significant sign that something is wrong, so if it's not sore then it's less of a concern. Also I don't know how many breasts you've handled, but in my experience they often do have lumpy areas. As well as milk glands, there are also lymph nodes in there too. And since it's fatty tissue, you often get areas of fatty tissue which are more or less dense. That's before you consider anything else like bruising, which also leads to lumps under the skin, and which can be quite deep in for soft tissue. – Graham Jul 13 at 12:27
  • Understood. Indeed it's very likely nothing to worry about, as I indicated, because they can be all these harmless things you said. I just hadn't ever found one in the small sample of ten or so pairs of breasts I've handled. Thank you for your remarks. – Henrique Bispo Jul 13 at 14:38

Direct honesty is the way to go here. You are concerned for her; you are telling her in case she doesn't know; it could be nothing or it could be a big problem, and she needs to find out.

As for the relationship with her, this could destroy it, or it could take it to a much higher level. Willingness to take this kind of risk could greatly elevate the respect she has for you. Telling her this is not a good reason for her to be angry with you, but if she is, well, you said it could just be a one night stand anyway.

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