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Dumbbell shaped lesion
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Dumbbell shaped lesion

I have a left breast mass in a dumbbell shape that did not reveal on mammogram or ultrasound, but did present on MRI.  It is palpable and located at approx 1 o'clock in the upper quadrant of my breast.  I am 46 and did have a benign lumpectomy in 2005 for a mass in nearby region of the same breast.
Are dumbbell shaped lesions more indicative of anything?  What are the questions that I should ask my radiologist concerning characteristics that she sees on the MRI?  I am meeting with her tomorrow and want to educate myself with as much knowledge as possible.  Also, will a needle biopsy be definitive in determining what this is?
Thank you to anyone who can help me.

Dona
22 Comments
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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi,
Not all palpable lumps will appear on an ultrasound or mammogram. Each test has it's limitations and what it can pick up,particularly if you have dense breasts.Breast lumps can have different shapes and the great majority are harmless,but it's hard to guess at this point what the mass in your breast may represent.
All I can say is that, if your radiologist thinks that the mass looks suspicious on MRI  films,a  biopsy of some type will follow,because it's the ONLY way to obtain a definite diagnosis.
Please don't jump to any conclusion...The fact that this lump is palpable and appeared only on MRI films, does not make it cancerous or increase the chances of it being cancerous.This could be one of many lumps that could be benign in nature.I am sure your radiologist will let you know, if the mass needs to be either carefully watched or have it biopsied if it looks suspicious.
Best wishes and good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you very much for your reply and information.  My radiologist has recommended biopsy either by excision by a surgeon, or she can do a needle biopsy.  I am thinking I will have the needle biopsy first and then have the mass removed regardless of its nature.  
Are there any specific questions I should ask tomorrow when I meet with her?

Thank again for your time.

Dona
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962875_tn?1314213636
Just a thought for you to consider: If you think you'd want to have the entire lump removed anyway, there would be no need for a needle biopsy.

The excision of the lump would in itself be a more thorough biopsy, as the entire specimen could be examined by the pathologist, not just the small amount that would be removed through a needle.

Best wishes,
bluebutterfly
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587083_tn?1327123862
You are welcome,
There is really not much to ask until you know the final results of your biopsy.
A few days to a week after the biopsy procedure,your Surgeon should explain to you in details the pathology report and inform you what steps should be taken,if any,depending on the results.
I know this is a difficult time to go through,but you haven't been diagnosed with nothing yet and things might turn out to be just fine, I really hope they do.
Keeping my fingers crossed and lets hope for the best...
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you more more than you know....it is hard,  but sometimes amazing how a complete stranger brings you comfort and peace.  I have a beautiful life....just worry about how this will affect the people I love.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for direction.  Just confused on how to approach this.  I appreciate your opinion.  I think I agree...I just want this removed ASAP.

Dona
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587083_tn?1327123862
Yes Dona, I also agree with you and with "bluebutterfly" to have the lesion removed.
If I were you I would also opt to take this lump out of my body so it can be entirely examined by a pathologist.
You are in my thoughts and prayers,and once again I wish you all the best and benign findings! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
You've gotten excellent advice and suppport from zouzi and bluebutterfly,Dona. I'd just like to add that I have opted to have masses surgically removed three times now since 2004. My rationale was like bluebutterfly's: if any were malignant, I'd have to have them removed anyway, so why go through two procedures instead of just one? The excision biopsy is a relatively easy procedure and you're anesthetized through it, which is something I appreciated. I can take pain pretty well, but not while I'm awake and going through it! The recovery is usually quick and easy also---I went dancing the evening after my first one! Of course, everyone is different, but I think you'll be happy if you choose excision biopsy. I also think everyone will agree that the waiting for the results is the worst part of the whole experience. Try to stay positive and just take one step at a time. Like all of us, you'll be able to deal with  
"what is" better than worrying about the "what ifs".
I'm also wishing you an easy biopsy experience and benign results. Please let us know how you're doing if you wish, by adding a note to this thread-we do care.
Sending you a big hug from Michigan (    ),
nc
PS: We have a good friend in Vero Beach, so I've been in your neighborhood a few times! It's a beautiful area.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much....I am humbled by strangers that give of their time to actually care.  I have an appointment today at 1:00 with my radiologist to go over the specifics of what the MRI revealed.  I am holding my breath, but optimistic. I have a beautiful daughter that needs me and that is my focus going forward.  
Where did you visit in Vero?  We are at Johns Island on A1A.

Dona
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Avatar_f_tn
Well...I met with my radiologist...her words...she is very worried about this lesion.  I am scheduled with a surgeon tomorrow morning for a consult at 8:30.   Things are moving somewhat fast now and I am very numb.  MRI revealed findings consistent with a malignant lesion, but I will not know for sure until it is sent to pathology.  I am just not sure how to feel at this point...cling to a hope or brace for the worst.  My lesion is 1 cm x 2cm x 1cm...dumbbell shaped...no defined margins with some fingers extending outward.  I hope to get answers this week.  Thank you to those of you who responded to my questions yesterday.  I appreciate you all very much.

Dona
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962875_tn?1314213636
Hi again,

Sorry to hear that your lesion is worrisome to your radiologist--which of course makes you worry all the more!

As far as what to to feel now, I'd recommend a combination of BOTH of the choices you mentioned: "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." is a good approach for facing most of life's difficult times...

