I am 49 years old,have had a total abdominal hysterectomy , did not take hormone replacements because of a pulmonary emboli I had 2 yrs before. I went through a terrible divorce 5 years ago . Since the divorce I have been severly depressed, we were married 20 yrs with 2 wonderful children and it came as a complete shock! During the last 5 years I have had bladder cancer, diagnosed with Lupus, and one night my back started hurting all of a sudden and it was very intense . So next morning I called my PCP and it was going to be the next day for an appointment so I tried to make it through the night and by 4am I gave up and went to the ER and they did a CT of my abdomen and back. The radiologist that read it called the ER and said to make sure I followed up with my Dr. that I had a 2cm tumor in my T-12 vertabra which could have metastisized from another area in my body . I made an appointment with my friends husband who is a thoracic specialist and he not only ordered an MRI of my T and L Spine but of my knee and blood work because my knee had been swelling and giving me problems but I just thought it was a little wt gain and getting older. When they got the MRI's back I also had a tumor in my Nerve Root L-4 ,in which I see the neurosurgeon in April 2 , because my knee had 2 unexplained torn meniscus and arthritis he shave off during my knee surgery. While I am recovering ,I was showering and decided to do a breast exam in which I haven't done or had a mammogram in over 5 years. My right breast was fine but when I came to the underneath of my Left breast there was a very definite lump , with an oblong shape about 3/4 inches long. I called my gynocologist who delivered my children 22 yrs ago, we had moved and I had seen another Dr. where we moved but I moved back and they got me in the next day (yesterday) . The lump was not sore before he examined it and I nearly came off the table when he mashed very hard on it , I am still hurting from the exam. He said he was not going to ignore it just because it was painful, I also have aunts on my maternal and paternal side who had breast cancer. So he ordered a mammogram for next Monday. I apologize for my whole medical history but I wondered if anything in it could have caused the lump and if the lump could be benign because it hurts since he examined it. But I put quite a bit of pressure on it too and it did not hurt at all. And also could stress cause all this illness because I have been under a lot, besides the divorce I live with my 83 yr.old Mom who has alzheimer's and I am her caretaker but I would not have it any other way, I love her with all my heart, but I continually worry about her. She is not the Mom I used to know and I miss her and feel so sorry for her when she tries so hard to remember my name or my children's or anything else. I am so sorry for my book I just wrote but it does help to tell this continuing story that seems to be getting worse. Thank You so much for listening.
You have had a dreadful time of it over the last few years haven't you and I an so sorry that you are now here, on this forum because of a painful lump.
I also wanted to express my sincere admiration at your strength and ability to keep going under such prolonged pressure.
I did read through your story, and I think your question was in relation to the breast lump being benign because it's painful?
I wish I could give you a huge hug right now, or sit you down and make you a coffee as I can't give you the answer that you are understandably hoping for.
It's a myth that breast cancer isn't painful so unfortunately I can't tell you that your lump is benign based on that symptom alone but what I can tell you. is that only 6% of women with breast cancer have pain as their initial symptom
Another thing to consider here, is that there are reasons for painful lumps that "are" benign such as cysts and hematomas from physical injury.
You do need that mammogram appointment, if only to take some anxiety away from your life and wish I could make the waiting easier.
But I can give you the warmest hug I can from across the internet to let you know that you are not alone, that most breast lumps are benign and that I care.
Please let us know the results of your mammogram as we do like to hear what happens - we really do
My prayers and thoughts are with you and wishing you the best
You certainly have been under a lot of stress! And now on top of everything else, the stress of possible serious health issues as well...
Unfortunately, there's no clear-cut answer to your question of whether all of the stress could have CAUSED all your illness.
At the University of Chicago, they’re studying the stress-breast connection.“There is some evidence that, in fact, the response to stress and unrelenting stress produces a hormone that does increase the size of tumors,” said Dr. Suzanne Conzen, an associate professor at U of C.
That isn't to say, however, that stress CAUSES any specific illness, including breast cancer, although it may be a contributing factor. On the other hand, there are many people under horrific stress who never seem to develop a serious illness, including breast cancer. And there are myraid other factors that raise breast cancer risk.
I think more important than trying to figure out what caused your illness is to continue with the recommended diagnostic evaluation(s) until they find a definite answer regarding what is going on with you medically, and then getting appropriate treatment for whatever problems you have, including your stress.
We'll all be keeping you in our thoughts and wishing you well.
Please keep us posted regarding what you learn, by adding additional comments to this same thread.
Lani, Thank you so much for your kind words and the hug! Just being able to talk to someone else and tell my story and have such a sweet reply means so much. I do have an appointment for a mammogram on Monday @ 2:45 and a follow up appointment with my gynocologist on Thursday to get results. You do seem like the type of person I would like to have a coffee with! I will keep the community posted as soon as I know something. Thank you for your support. And hopefully I will have some good news too share! Also I really appreciate your prayers that is the kindest thing anyone can do for me.
God Bless You, Jan
I just wanted to thank you for your warm welcome to the community! Also sharing your knowledge, which made my level of anxiety go down. It is amazing the power of kind words have over us , I will keep everyone posted as I find out. As you read in my note to Lani I have an appointment for a mammogram on Monday and appointment for results on Thursday and I most definitly will keep you posted. I already feel a part of this community and hope I can help someone else some day!!! Warm regards to you Blue Butterfly, Jan
I'm sorry I haven't posted anything. I've kind of been depressed, in shock, and imagining the worst! I canceled my follow-up appointment last Thursday, I don't know if I mentioned I was diagnosed with Lupus, but by the time I got home from my mammo I had 103 fever and was aching all over, especially my joints. I was having a full blown flare. So I saw my Dr. yesterday and he is referring me to a surgeon on Monday. Don't know if he'll do a lumpectomy,needle biopsy, or what . Really nervous plus I missed appointment with Neurosurgeon so don't know anything about this nerve root tumor which is giving my back fits. Honestly I don't want to know anything but I know I have to face it head on, I'm just really scared! If anyone has had a lumpectomy and it wasn't cancer talk to me. !!! I really was having a flare with my lupus , but I think it was brought on by my stress it is at a level 10+ right now!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for listening to me. Jan
I'm sorry you've had such a severe lupus flare--that's really the pits, esp. when you have so many doctors' appointment, tests, etc., to deal with! Do you have anyone who can help with your caregiving to your mom while you are getting the evaluations done, and possibly needing care, at least briefly, yourself?
I'm concerned about the spinal tumors that were seen on your MRI, and hope you'll be able to get rescheduled with the neurosurgeon soon. And have follow-ups regarding your bladder cancer been okay?
There's no way of knowing the chances for benign results for any specific breast biopsy/lumpectomy, esp. w/o knowing the description of what the the radiologist saw in your mammogram and what BI-RADS Category score was assigned to it, but it may help take the edge off your anxiety (panic?) to know that as an overall average, about 80% come back benign.
Feel free to write anytime you need to "vent" a bit, have additional questions, or have news to report.
I'll continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers,
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