Hi, My name is Vicky, about 9 months ago I visibly discovered a pea size hard, unmovable lump in the top/center left side of my right breast. Twice over the last months I have experienced a very painful burning sensation with redness and swelling over the lump that last about 2 -3 days then returns to no pain/redness/swelling at all but the lump remains. Now the Lump is about the size of a Thumbnail (on a finger not a picture) and for about 6 months there has been an indent in my skin over the Lump. The Lump is quite visible when I move my arms, it is very hard and doesn't seem to move around at all. I am concerned, but feel since I have experienced the temporary pain and redness that it most likely is not Cancer. Any suggestions what I should do? I am kind of nervous about seeing a doctor, I am 52 yrs old and going through peri-menopause, could it be related to that?
Dear Vicky: Without examination, including clinical breast examination as well as mammogram and/or ultrasound, we cannot speculate on what this lump might be. The general rule of thumb with any new lump is that it requires further evaluation. While most breast cancer is not painful, pain does not rule out the possibility of cancer. As this lump has been there for 9 months and has gotten larger, our recommendation is that you call your doctor and have this evaluated as soon as possible.
I had a lump high up in my chest wall, that I found by accident. It was about the size as a pea and hard. My family doctor told me not to worry about it, just a cyst. I have had cyst in my breast since I was 15 yrs of age, and they swelled every month with my periods and was very painful. This pea size lump wasn't. Six months later I go to a different doctor because it was getting larger and he said no just a cyst nothing to worry about. Still I was worried. About a month or so after that I decided to make an appointment with another physician because it was starting to grow faster. Still no pain. When she looked at it, she squeezed it, and askied if it hurt and I said NO. She rushed me in for an Ultrasound which showed it was solid and oval which can indicate cancer. She sent me to a surgeon just a couple days after my initial visit with her and I had to have a lumpectomy done. 5 days later I got the call that he wanted to see me. I was in shock and new right away it was cancer which he confirmed. When in doubt check it out!! Never stay at home worrying about something that if left unchecked can mean the difference between life and death. I was only 34 when diagnosed and I had to have another surgery, chemo and radiation because it went invasive during the nine months of being told it was just a cyst. Please go to the doctor and get checked out, they are there to help you, and you wouldn't be on this site if you weren't concerned that it is cancer. I hope it is nothing. I am 40 now and have 5 years with no recurrence but if I waited longer my outcome may not have been so good!
Think how good you will feel if you get it checked out and it turns out you can stop worrying about it! Although I am still waiting for my mammo, ultrasound, and possible biopsy, it made me feel better just to go to my doctor and get the process started. As soon as I saw him and got set up for further tests, it was like part of the worry was in the doctor's hands, so I could let some of my own anxiety go. Of cousre, I still have a lot of anxiety even after letting that little bit go!
Please see you doctor for a clinical examination and have a mammogram or ultrasound ordered to confirm a dx. I wouldn't ignore it. Anything unusual should be checked out. This is not meant to be rude or condenscending: You are a woman and you are complicated, especially in perimenopause. Breasts are part of your body and you must do everything you can to keep them healthy, including having a doctor examine them. YOU SHOULD NEVER BE AFRAID OR NERVOUS TO DO THIS.
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