Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Worried about Breast Cancer
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Questions posted in the Breast Cancer Forum are answered by medical professionals and experts. Topics include Breast Biopsy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, Lumps, Lumpectomy, Lymph node dissection, Lymphedema, Mammograms, Mastectomy, Radiation Therapy, Reconstruction, Self Breast Exam, and Surgery.

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Worried about Breast Cancer

Hi there. In 6/05, I went for a mammogram (I am 37 right now) because my ob/gyn found what he thought was a cyst and/or lump with inflammation on left upper outer quadrant of breast. I went for mammo and everything came out fine - the report said BIRAD 2. It said I had very dense breasts and asymmetric parenc something noticeable.  Even though it said on the report and the ob/gyn there was a definate abnormality there, it was clear. No u/s performed at that time.

For the last 6 weeks, I have had dull aching pains on my left side of my breast and sometimes goes down my arm. I went to my ob/gyn and he felt a definate abnormality again, but more pronounced, he said definately changes there. He said "come back 1-2 days after your period stops and we'll re-check". I did that and he said it was still there. He said he's sending me for another mammo and this time to include an u/s as well.  This is scheduled for the 29th.  

My grandmother had BC and my mother has fibrocystic breasts, so I am very worried about what my outcome might be. My ob/gyn checked my heart (I thought I was having heart problems since the pain sometimes felt it was going down my arm) and said it sounded good, but could understand that whatever he felt could cause some pain. He said better to be safe than sorry, so he's requesting another mammo. He said "our exams are not perfect and neither is our technology, so it's better to re-check and if it's the same as last time, we'll assume it's just a cystic breast and move on" treat it with non steroid antinflammatory (which I'm on now for the pain). What do you think? The mass is definately there along w/pain, is it normal to have a dull ache/pain in breast if it's cancer?  This is not "cyclic" I know what cyclic pain is for sure. Thanks.

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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Spankyandrex: Breast pain is not uncommon and there are many possible explanations, the most common being associated with the menstrual cycle. Most breast cancer is not painful. Since there is a palpable abnormality (something that can be felt), it is generally appropriate to investigate further. Hopefully, the mammogram and ultrasound will help determine the cause of the abnormality and will give some direction as to what further investigation, if any, needs to be done.
18 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there - I think you are right to be concerned. I had urgent spiky pains under my armpit and down my right arm at least 2 years before being diagnosed. Put it down to old age (58 yrs then) and arthritis. I had a 3 yrly mammo under our socialised health service and was recalled. Nobody ever asked me about the pains in my arm, and I didn't think it relevant at the time, but they found a 2 cm invasive tumour in that breast, which was not palpable, by either me or my GP. It was quite a shock - and even a further one when they found cancer in my lymph nodes during the lumpectomy. Explains the shooting pains, with hindsight.

I would get it checked out - unexplained pain always warrant some kind of investigation. Rather be safe than sorry.
Take care and hope it turns out benign.
Liz.

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Avatar_f_tn
can I ask...what kind of BC were you diagnosed with then?  Did you have any other symptoms to speak of?  Did you actually find a lump in your breast before you went in for a mammo/us?  Thanks and thanks for responding to my question.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's always a good idea to check out any changes in your breast. Maybe they'll do some type of biopsy to get more information. Just remember that although it "might" be cancerous, the chance of it being benign is very high. I had a biopsy for a lump that beame more prominent over time and it was thankfully benign. I hope yours turns out benign alsol.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would say that if you feel like you need to get it checked out more, then do it.  I found a lump in April last year and it was painful.  It was however on a nerve they told me.  The ultrasound is a good idea. I had 2 lumps that were cancer.  One was so small that it never showed up on mamo or ultrasound.  They found it when they were removing the first lump that we found.  The first lump was noticedable on mamo and ultrasound.  I have had several cysts, once they get an image of it they can tell if it is a cysts or a lump.  I'll pray for a cysts.

You might just ask for a biospy or a lump removal once they see someting.  They are both very easy and a breast specialist can do them in the office.  I had a biospy that was not ultrasound guided, it came back not cancerous.  The lump hurt worse so I asked for them to just numb up the area and cut it out.  When he did this he sent the lump in for tests and I had infiltrating duct. carc. stage 1.  I was lucky that I kept up the process to have it checked out.  For me, it saved the speading of cancer.  The doctor had told me that we would wait 6 monthes and he would have looked at it again.  Good think I did not wait.  The cancer had already started to spead.  I am not trying to scare you.  I just want you to know that if you feel like you need to do more, than you should.  It would make you feel better and it takes care of you.  
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Avatar_f_tn
You are right. I am going to do more.  When I go in next Thursday and if they see the lump on u/s or mammo, I am going to demand a biopsy of it. I'm sick of this...I know it's something more than a cyst, I just have a gut feeling... you know?  Considering the history in my family and also the "symptoms" I've been having like a gnawing pain in my left breast now becoming more and more prominent throughout the day.

