Breast Cancer Expert Forum
thickening in breast
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thickening in breast

Is it common to have increased thickening around the time of your period? I have noticed there are a few spots that have a soft rubbery thickening especially towards the top side of my breast..it is also very tender..my doctor said to try vitamin e and evening primrose oil because she said my breast are very cystic but more so on the right. What kind of thickening is associated w/ cancer
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Dear renie:  Thickening and discomfort are common during the menstrual cycle.  This is why the general recommendation is to do breast self examinations after your menstral cycle.  Breast cancer generally feels like a hard lump that does not move around.
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If you have a 'thickening' in only one breast, but not the other, GET A MAMMOGRAM!  If your doctor will not authorize it, find one who will!  At age 34, my sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 lobular carcinoma.  For 8 years, the doctor noted 'mild/moderate fibrocystic changes' in one breast.  (As it turns out, the oncology surgeon said it had been there for 8-10 years.)  Lobular carcinoma is characterized by a tumor that is a stringy mass or 'thickening'...not a hard lump that is so often described.  While this is a rare form, especially in younger women, it does happen and tends to be misdiagnosed if you don't fit the usual risk factors.  Fibrocystic disease or 'lumpy breasts' tends to occur bilaterally; cancer is often unilateral.  Please, be safe rather than sorry!!!
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