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Avatar universal

Breast lump from bruise

3 weeks ago I believe I bumped my left breast on my bedroom door handle.  A few days later a large lump appeared with a faint yellow sheen on it.  Within days a massive bruise covered 2/3rd's of my breast..I take warfarin so am used to this occurring.  The bruise has all but gone now, but the lump is still there, still the same size and very prominent.

I went to the urgent care centre today, hoping they might be able to treat the lump immediately if it was found to be a Hematoma which needed draining or anything. The doc who examined me said that the lump was quite large for the kind of injury I described, thought I ought to have fallen over to get such a large lump, and said that it may just be a result of the trauma, but has recommended a Mammogram be taken asap.  He asked me to make an appt. with my doctor for tomorrow, so that the mammogram can be ordered.

Has anyone had similar circumstances?  I know that I was concerned that a lump may have been developing on another part of my left breast in the days before this one appeared, and that I can barely remember bumping my breast, so was unsure whether or not the lump/bruising was from an injury, but the bruise did take the typical route of all bruises as in colour changes, spreading due to gravity and use of warfarin etc.
29 Responses
587083 tn?1327120262
As your doctor has suggested,this lump and bruise could be from the injury you sustained...but of course he cannot be sure of that.Ordering a Mammogram is the right thing to do to make sure that there isn't an underlying problem..and also to check the developing lump that you suspected having in the same breast,prior to the injury.
I really hope that it's nothing serious,but it's always safer to have lumps in the breasts investigated.Please let us know,if you wish,about the results of your Mammogram.
Wishing you all the best...
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply.  I've been telling myself all the time that this is just going to be a hematoma or, as the doctor mentioned today, a fatty deposit as a result of injuring myself..but I'm sure you know how difficult it is to be positive.  My sister in law died from breast cancer in 2003 and I know her initial lump was quite big when it first presented..I suppose I've been a little obsessed by every lump and bump in my own breasts since then..I did have a lumpectomy in my right breast 3 years ago, but that was a benign lump, very small too, fortunately.

Thanks for your reassurances regarding the mammogram..I was saddened that the procedure couldn't take place today, that I have to wait to receive my GP's referral for it, but I will try to be patient and will let you know when I have some results from it..

All the best,
492898 tn?1222243598
There also seems to be some relationship between bruises caused by injury to the breast and cancerous tumors. I do not know how often this happens but a lump growing and covered by a bruise due to an injury is not always a reason to ignore it.

Avatar universal
Thank you Katrin, I was concerned about this, amongst other things...I've been watching these forums for the whole 3 weeks, looking up messages about bruises, breast lumps, hematomas, lol..drove myself mad!
Avatar universal
It occurred to me earlier that the doctor who examined me stated that the lump could be fatty deposits from the injury..I presume he meant Fat Necrosis?  Has anyone had to deal with this, in a largish lump, and was the lump surgically removed or were you just advised to use heat to compress the lump so that it is re-absorbed more quickly?

I think it would be great if this is the diagnosis I am finally given following the mammogram and/or other procedures.

Thanks for the replies so far :)
587083 tn?1327120262
Hi again,
Even if fat necrosis is on the list of possibilities,a biopsy is usually needed to confirm it.
Fat necrosis is a firm, round lump that forms in an area of fatty breast tissue that has been damaged. This may be from previous surgery to the breast or a bruise or injury to the breast. The lump is usually painless, and the skin around it may look red, bruised or dimpled..Sometimes an MRI might also be done to further evaluate following mammogram and Ultrasound.I wouldn't apply any warm compresses until you find out for sure that it's indeed fat necrosis.
I am afraid that no one will know for sure about the nature of this lump without all the proper testing.Try to stay calm and not to worry so much, everything could turn out just fine.
Best wishes and good luck.
Avatar universal
Thanks again Zouzi..of course you're right, until results from scans etc are seen, we are playing a guessing game..I suppose I was trying to tell myself the least dangerous things that the lump could be, to try to stop myself from panicking too much.