THANK YOU
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, thanks a lot.  I am aware of the cyclic pain in breasts.  I'm 37 yrs. old and have that EVERY month unfortunately.  This is different and this is what prompted me to go in along with the palpable abnormality.  I will let you know all the outcome next week hopefully.  Thank you again for replying.
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127512_tn?1193745816
I found a small pea size lump that my OBGYN and PC told me they thought it was nothing. My PC did send me for a mamo and it was DCIS but upon masectomy it was found to be invasive breast cancer. I hope it is nothing but catching it early would be a good thing.
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Avatar_n_tn
A year ago at routine mammogram, I was told I had a small simple cyst.  Had been having breast pain so I had fluid removed.  When doing that (via ultrasound) it was noticed that I had multiple tiny cysts.Fluid proved cyst benign.  Followup at 4 months, told everything fine.  Now 6 months later on mammogram, report says scattered fibroglandular tissue present, benign appearing nodule still present. catergorized as Birads 3 .Told to do another mammogram in 1 year to follow up.
For the last three months, I've been having pain in that breast( much worse than before cyst was drained a year ago). Pain is a burn that goes along right side of breast and feel a wave of numbness down arm to fingers.  Comes in waves). It's not cyclic.  I'm going to a specialist on Monday.  Feel like i should have a biopsy done for peace of mind. I'm 43 and my grandmother had breast cancer.  Can anyone offer advice?
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Avatar_f_tn
PLEASE post back and let us know what the breast specialist does or says?  I am interested in your diagnosis or what happens. I will say a prayer for you as well.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been reporting new lumps palpated to my Dr. since 2003.  Last year I was called back for an ultra sound; the impression was dense, nodular parenchymal pattern without significant change since 2003.  BIRADS 3, Ultra sound reviled small 5x7 mm cyst, 9 o'clock position, in right breast, nonspecific, thickened, but otherwise normal appearing breast tissue upper, outer quadrants of both breasts.  Follow-up in one year or prn.  This information was not seen until today does any one have insight?

I was sent a letter that stated no findings and to follow up when I turn 40; that would have been 5 years.  I relaxed and now I wonder if I should have?  I have had swollen anodes bi-lat in the neck since last summer.  There are also multiple lumps above my breast palpated on the ribs.  My breast are rather large and not where they use to be.  I final went back to my Dr. just one year later because of new lumps felt.  It is very hard to distinguish between benign and malignant cyst.  

I can not sleep tonight because I am being sent for a MRI in the morning with a mammogram.  I have read that a cyst over 1mm has a higher risk of being malignant?  Is there any thing else I should be doing?


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Avatar_f_tn
Please report back and let us know what you find out.  I am very interested.  You have about the same things going on as I do. I have my MAMMO/US on Thursday morning at 10:40.  GOOD LUCK and I'll pray for you that it's B9.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Spankey,

I hope everything turns out well for you.  Unfortunately I know how you feel....I have had the same symptoms for months now.....the knawing aching pain sometimes in the breast and down the arm.....does yours hand ever feel like it's trying to swell from it?  Do to no insurance I have been unable to get the mammogram and Ultrasound done that my Dr. wanted to do.  Finally I found a state program for precancerous or breast cancer conditions.  I applied last week and should be appoved within a month.

Some of the dr's I have seen have wrote off breast cancer because of my age, I'm 28 and no family history of breast cancer.  They also tell me that it doesn't hurt when you have breast cancer.  But I am still really concerned....I want to make sure.  And as each day goes by I get more and more worried....the pain seems to get more and more frequent.  

But again I hope everything turns out good for you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Can I post a question to a doctor, and how do you do it? I am concerned. My left breast leaks light brown fluid on its own. I had a mamagram, but it was negative. Is there anything else i can do?
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Avatar_f_tn
They only allow 2 questions per day so sometimes it's hard to get there first. I find weekends early in the morning works best to get questions posted. I don't know much about leaky breasts but I see some women have a ductogram when questionable fluid leeks out. Did the doctor say anything about that? I also thought they try to send some of the fluid to pathology.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,
I'll be 39 this year with BC in my family (aunt, paternal grandmother).  Just had my 3rd yearly mammo/US.  I'm very worried this time because I was told I has a small cyst, which may account for the pain I've been feeling in my left breast all the time.  The technician who performed the ultrasound told me this like it was no big deal, but when I pressed about the other images of my breast she avoided discussing them with me.  Her evasiveness has me worried!  Who knows when this info will get to my OB/GYN and why can't they just tell you what's going on?  My mother said that if there was something suspicious, they would have repeated the mammo/us right then and there and typically don't let you leave right away.  Has anyone found this to be the case?  I can't even tell you how many times I canceled this app't. due to pure fear.  I would welcome any feedback.

Thanks.
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127512_tn?1193745816
I would make the office answer your questions. All of them. You have a right to know what they are thinking. If they are thinking it is a cyst then they should asperate it to make sure. They can take the fluid out. If it is not they should biopsy it. Again I would demand answers. You should not have to worry like this.
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Avatar_f_tn
I find some technicians very evasive (even when things are fine) while others tell you everything you want to know. Technically they are not supposed to diagnose our problems. I'd call the radiologist's office or doctor's office and ask for a copy of the report. Then you'll know what the radiologist thinks.
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