I am 39 years old. Nonsmoker. There is no breast cancer in my family with the other women ranging from 62 to 99 years old. I have extremely fibrocystic breasts. I had a lumpectomy at age 25—benign fibroid. I had a bad breast infection and trauma at age 29 that resulted in a (temporary) 12cm solid lump, with about 6cm remaining as internal reshaped tissue enclosing small. Dozens upon dozens of other lumps and bumps that were diagnosed as benign via ultrasound and/or mammogram over the years, and fluctuated or disappeared.
I get yearly manual exams, diagnostic digital mammograms, and immediate comparison ultrasounds--at a very respected location (Beth Israel). I had a full set in mid-June. The manual found nothing of concern and the mammo/sono were benign—multiple cysts up to 11cm, scattered microcalcification that hadn’t changed in at least 2 years.
I am trying to get pregnant and just did a cycle of Clomid/follistim/Lupron this month. I am 9 days post ovulation/insemination. I'm scheduled for a pregnancy test on Friday.
This morning I woke up and noticed a huge lump or thickening—at least 9cm—beneath my right nipple. It is in the exact same place, and feels exactly the same, as the lump from the infection 10 years ago (where the scar tissue is. In fact I can feel the scar tissue bump "attached" to it like it's normally "attached" to my central breast tissue). No pain. The lump is rounded, and it moves around within my breast, not attached to the chest wall. I can move my nipple completely away from it to the side and see the shape of the lump under the stretched skin of the rest of my breast--it's not attached to the nipple or skin.
Because my breasts are very small, it's almost like the whole central area--that feels sort of squishy/firm when I squeeze it on the left--is much more solid/firm when I squeeze it on the right. It feels like the entire central tissue of my breast is suddenly hardened and the usual benign scar tissue bump area riding atop it is more swollen than usual.
I have a vague memory that this sort of central thickening/hardening feeling may have happened at one point in my left breast, where I do have an 11cm cyst, and then went away a few weeks later.
I called my doctor—didn’t see him, just phone/email. He is not concerned at this point. He wants me to have a pregnancy test on Friday since it could be hormonal changes to the breast tissue from either pregnancy or Clomid or PMS. If the pregnancy test is negative, he wants me to wait until after my period and see how the area feels. If it doesn’t diminish within the next 2 weeks, he’ll send me to a surgeon for follow up.
This all sounds accurate, but I am very freaked out. I'm reading about ILC and panicking. My nipples mostly look the same as each other--but there is a slight crease across the lower middle of the affected nipple that could well been there since puberty--it's nothing I would have noticed. There is slight striation of the skin of the inner halves of both breasts--but again I'm pretty sure that I've had stretch marks there since my teen years--I"m very pale and I have very thin skin and my breasts grew very fast. No reddening, itching, heated skin, leathery skin, scabs, bruises, pimples, or other marks on either breast except the possible stretch marks. No discharge. No inversion. Nipples are both oddly sensitive but I'm either pregnant or have PMS following Clomid. No swollen or sore lymph nodes (I'm very skinny and can usually feel them if they swell at all.)
The doctor insists that sending me to a breast surgeon now, instead of waiting 2 weeks, would result in possibly unnecessary procedures. Especially considering that my body is clearly having other hormonal changes from either pregnancy or Clomid (acne, increased cervical mucus, nipple tenderness, nausea.) But I am very, very, very panicked. I have no friends who have been pregnant or on fertility drugs to compare notes with on early breast changes.
He says the best thing for my health is to calm down, do some yoga, and call him in 2 weeks if there are no changes. In my head I know he is right, but it's so scary to wait.
Reassurances that a two week wait is OK would be very helpful right now! I can't believe that after 15 years of repeated scares, endless testing, and completely benign results, I'm this freaked out YET AGAIN. FWIW, I do have medication to help with the panic attacks, but because of the possible pregnancy I can't take it.