I need your opinions...for the past 5+ years I have had a small lump in my lower underarm - basically between my breast and my underarm. I have had my OB/GYNs check it out during my yearly exams and every year I tell him it concerns me. They say it is 'normal breast tissue'. This does not feel normal to me..it feels like a knotty pebble...about the size of a kidney bean! Add to it that the area between my breast and armpit stays continuously swollen...almost looks like another little puffy breast trying to grow! From time to time, the lump is painful...but lately it has been sore for the past 2 weeks. The pain extends into my arm. My grandmother had to have a mastectomy due to a tumor in her breast. My mother has to go every 6 months for a mammogram because of lumps in her breast due to scar tissue from reduction surgery. Maybe I should also mention that I have also always been top-heavy...36D. I have very dense breasts and through self exams I can tell you I know the difference between my normal breast tissue and this knotty thing below my armpit. Should I just get another doctor? Do I see another OBGYN or what kind of doctor should I go to about this? I am a 29 yr mother of 2 and this really concerns me during a time in history when there are so many reports of breast cancer. Even if it is not cancer, I would like to know exactly what it is and how to get rid of it because it bugs the stew out of me.
Thanks for listening...
The fact that this small lump has been present for 5+ years is a very good indication that nothing significant is present. That being said, the fact that it is painful and distressing to you would lead me to have additional testing done. Have you had your yearly mammogram? Dense breast tissue does make it difficult to diagnose any abnormalities and having a mammogram (preferably a digital mammography) would be helpful in determining whether this is truly "normal breast tissue". If the radiologist has any concerns on the completion of the mammogram a BIRADS score will be given with recommendation for further evaluation to include ultrasound and/or needle biopsy.
I have recently completed all this testing and can truthfully state that the anxiety and concern one feels prior to getting a complete diagnosis is much worse that any testing could ever be!
I had excision of two intraductal papillomas done yesterday and could not have been more relieved that these lesions were found after ultrasound and core biopsy. The majority of "lumps" of this nature are benign and I am hopeful that the same will be true for you. This could be normal breast tissue or a benign cyst or other type of tissue growth unrelated to cancer. Give yourself peace of mind and get it checked out!
Best wishes and take care---
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