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Solid Nodules - should I be scared?
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Solid Nodules - should I be scared?

I'm still pretty young and I just found out from the doctor that I have a solid nodule in my breast. I don't go until tomorrow morning to talk to him. But I did have an aunt that had cancer (and died of it). Now I'm actually pretty nervous, should I be?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear miss22:  I am guessing that this was discovered by mammography and/or ultrasound.  If this is the case, a solid nodule needs to be evaluated.  It doesn't mean that it is cancer, necessarily.  However, a biopsy may be recommended.
21 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I did get an ultrasound done two days ago.  I'm figuring I will have to get a biposy done. What are the chances of this being cancer?
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Avatar_n_tn
the chances depend on lots of things; your age, and more detail about what the nodule actually looks like. Even then, numbers are meaningful only when talking about groups of people, not an individual. So unfortuntately no one can give you meaningful odds online. A biopsy will give a definite answer. Your doctor, who knows more detail, might be able to give you a bit of an idea ahead of time.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi,
I am 34 and found a lump on my left breast last week. I called my Gyn, she thought it was only a fibrocyst but to be sure she scheduled an ultrasound (only). It turned out that they found something else. So on the same day they told me I needed to have a mammogram done also. After first set of mammogram, they said they needed to take a couple more, then the radiologist asked me if I ever injured my breast, family history of breast cancer, etc.  I knew something was not right. In the end, the doctor told me "I can't tell what it is" and my Gyn said that he's "suspicious of breast cancer." I am scheduled for biopsy on monday. I am very scared and emotionally drained right now and don't know what to think or who to talk to. The only words in my mind is only "suspicious of cancer"
What kind of things did he see when he said "I can't tell" or "suspicious of cancer" Does that mean that he thinks it's cancer but he wants to make sure with the biopsy? or he really "can't tell"? Also, he didn't tell me what he found in the mammogram result nor explain anything else but 'I can't tell so we are going to do a biopsy' Is this normal? thanks much.
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Avatar_n_tn
You should get a copy of the radiology report.  It probably won't answer all of your questions but will at least give you more specific information.  I'm impressed with the turn around time you're getting from folks there to have a biopsy planned already for Monday.  I started with a questionable mammogram the end of January finally got a radiolory report with suspicious findings March 6 and am still waiting (until next Tuesday) to get in for my biopsy.  Ask lots of questions -- you have the right to know what's going on.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, there is too much of these "suspicios" lumps.  I too had a lump and had an ultrasound done and then a mamm. both reports came back stating fibroadenoma (a fat deposit).  Have they suggested this to you?  I am wondering if I should have it biopsy done on it.  My doctor says not to worry and forget about it since two radiologists have dio. it to be a fibradenoma.  Why are they telling you to bio it, because of the "suspcision"?...will this not lead to scar tissue that will be hard to read through on your next mamm.  I am only 35 also.  We are too young to be put through such stress!
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, there is too much of these "suspicios" lumps.  I too had a lump and had an ultrasound done and then a mamm. both reports came back stating fibroadenoma (a fat deposit).  Have they suggested this to you?  I am wondering if I should have it biopsy done on it.  My doctor says not to worry and forget about it since two radiologists have dio. it to be a fibradenoma.  Why are they telling you to bio it, because of the "suspcision"?...will this not lead to scar tissue that will be hard to read through on your next mamm.  I am only 35 also.  We are too young to be put through such stress!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
    I am 31 and found a lump in my left breast I had a mammogram and ultrasound and the dr. looked at the lump on the ultra sound and said oh yes that is a lump but he called it something I think a fatty deposit and said your ok . I never had a biopsy and I stil feel the lump it feels kindof hard and its still making me nervous should I worry?  My breast area also feels tender. BW
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Avatar_n_tn
There is a lot they can tell from the mammogram and ultrasound but rarely a certainty about whether there is cancer.  There are characteristics which lead them to believe one way or another.  If you trust your Dr., rest easy but be sure to monitor any lumps and follow up to see if there are any changes.  If you don't feel good about it, get a second opinion or insist on a biopsy.  In my case, due to the characteristics seen on the mammogram and ultrasound there is concern about cancer so I'm doing the biopsy.

