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Breast Thickening
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Breast Thickening

I am a 34-year-old woman.  I have had 3 children all were breast feed for 2 plus years.  With my last child, I started to feel discomfort in my left breast last spring.  When it didn't go away after more then 6 weeks, I had been to my OBGYN to rule out an infection, I weaned my son.  By late fall my right breast seemed back to normal, however my left breast still ached and there seemed to be a thickening in the deep tissue.  Just before Christmas I found a lump deep in the breast about in the center of were the tissue thickening is located.  My Ob has ordered a mammogram to be done.  How concerned should I be and what steps should I pursue.  I am worried since I have 3 small children to raise.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Nill, You are doing what is appropriate and having this checked out.  Hopefully all will be well and the lump is due to a benign (non-cancerous) process, which very likely could be the case.  It is always best to have these things evaluated to be sure, and if need be can be treated early.
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Avatar_n_tn
Nill,  I could have written your letter, I am also 34 and have three children, with the birth of my third child I notice that my right breast had an uncomfortable fullness to it before she would nurse.  Since then I have endured folliculitis under my right arm, pain under my arm and pain that shoots into my breast.  I now experience some pain that originates in the breast occasionally as well.  Unfortunately I never preformed self-breast exams before now, so when I feel I have no idea what is normal and what might not be.  When I went to my Dr she thought I might be having some fibro cystic breast she offered to let me have an mammagram, but said that with nursing it might not show anything because of the density.  I now wish I would have insisted on an ultrasound.  My question to you is have you found anything out about what is causing your thickening breast tissue and/or discomfort?  I have been to my Dr several times in the past several months for other things as well and I don't want to go and have her think I am a complete hypochondriac.  Thank you for any input.  tjmmomma
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Avatar_n_tn
If you have a 'thickening' in only one breast, but not the other, GET A MAMMOGRAM!  If your doctor will not authorize it, find one who will!  At age 34, my sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 lobular carcinoma.  For 8 years, the doctor noted 'mild/moderate fibrocystic changes' in one breast.  (As it turns out, the oncology surgeon said it had been there for 8-10 years.)  Lobular carcinoma is characterized by a tumor that is a stringy mass or 'thickening'...not a hard lump that is so often described.  While this is a rare form, especially in younger women, it does happen and tends to be misdiagnosed if you don't fit the usual risk factors.  Fibrocystic disease or 'lumpy breasts' tends to occur bilaterally; cancer is often unilateral.  Please, be safe rather than sorry!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wanted to see how you made out since I am experiencing the same thing..
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.  I'm 18 years old and I'm noticing some changes in my breasts.  About 6-8 weeks ago, my breasts started aching a lot.  I was in excrutiating pain.  My breasts do usually become really firm and swollen and tender around my period cycle so i figured it may be due to that.  However, it didn't go away. The pain has gotten worse and there my left breast feels like there is thickening of the tissue I guess you could say.  It hurts a lot.  It hurts when they're touched, not touched, when they move, or don't move.  The firmness and tenderness has become even more and seems to be increasing.  I don't have any kids.  I'm not sure what's going on.  I have not had it checked out although I did do a self breast exam and i felt no hard lumps instead just tissue but really hard and thick tissue.  I'm not sure what the cause of this is and I'm not even sure what it is.
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