My wife is 33 years old and in the past couple of months she has developed a lump under her left armpit and has numbness/tingling in her left arm. The lump has only grown slightly over the past 2 months, but still has me worried as her cousin and grandmother had breast cancer and her father died from prostate cancer. I have begged her to see a doctor, but she is afraid to as she has never seen a doctor in her entire life and thinks they will think she stupid for never going to the doctor. She is now getting mad at me for pressuring her to go, but I am afraid if she waits to long I will lose her. Do you think this lump and numbness are potentially a sign of cancer? Should I be so worried and pressuring or should I back off?
Thank you for your advice
Dear smithman, Your wife is not alone in fearing going to the doctor, so she will definitely not be the first person the doctor has seen who has procrastinated. Many people do not seek out a doctor until there is a problem. Not until this can be checked out and further evaluated can you say what it is. Lymph nodes can enlarge for a variety of reasons and do not automatically mean cancer. For example, an infection that can be treated with antibiotics could be a possibility. However this is something that should be checked out. Ask around about a good physician, someone who has a reputation for patience and a good bedside manner. Trying to ease the way for a good first impression (your wife's impression of the doctor) may help.
Please tell your wife to get checked. You obviously are in a tough situation because you love your wife and she is in a tough situation because she might feel guilty for not having seen a doctor.
My Mom was in the same situation this past July and found the lump herself. She hadn't been to a doctor but decided to get it checked. Unfortunately it was cancer and they performed a double mastectomy.
They told her she could have had it for 8 years, but it is a good thing that she finally found it. It has been tough, but my Mom has dealt with it and I'm sure she'd be happy to answer any questions your wife might have. She just finished all of her therapy and is on her way to her new future.
Sometimes we all put things off, but now that she has detected it, it would be wise to get it checked in case. I'm sure the doctors would be happy with her finally checking it out. There is no need to be embarrassed for not getting a mastectomy. What is important is that she found it. The faster she gets it checked out, the faster she can get past it and quit worrying.
If you have any questions, let me know and maybe my Mom could help your wife feel better.
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