This morning I went to my GP appt. and she faxed a request for the mammogram to the hospital, said it could take up to 2 weeks for the appt. to come thru.  I stayed calm, as I usually do in public, but must admit that her facial expression, softened voice after examining me, and her words 'well, we just have to hope it isn't something nasty like breast cancer, try not to worry about it' didn't make me feel overly reassured, lol.  Apparently the lump is hard, 5-6cms in size and maybe attached as she said it was doing 'something' to the skin around it, but I couldn't decipher her mumbles!

I will try my best not to keep posting my every day ideas about it, except to acknowledge replies to me, all of which I much appreciate..
962875 tn?1314210036
Wow, your PCP sure missed the target if her comments were meant to reassure you, huh?    Somehow, the words "breast cancer" and "try not to worry" just don't fit together very well... :-(

Feel free to post anytime. None of us can provide THE ANSWER, of course  (beyond the good info Kat and zouzi  have already provided), but at least we can listen and commiserate. The waiting is always so difficult!

Best wishes...
Avatar universal
Thank you Bluebutterfly..you're right, those words just don't make you feel good, sadly.  I am trying to just get on with things as usual, but can't help knowing this is in the back of my mind now all the time..Last nite I was so down, so fed up, I've never considered private medicine before, and don't think I'll start now really, but this is the first time I've felt tempted to do it..I'm just too impatient these days..

Reading others' stories on here does make me feel better tho, and reassured..
962875 tn?1314210036
Hi again,

Hope you're doing a little better than you were on that low night when you last wrote. (Sorry, I didn't notice your post until just now.)

Did you get the impression that your APPOINTMENT would be in a couple of weeks (fairly fast, even for th USA), or that it could take that  long for the REFERRAL to go through, and then you'd  have to  wait still longer?

I'm not very familiar with your system for health care. I know you have government care available, but do you have insurance coverage for private care as well, or would it be totally out of pocket? By reputation and the experience of others, are the providers in one system any better than the other, or is it just a matter of getting in sooner?

Keeping you in my thoughts!
Avatar universal
Hi BB,

I'm definitely feeling calmer than last week, tho I still check the lump daily for any changes.  My family have all been very good keeping me busy, taking me out and stuff so that I haven't had time to sit and think about it too much.

Today I noticed changes which appear strange.  The lump at first was only protruding at its tip..when you looked at it it only looked an inch or so long, but when you felt around it you could tell it was 5-6cms round.  Today I noticed that all of the lump is now prominent, you can see all of its borders so to speak.  However, it has turned yellow again, and the edges of the newer area look like they may be beginning to bruise again..turning darker/black, and I'm not sure now whether it is one large lump or two, it feels as if it's now 2 lumps, but that they may not be completely disconnected..almost as if it's a large hillside with a little stream splitting it...feels quite weird, almost a figure of 8 shape.

I don't have any pain from it, apart from an odd stinging when I lay on it, just like my breast tissue is being squashed and odd shooting pains thru my breast occasionally.  I'm really  not sure what to think it is now..it does appear as if somebody has thumped me in the breast and it has left yellowing lumps there, if that's all it is I will be happy.

My mammogram is scheduled for Monday, they do have a sort of Fast Track system in the UK for dealing with breast issues..where they aim to have you seen within 2 weeks at the earliest, and they do the mammogram and possibly a needle biopsy on the day that you're seen..then you return to the clinic for the results and any further treatment in the following weeks.

I don't have to pay for treatment..the NHS covers it, but if I was really anxious about being seen/treated ultra quickly I could opt for private medicine, but it isn't something I really agree with on principle so it would have to be exceptional circumstances for me to go there..I was just wishful thinking last week, lol.  I don't think the actual standard of treatment of illnesses is any better if you go private, I think you just get treated like a VIP as far as your room and board is concerned, and obviously you can receive treatment straightaway if necessary.

Roll on Monday I say, I just want to know what it is and how to get rid of it..thanks for all the support, I wish I was more knowledgeable to be able to help others on here too.
962875 tn?1314210036
Thanks for explaining to me more about how the health care system woks in the UK.

I'm glad your mammo is scheduled, and is only a week away!

