Thickened tissue in the breast which feels abnormal to the touch. Nowadays almost everyone is aware of the necessity of paying careful attention to possible tumours of the breast, and more and more women are undertaking self-examination. Tumours of all kinds occur after the age of sexual maturity, and after the menopause they are even more suspect. If a woman discovers a lump in a breast she should check the following points: does it alter under influence of the menstrual cycle; does it get bigger; if so, how quickly; how long has it been there, and has anything that could have caused it (such as haemorrhage after a fall). In many cases the tumour will turn out to be benign, but this has to be proved. An outpatients’ department should make an X-ray or sonograph of the breast and sometimes fluid or tissue is removed from the tumour for microscopic examination (biopsy). If it is still not certain that it is benign then it breath, shortness of (dyspnoea) The feeling of not getting enough air, often connected with a low level of oxygen and high level of carbon dioxide in the blood. The latter condition stimulates the respiratory centre in the brain (causing a feeling of shortness of breath), which then causes the lungs to make respiratory movements. If one deliberately holds one’s breath, it is this mechanism that makes it impossible to avoid taking a breath in due course. One form of shortness of breath is familiar to everybody: being ‘out of breath’ as a result of physical exertion, but this should not occur as a result of light activity. Shortness of breath in such cases can occur in lung conditions such as CARA, serious anaemia, and heart diseases. Heart failure in particular can cause constriction through occasional accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Acute shortness of breath causes anxiety – in an attack of asthma, for example, in which the air passages are narrowed and exhalation is restricted. An entirely different type of shortness of breath is hyperventilation, in which the victim is anxious, fears that he is not getting enough air, and breathes too much. In this case blood-oxygen levels are normal.