There is no way to know for sure until the pathology report is back, and as others have stated, waiting for the news is the worst part for almost everyone. But please keep in mind that If it does turn out to be a malignancy, there is STILL a lot of room for hope. With all the advancements in treatment, there are many, many  long-term cancer survivors these days!

We'll all be with you, however things turn out--we care!!

bb
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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi Dona,
I am sorry that your MRI results seems to indicate that the lump looks suspicious.However only when the tissue will be examined by a pathologist you will know exactly what is the true nature of this lump.
When meeting with your Surgeon tomorrow,it is likely that a lot of new information will be given to you at a time when you may already feel stressed or overwhelmed.If there is something you do not understand,don't be shy... just ask for clarification.
It would be a good idea to bring a friend or loved one with you.Having an extra pair of ears may help recall and understand the information that is given.Also recording the discussion on a cell phone or a small tape recorder can be really helpful so when you go home and feeling more calm,you can listen again the conversation you had with your Surgeon.
Please let us know how you are doing,we are here to support you and help through this difficult time.
I wish you well and God Bless...
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Avatar_f_tn
Bluebutterfly,

Thank you for your kind response....I guess I am just completely numb.  I have not absorbed the information that I was given today....sitting there looking at films ....and seeing this white mass on an X-ray that I do not know how to respond to.   Right now I am just ready to have this mass removed....nothing more.  My husband is a cheerleader.   Thank you for your support.  If I could hug you....I would.

Dona
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Thank you zouzi,

I so appreciate you taking your time to reach out to me.  Tomorrow is yet another journey as I meet with my surgeon to map a plan.  I am afraid , apprehensive, and feel out of control.  Please say a prayer for me....

Dona
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587083_tn?1327123862
Dona,my heart goes out to you,because I know how you must feel right now...
Not knowing what's going on is a very scary time indeed.
I wish you all the luck in the world and of course I will pray for you. I really hope that everything will proceed smoothly no matter what the biopsy results might be.
I truly believe in the power of prayer... I will surely keep you in mine! ♥
Stay strong !
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Avatar_f_tn
I truly feel for you, Dona, and my thoughts and prayers are with you as you face this stressful and fearful time. I'm hoping your surgeon will be kind and caring and explain everything for you. If not, as zouzi said, please ask for clarification so you'll feel comfortable with what's planned, OK? Stay as positive as you can---I also feel a positive attitude has a lot to do with
how you do medically. Rely on your family and friends for support and you'll get through this. We're all thinking of you and wishing you all the best.
Hugs ♥,
nc
PS: Our friend has a beautiful condo on Hutchinson Island right on the ocean also on A1A!
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Thank you so much for the encouraging and kind words.  Yesterday was a little overwhelming as I met with the surgeon and also my gynecologist.  My surgery is scheduled for May 3 to remove the left breast mass and also another smaller lesion on the right side.  I am really just a jumble of nerves right now...convincing myself this is benign one minutes and fearful that they are malignant., the next minute.  I guess my greatest fear is that it is cancer that it could have spread. One day at a time.  We were hoping to get back to our home in North Carolina soon, but might be here in Vero dealing with this.  Thank you for prayers and concern.  I so appreciate you talking to me...it helps.

Dona
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Avatar_f_tn
Hang in there, Dona---we know this is a really tough time for you and trying to stay calm though it all is easier said than done. Just from what I've read from you, I think you're a strong woman with a good support system and
you'll get through this journey, whatever the outcome of your lesions. As far as treating in Vero or North Carolina, you just need to do whatever feels most comfortable for you and where you feel you'll get the best treatment possible, OK?
I think you'll get through the surgery just  fine and then you can focus on dealing with the pathology results after that. If it helps to know, I've had three sugeries of five different areas, all benign except the last one, which only found LCIS. It's not great, putting me at very high risk for an invasive cancer because of my many other risk factors, but it is WAY better than what it could have been. I am very grateful for that and know many women here have been through so much more than I have. The good thing is that there are wonderful women here who can provide information, advice and support. If you ever want to send a private message to me, please feel free to do so and I'll answer as soon as I can. I'll be thinking of you on the 3rd and hoping and praying for the best
Hugs,♥
nc
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you to everyone who offered advice over the past few weeks.  Unfortunately I was diagnosed yesterday with invasive ductal carcinoma with possible lobular involvement.  Additional path reports will follow.  I am completely numb and have a lot of decisions to make.  I pray all of you Te well.

Dona
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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi,
I am so sorry that you have just been diagnosed with breast cancer,but remember that BC is not a death sentence like it used to be so many years ago.Many of us, here in this Forum, have been able to beat this disease successfully because of new technologies and advanced treatments available.
Getting a cancer diagnosis is overwhelming.I felt the same as you do.....This is going to be a long journey,but take things one step at a time,follow all your doctor's recommendations and with a positive attitude you can beat this disease like many of us did.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I hope that everything goes smoothly for you. God is good and will see you through this!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you.  I met with my radiologist again today.  We are also waiting on my genetic testing results to return which they tell me will determine treatment options.  Does anyone have info in this?

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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi again Dona,
This test for HER2 status is an important part of your diagnosis.This is
done routinely for women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer because it help the doctors determine treatment options,such as hormone therapy,chemotherapy and understand more about the tumor's characteristics.
Her-2/neu tissue testing is recommended along with estrogen and progesterone receptor status testing as part of an initial workup of invasive breast cancer.
Once the results are known,your team of doctors will develop a treatment plan customized for your particular situation.
I hope this help.
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