When I was in my mid-20's (20 years ago) I found a lump, had a mammogram and lumpectomy (recommended by Dr.) even though he said he was 95% sure it was only fibrocystic changes.  The surgery caused a lot of scar tissue and I ended up having a second surgery 1.5 years later and to remove a quarter section of my breast and the scar tissue.  I was young and ignorant and we didn't have the internet or great resources like this for information back then.  Otherwise I probably would not have had the original sugery.  When I went to a breast clinic a year or two later they told me not to go back to that Dr.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, we are all devastated with this. I am especially when my Gyn told me "suspicious of cancer"
Can any experts/surgeons help with my/our concerns above?
thanks much.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can only say that the biopsy will give the answer; "suspicious" is a commonly used term, often just to make sure that it's dealt with aggressively. By far it is true that many lumps felt to be "suspicious" turn out to be ok. But you will not know, and will necessarily worry, until you have the report back. It's scary for everyone. But even when it turns out to be cancer, the odds of cure are very high when found early.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I had my first mamogram (mammogram) on Thursday and they found what they though was a cyst or perhaps a cluster of cysts on my right breast.  I had scheduled the mamogram (mammogram) because of some pain in my left breast, but as it turned out that breast was normal.  An ultrasound showed that the "lump" found in my right breast wasn't fluid filled so thus it isn't a cyst.  The lump is fairly large, a couple of CM's and the hospital Doctor really glossed over the possibility of cancer.  He did however suggest that I have the lump removed, not just a biopsy.  He commented that it was fairly round which made it lean towards non-cancerous.  He showed me the mamogram (mammogram) x-rays and the lump didn't look too round to me.  When I told him that, he commented that yes, but it was hard to tell, thus the importance of a biopsy.  He then told me that he wouldn't want it to get even a mm bigger, so we needed to move quickly.

I now have the option of going to a Breast Surgeon/Doctor (it will take a month), or going to a small town surgeon (in rather quickly).  Should I wait for the Breast Surgeon?  Not only would she be more familiar, but I would assume that the scaring might be less?  Has anyone even heard of a Breast Doctor?  

Thanks,

Renie1
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm also in a fairly small town where there are limited resources. I had my biopsy/lumpectomy done by a general surgeon here.  He has had a fair amount of experience doing breast surgery even though it is not his specialty and I feel he did a good job.  It did take almost 3 weeks to get in to see even him and my primary care doctor was pushing me to consider going elsewhere to get action sooner.

If I were you, I'd make appointments with both the local surgeon and the breast surgeon.  Once you meet with the local surgeon, you can decide if you're comfortable with him/her.  If not, you can follow through with the other surgeon or you can cancel that appointment if you're satisfied with the first doctor.  It may cost you a bit more but at least you can feel like you're moving forward and get another perspective on your situation.

In my case, the lump was deep in my breast against the chest wall and the incision was probably larger than usual (a little over 2").  Still the scar is not bad even just 2 1/2 weeks post surgery.  Depending on where the lump is, they may do the incision around the aereola so that it will be pretty well hidden -- that's what they did with my first two biopsies and the scar is hardly noticeable.  Most surgical "biopsies" include removing the whole lump along with some of the surrounding tissue.  About the only time they don't do that is when the lump is very large.

Good luck and I hope everything turns out OK for you.

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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the insight.  I'm still very nervious and "freaked out" over this.  I'm only 35, with no history of cancer, so my chances should be good.  You mentioned that they have to take out a large amount of tissue.  Do you have a significant difference in size?  A friend had a cancerous growth removed and eventually had to have reconstructive / augmentation to correct the look of her breast.  She was more than 1 cup size difference in size and her nipple pointed to an odd angle on the breast she had the surgery on.

I hope your results were good.  

Renie1
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Avatar_n_tn
My earlier surgeries were on my right breast -- first a lumpectomy then a partial mastectomy to clean up problems from the first surgery (mainly excessive internal scar tissue).  This was 20+ years ago when I was in my early 20s and surgery was very different from now.  My right breast was never really "misshapen" afterward and the area has since somewhat filled in (with fat tissue, I assume) but my left breast is noticeably larger (at least to me).  

This time the biopsy was on my left breast and I kinda hoped it would even things out -- it really hasn't.  There is still a little swelling and fluid as things are still healing but there is a "dimple" on the side of my breast around the area of the scar and below. Definitely nothing that I would term disfiguring.  The mass they took out was 6 x 3 x 2 cm whereas the "lump" was only about 1 cm.  It was benign fibroadenoma -- a very good finding.  A lot depends on the size and shape of your breasts now.