Hang in there,
492898 tn?1222243598
Hi, I just read what you have written these past couple of days, and I do not like the sound of what is happening. Pushka, I want to be sure that you do not leave your appointment on Monday with further information, and if for any reason you are told it's nothing, I want to make sure the word IBC came up. it;s not that I am out to worry you, or that I know what you have, or anything at all....still, as I myself have been diagnosed with IBC (Inflammatory breast cancer), I have a right to just ask you to mention it to the doc? (I am kidding, but not all) Please let us know. Kat
Avatar universal
Hi BB and Kat, thanks for your further replies.

BB, I'm so happy that the mamm is due within a week now :)

Kat..I'm very concerned too, as yet further changes have occurred with the lump/s.  Yesterday they were very pale yellow, today they are bright, egg yolk yellow and bruising is occurring around the edges again.  

I take Warfarin, have been on it for 14 years and will be on it for life, and have noticed that I'm having anti-coagulant problems at the mo.  My INR (the rate at which my blood clots compared to somebody not on warfarin) has been increasing since Feb, meaning it takes longer for the blood to clot and that I am prone to bruising/bleeding problems as a result.  My dose of Warfarin has been reduced accordingly, to make the INR figure decrease, but it hasn't been doing so..I got my latest blood results yesterday and it has increased again..with this and the recurring bruising happening together I can't help but think they are related.  Do I have a breast lump problem, maybe not instigated by an injury as I've had the same injury to both breasts before and since and haven't had any lumps/recurrent bruising as a result..or a blood coagulation problem, or both!

I have rung the anti-coag clinic today, and asked for a call back regarding the result and the lump, and have a telephone appt. with my GP again tomorrow afternoon, as she isn't in surgery today, so that I can explain the changes to her, and I certainly will be mentioning the full history at the breast clinic next week.  I've taken photos of the lump/bruising at various stages and may place them onto a cd to show the specialists.

Thanks again for your continuing support and concern.  I'm very sorry that you were diagnosed with IBC, Kat, and hope that your treatment of it is successful.
492898 tn?1222243598
What worries me are the constant changes you see and experience re: size, color, edges, in, out, etc. Even changes in number of lumps.

I should be sleeping but am afraid that I won't wake up for chemo in three morning if I do.  kat
Avatar universal
Thank you Kat, it's those changes that are worrying to me too..thanks for your concern.  I spoke to the anti-coagulation clinic and they don't know why the bruising is re-occurring..they said to just tell my doctor about the changes, which I am doing tomorrow by telephone, altho I would feel better if the doc could actually see the changes for herself too..and will see what she says about it, I don't know if they could bring my appt. any closer now, as it's only a few days away really.

With IBC I was under the impression that you don't get any lumps?  Or is that just one way in which it can present itself?  I have thought about IBC a few times when considering the changes etc.  How did yours present?

I hope you're doing okay with your chemo, it's very good of you to be so considerate of others when you're going thru this yourself...I hope the chemo isn't making you feel too ill x
587083 tn?1327120262
Hi there,
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive type of breast cancer,it accounts for only 1 to 4 percent of all breast cancers.The main symptoms are,diffuse breast enlargement,"Peau d'Orange" (Orange peel appearance) redness, itchiness and the breast is warm to the touch. It is called inflammatory because the symptoms that are usually redness and warmth in the skin of the breast, often without a distinct lump,it can be mistaken for an infection and initially be treated with antibiotics. IBC would not get better on the antibiotics, and symptoms would be unlikely to resolve on their own.A skin biopsy is usually the best test to detect IBC.
As Katarina has suggested it is certainly a good idea to mention the possibility of IBC to your doctor.
Take care...
492898 tn?1222243598
The image people have of IBC is the one told to us by professionals, and the pictures as well. This is good information, but understanding is very different from knowing your own cancer. And trust me,  I lived in an active relationship with my cancer in the same way you do when you are pregnant with your baby. It does not kick always, right, and surely not when you go for your check ups. so let me a little about it was for me, and unlike many of you I always knew that I would never in my life get cancer, never mind bcd. I was not the least bit worried!

But then, after this started, at some point I was certain I had bc, and this was after I could stand 50 feet away from my naked breast and see it all in the mirror; no need to touch.

it started out like fibrocystic breasts, the whole right breast was lumpy, and the other was not. in my case also, the troubled breast was, and remained much smaller than the left one.

