Hello and welcome to Medhelp. Sorry for the delay in response. What an excellent question. Doctors usually make firm recommendations and guide patients based on their unique situation. Some things like calcifications are removed usually during biopsy. But often things like a benign lump will just require monitoring. This is what they recommended for you? Did they recommend any routine checks of the mass via mammography say at one year or two year intervals? Normally it should be fine but I would most certainly monitor yourself through self breast examination and stay on whatever recommended mammograph schedule they have for you. Here is a nice article on proper self breast exam https://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/breast-self-exam#1
Do they describe your breast tissue as dense, do you know?
The most common breast mass in someone your age is a benign fibroadenoma. Look at the wording in the radiology report. If the mass is described as oval in shape, parallel in orientation, and circumscribed in margins, then that is good. If the mass is described as irregular in shape, not parallel in orientation, and not circumscribed in margins, then that is bad. If the mass has some features of both categories, then biopsy may be warranted.
Most expert groups no longer recommend monthly self-exams for breast cancer screening. While women used to be encouraged to check their breasts regularly for changes and abnormalities, this can increase the chance of needing an unnecessary breast biopsy, which can be associated with increased anxiety, expense, and pain. However, if you start noticing things like unilateral nipple discharge that is bloody or clear, then that is concerning.
Do NOT do thermography! The FDA has issued the following alert/warning: "There is no valid scientific data to demonstrate that thermography devices, when used on their own or with another diagnostic test, are an effective screening tool for any medical condition including the early detection of breast cancer or other diseases and health conditions. Mammography is the most effective breast cancer screening method and the only method proven to increase the chance of survival through earlier detection."