Talk to the surgeon about your concerns including any cosmetic concerns.  I told them I was less concerned this time with the external scar and more concerned with avoiding the problems I had last time.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm glad your results were good!

I saw a surgeon yesterday.  We have scheduled an "incision biopsy" for Friday.  I will also go to the radiologist to have a needle insertion since the lump is not palpable.  My surgeon believes that it is probably fibroadenoma but says that we need to be sure.  My surgeons diagnosis seems to be based upon my unlikelyhood of having cancer - 35, no history of family cancer, breastfed children, etc.  

My lump has "clusters" in it, so the surgeon believes that a complete removal of the lump would be best - all of the clusters could be tested for cancerous cells.  

Have you ever heard of these clusters?  I can only find them in the context of calcification clusters, but no one has mentioned that to me yet.  Did your fibroadenoma have any such clusters?  On the x-rays, the clusters look like little grapes all bunched together to make up one unit.  

Thanks

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Avatar_n_tn
Glad to hear you are moving forward with things.  At least once you have the lump removed you will know what it is -- the peace of mind is worth the pain and hassle of the surgery.  The sooner you get through this the sooner you can get on with your life.

My lump (fibroadenoma) seemed to be pretty solid -- from what I saw on the ultrasound and when they did the wire placement.  I did have some calcifications in that breast but it was in a different area and seemed to not be of concern.  I know fibroadenomas can have calcifications but haven't heard of other types of "clusters".  If you can get in to post a new question, you might ask -- the "experts" don't normally respond to these subsequent posts.

At this point, since you've made the decision for the removal of the lump, try not to sweat these things -- I know that's easy to say.  I drove myself crazy diagnosing all the details of my situation but one of the major things for me was that none of the doctors ever said it's probably nothing or that it was probably fibroadenoma (something that is more common at your age).  They all seemed very concerned.

Good luck and keep in touch with your progress and the results of the biopsy.  If you want to contact me separately, my email is: ***@****

Janet
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Snowwoman

I had my surgery on Friday and am back to work on Monday.  The surgery itself wasn't that bad.  The needle loc didn't go very well, it took about 1 & 1/2 hours to "find" instead of the expected couple of minutes.  That meant I missed my surgery scheduled time and had to be worked into my surgeons schedule later that day.  

The good news is that my surgeon believes that my lump is probably benign (just by the looks).  It will take about a week to get the true results, but it is a real relief to get the surgeons opinion.  

I really had a tough time dealing with all of this.  I am glad I have an office, because I often had to shut the door and break down and cry.  I really appreciated this website so much and I appreciated all of the help you gave me too.  I felt like I knew a lot more about what to expect for the surgery as well as the recovery.  Now I just await the final results - and hopefully just a confirmation of the surgeons findings!

Thanks again,
Renie1
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Avatar_n_tn
Glad to hear all went well on Friday.  Will keep good thoughts coming your way as you await the pathology results.

My needle loc ended up taking about 2 1/2 hours.  They had wanted to do it by mammography but could only see the spot on the side view and need to be able to see it on 2 different views to do it that way.  So we ended up going over to the ultrasound dept. and doing it there.  Once they were set up, it didn't take long and went pretty easily.  They were concerned whether what they saw on ultrasound was the same thing so we had to go back to mammography for a couple more shots to decide that they were comfortable with what they had.  My surgery wasn't scheduled until mid-afternoon so I still had 4+ hours to burn before the surgery.

I also found this forum and some folks who reached out a big help in dealing with the stress of the situation.  Keep up the good thoughts and let us know the final results.

Janet
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Avatar_n_tn
I called my surgeon today to ask about the pathology report.  The results were a fibroadenoma - the same as yours I think.  I'm so relieved!  Now just to get on with the healing - which has so far been pretty easy.  My lump was a lot easier to get to and smaller than yours.

I saw that you posted a question about fluid and swelling.  I hope that clears up for you.  

Good luck with everything!  This website is great!  What a tool!

Renie1
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Avatar_n_tn
Great news!!!  Glad to hear you're doing well and hopefully all will be back to normal soon.

Janet
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