Yes, inverted nipple big time. then the lumps and bumps moved around and changed colors, the rash, heat and redness was very mild. I also  had some bruising and most of all i felt physically really terrible. i.e. extreme muscle weakness.

And then one day, about three/four weeks since I had noticed strange things first, there was a huge tumor. I did draw pictures of my cancer as time went on, and my oncologist was both jealous and impressed. he so badly wanted to be able to draw all this as well.  "I wish I could draw like you, because then I could explain everything so much better." On my first visit with the oncologist I brought a piece of cardboard that I had cut out in size and form to show what my tumor looked like to the doctor. I first asked him to tell me what it measured on the images and he said 10cm by 9cm. i then asked him to measure my cardboard piece and it was exactly 10 by 9 as well.

I saw a doctor who was substituting for my PCP and told him I had cancer; he never argued and sent me to this great surgeon who saw me two days later. Even before starting the biopsy, he made an appointment for me with the oncologist, said he was 99% sure it was IBC.

The end; i am too tired to write more. (not edited) Kat
Avatar universal

Thanks for your replies.

Zouzi, I would love to find out that it wasn't IBC, or any BC for that matter..and yes, in the back of my mind, in spite of all worries, I keep reminding myself that there are plenty more benign causes of lumps than malignant ones, and that the 2 I had previously were both benign, so I try to stay hopeful.

I must admit that I was pretty convinced that there was no lump with IBC, and that as my breast isn't now bright red/pink and warm it couldn't be that at all, however I did read up today on a couple of cancer sites which mentioned the lump appearing suddenly after a few weeks, and that it would most likely be large as mine is, also when I had the first lot of bruising my breast was very red/pink and warm, but I put it down to the bruising, didn't associate it with IBC or anything.  I noticed today also, that it mentioned the breast itching, which is something mine has been doing the whole time, and again I didn't associate that with anything which is why I didn't even mention it in my initial post.  It also mentioned bruising that won't go away as being a symptom..and lots of others, some rarer than others.

So, it does appear that there are many symptoms associated with IBC, in addition to those mainly mentioned by professionals, and that lumps do occur at some stage, sometimes.  I really do hope that I'm just jumping on a set of symptoms and fitting them to my condition incorrectly, and I do know that I won't know anything for sure till the tests are done..but I do feel better at least being aware of what could be, whether that be IBC, some other BC or any other kind of condition or just nothing at all..then I won't be as shocked if it does turn out to be anything bad and I may be able to cope with the information that bit better.  Unfortunately, until I do know, and know if any treatment is required, I don't cope very well thinking something may be the matter..I've taken to my bed again today, unable to think about doing anything else except wait for the phone calls I had earlier, and to keep checking if the bruising has started spreading yet..I suffer from depression, unfortunately..but I've told one or two close relatives of the changes, not of any of my suspicions tho, I don't want to needlessly worry anyone, and they have told me to let them know if I need any support in the next few days.

Kat, your instincts were telling you correctly what was the matter once you saw the first signs..I'm glad that you were able to spot them when you did, and that you were taken seriously by the medical profession eventually..when you say you had muscle weakness, was that in your limbs and such?  I have arthritis and use Fentanyl patches for the pain..the arthritis is supposed to be just in my hips, and I have a problem with 2 vertebrae, but since Christmas or round about I have had terrible pains in my feet and ankles which do not respond to the patches..I had thought of going back to my doctor for more pain meds, but thought they may laugh at the 'my feet are aching all the time' symptoms, especially as I'm a little overweight..I was thinking maybe my arthritis was more widespread than I thought, I've had problems with my knee and one elbow too but for a longer time..but I did wonder whether some other kind of illness was causing the more widespread pain too..now you've got me thinking :(

Thank you so much for your suggestions.
587083 tn?1327120262
Hi again,
You are right! Sometimes when we don't know what's the problem with our health,we tend to let our mind take us very far! usually the wrong way.
The only thing I can suggest to you at this point is to try your best to relax and not to think too far ahead...Yes being well informed about all the possibilities is very important so you can mention all your worries to your doctor when you'll see him/her,but for now, don't let your mind take you places where it can make you so worried and depressed to the point of torturing yourself and lose your sleep over it!.
Soon enough you will know,until then don't think about the worst case scenario.. you'll only make yourself sick believe me.Keep busy as much as you can,go out,see friends and do the things you most like....the time will go by sooner than you think.
Be positive and optimistic in your thinking ...As I mentioned before,things could turn to be alright.
Please take care...

