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Avatar universal

another question about my breast lump

I will have a mammogram in a week and a half.  My physicial confirmed that I have a lump and an area of thickening tissue in my left breast.  I am 23 years old, not on birth control, former smoker and moderate drinker (not now), healthy weight, exercise often, no know med. problems, family history unknown.  The doctor said the nodule is around 1 cm. to 1 and 1/2 cm.  Does the size mean that it is likely to be breast cancer?  She described it as "almost squishy" and moveable.  I am not sure if it moves or not.  She mentioned that it could be a lymph node.  Does a lymph node this big indicate cancer?  Are malignant lymph nodes moveable or are they solid and fixed?  It is oval shaped.  It is right on the outside edge of the breast, on the side, below the underarm.  (a couple inches to the right and up from my nipple).  I have B cup size breasts.  Any ideas would help.  I am extremely scared. I had another post about it, but I think this one is a little shorter and easier to read.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Firstly welcome to the site.

I was told that normally mammograms are much harded to ready on women under 35 due to the density of the breast tissue.  A lump has been detected but it could be a number of different things i.e.  cyst, benign lump, enlarged lymph nodes, breast cancer or other.  God forbid it is breast cancer, 1.5cm is not too large, mine was just under 2cm and was considered Stage 1 with no lumph node involvement.  

You will drive yourself dotty trying to predict what it is.  Don't do it to yourself.  You need to get the doctor to carry out an ultrasound.  An ultrasound will identify if the lump is a cyst as the ultrasound will be able to pass through the fluid filled cyst.  The ultrasound will also show if the lump looks suspicious.  Based on what they see on the ultrasound, a biopsy may be required, i.e. a sample of the lump in order too clarify if the lump is benign or malignant.  

You need to put your mind at rest.  Organise an ultrasound asap.  Fingers crossed it turns out to be nothing for you.

Cup size has not baring on whether you get breast cancer or not.  Only 5 to 10% of BC's are family related.  However you have a good lifestyle and a relatively young, so they are all pluses.  Let us know how you get on.
Avatar universal
I have a question Irishgal2.  Thank you so much for your reply.  I am, indeed, driving myself crazy as to what it is, but I am trying to stop, lol.  I do not have health insurance.  The mammogram is being paid for by the free clinic.  Do you happen to know the average cost for an ultrasound?  If not, sorry to bother you.  I am just wondering.  I too have heard that mammograms are not as acurate on younger women.  I would like to pay out of pocket to have an untrasound done, even if the mammogram shows everything is ok and it's just a cyst or infected node or something.  I would like to have the ultrasound just to double check.  Anyway, thanks for your help.
Avatar universal
Hi.  There's really no SURE way of knowing from the size, shape or appearance alone, whether a mass/ lymph node has cancer or not.  Lymph nodes which are large, hard, fixed to the surrounding tissue and unmovable tend to be associated with cancer, but there are always exceptions.  The only way to be certain if a lump has cancer is to biopsy it, as Irishgal2 has pointed out.

Since you're 23, your chances of having breast cancer at this time are pretty low.  There are other non-cancerous conditions more commonly seen in your age group, like fibrocystic disease or fibroadenoma which can explain your breast lump.
Avatar universal
I cannot say how much an ultrasound is as I live in Ireland and mine was automatically free.  I assume you like in US, so why not contact your Wellwoman Clinic and see if they can point you in the right direction for a free ultrasound.

However, my advise is that you get an ultrasound whether you have to pay for it or not.  Trust me the cost of having breast cancer and doing nothing about it is imeasurable.  You will never be really at ease until you know for sure and you need to go the full hog with tests.  Think of the ultrasound as a Christmas Pressie for yourself, it will be one of the best pressies you ever receive.
Avatar universal
Thanks to everyone for their help!  I agree Irishgal2, I think I will get the ultrasound test regardless.  I am going to ask my doctor for a referral.  I have an appointment at the local clinic for my annual exam in a couple weeks anyway, so I will ask them about it then.  I think I will feel better getting every test possible.  They told me if the mammogram looks suspicious that they would biopsy it, but even if they don't think it is necessary to biopsy, I am going to demand it.  I want to know for sure.  Also, I will get the ultrasound just to be safe.  Thanks again.  I wish we had free health care in America!  Hopefully, everything turns out ok
Avatar universal
Good luck to you and I hope you get good results.

The Irish Health System is in chaois at the moment.  For some things the health system is good and for other things terrible.  You need to have private health insurance in Ireland to be sure of getting the best service, we are supposed to be looking to the Sweden/Norway module, but it looks like it is going like American and a two tiered system.  My brother lives in Norway and believe me that is the best system in the world with Sweden.  Nobody needs private health insurance, everyone is equal and everyone gets immediate and excellent treatment.  Is it any wonder my husband, 2 children and myself are moving there next year God willing!!
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