Hi. Thanks for this discussion. When you are in the midst of such a thing yourself, it really helps to hear other peoples' experiences.
I just got some results back from a mammogram and ultrasound. The mammogram came back completely normal, but my breast tissue is apparently quite dense, and this might be why. I'm 40 years old.
Anyway, the ultrasound found an 8mm x 4mm x 4mm structure at 10:00, 4cm from nipple of the left breast with hypoechoic sections. The more troubling part is that it has an irregular border.
There is no history of any kind of cancer, and no breast cancer in my family, and I had the mammogram and ultrasound done because of some sporadic pain in my arms and the outside of my breasts on both sides.
The GPs felt that the pain was just muscular pain, but sent me for these tests just for reassurance it was nothing serious, and in fact a week before the scheduled tests the pain went away completely (and was not excruciating pain at all, hardly worth noticing... I just tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac so I always get things checked out). The right breast revealed two small, normal cysts. Ironic really, since we were pretty much all expecting everything to come back quite normal... it felt like a big slap in the face when there was an abnormality found!
The recommendation is that they can't be sure this one in the left breast is just a cyst because of the irregular border and therefore that a Fine Needle biopsy should be done.
After much reading, I do see the value in just getting the biopsy over with, but I'm terrified nonetheless, of both the needle in the breast, but even more so the long wait for the result! Those of you who have been in this situation, I know you understand how I'm feeling. Any words of advice or reassurance are welcome.
I have had my GP refer me to a well-renowned surgical oncologist here in Sydney for the actual biopsy, as I want to make sure someone with a lot of experience with these sorts of things is the person making the final diagnosis.
I guess I am more scared because I have had a superficial spreading melanoma before and I quite certainly understand the significance of an irregular border. Irregular border = bad!
Does anyone know how accurate an irregular border on an ultrasound is... or in fact how reliable ultrasound findings really are? I had my boobs smashed with a mammogram only minutes before the ultrasound and I'm wondering if that could have influenced the shape of the masses found on the ultrasound.... although I guess that's probably just wishful thinking, as the two other cysts have clean borders, while the left breast border looks choppy. Not good!
First of all ... having things checked out is being "smart" ... not necessarily "hypochondriac". The tests (mammogram and ultrasound) are quite accurate in their individual findings/they both see different things and are very often used together for a complete picture. The biopsy is definitely a necessary step to a final diagnosis. Just because a finding has a smooth or irregular edge, only a biopsy can tell for sure if either is serious or not. Please do have this done and put your mind at ease. You know deep down that not knowing is much worse. Best Wishes .......
Don't worry, I'm fully planning to get this done ASAP.
After a bit more reading, it's comforting to know that Fine Needle Aspiration (officially anyway) is regarded as no more painful than a simple blood test.
I have an appointment on Wednesday and just want to get it over with ASAP. The waiting is SO hard!
It's just frustrating to not understand how much more serious the irregular border makes it likely to be... but I guess from the vagueness I see reported on irregular borders all over the place, you are right that it is just simply impossible to know for sure without a biopsy.
However, the two smooth cysts are not being biopsied, so obviously the irregularness is of concern.
I'm glad you're getting this taken care of right away. I'm not sure the FNA will be quite as comfortable as drawing blood ... it shouldn't be too bad though. You know the waiting isn't over when it's actually done; you'll then have to wait for the results ... waiting is the worst. Good luck, keep us posted and feel free to come back with any questions or concerns you might have ......
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