Avatar universal
Hi, thank you for your latest post Zouzi, it really is much appreciated and helpful :) x
492898 tn?1222243598
hi again, i hope you know that I do not think what you have is IBC; it's just a worry like you worry and I do not want any doctor to miss  a mere thought about all conditions that may not be mainstream. Zouzi knows about that one too.

Plus, you, as I, but in different ways, have other coexisting illnesses and that changes symptoms and the course of events as well.

The weakness was in my muscles, mostly legs. I also gained weight before diagnosis, quite a bit and mostly generalized swelling.

Then, just a bit of food for thought. I also took Fentanyl for a while when I had a condition that percocet did not control. The fentanyl was incredible, and i really think the painkilling effects healed my leg in itself. But, unlike something like oxycodone, the Fentanyl made me really depressed and I was so relieved to get off it; to the same extent as I was relieved to get on it because I needed this help so badly if only for a few weeks.  Katrin
Avatar universal
Hi again..well I must admit that my mood is much better right now..it wasn't earlier but is now, lol.

My GP rang me back to discuss the changes to the lump..the yellowing and extra bruising in particular.  She said that the behaviour shows that the lump is most likely to be the Hematoma that I first thought it was.  She said not to cancel Monday's appt. as the specialist can confirm whether it is a Hematoma, but that she feels more hopeful than she was before.  Of course I jumped on this because it is what my gut had been telling me was the issue all along, and if it is that, then I'm really happy.  I'm only frustrated/annoyed that the medical staff to whom I first described the lump originally.. the original colour changes/bruising pattern, didn't then say to me that if it was a hematoma it might start to bruise again or something..I suspected that the extra bruising may have been a hematoma trying to go away/be reabsorbed, but nobody told me that this could occur in this way..if they had, I wouldn't have been as worried about the extra bruising as I have been.

The only real worry that I have/have had regarding the bruising is the fact that I'm on warfarin which makes you bleed more, and that I'm afraid if a hematoma is a blood clot, because with my heart condition the last thing I want to be nurturing is a blood clot!!

So, I'm much happier than I was yesterday, tho still a little concerned about what the hematoma actually is, and how its behaviour could be affected by my warfarin intake, and what effect it could have on my heart conditions..but I'm sure the clinic will reassure me on these matters and I've been in touch with the anti-coag clinic who didn't seem too concerned about it :)

Kat, thank you for all your helpful comments.  I really do appreciate them all.  You have voiced some of the concerns that I have been having myself, and it's good to know that somebody can empathise with those concerns.  Thanks for your comments about Fentanyl too, I think I've had depression for so long now..since I was 15 at least, that no matter what other medications may add to it, I just have to put up with it to an extent, so I will continue to take my chances with the patches as having the pain relief does relieve some of the depression too as it allows me to exercise, which is the main thing I've been wanting to do again for so long.

I'm really sorry to hear of the struggles you've had, and really hope that everything turns out well for you.  All the best, Michele x
962875 tn?1314210036
Although of course everything else needs to be ruled out to be thorough, my best guess all along  has been  that it is a hematoma, or hematomas.  A hematoma is not a blood clot, but rather formed by leaking blood, in your case probably due to the anti-coagulant you take.

As I'm sure you have been counseled, if you ever hit your head, your need to be checked for hemorrhagic stroke (blood leaking into the brain), which is the opposite of the more usual type of stroke, a blood clot.

So if this is indeed what you have in your breast, it would NOT mean you are at greater risk for a blood clot, but rather a bleed. It can take quite a long time for the blood to reabsorb, and the discoloration (as with any common bruise) has to do with the make-up of the blood, such as iron.

And also if that's what it is, do not be surprised if the pressure from the mammogram causes additional bruising...

Best wishes,
bluebutterfly (another Michèle!)
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