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Melissa in Australia

found a lump

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So I found a lump a few weeks ago. It is very small, I was hoping it was a abscess or something and it would go away. this morning I found another lump in a different spot, same breast. I rang the Dr. and got straight in to see her. she couldn't find any lumps but said I had lots of abnormal breast tissue. She said the abnormal tissue is probably a result of breastfeeding many children(5) and having mastitis on that side a few times. She said that I was too young for a mammogram and too young to be worried  about breast cancer. I will be 40 in a few months. I have no history of cancer in my family at all.

 

The lumps are very small , one the size of a pea and the other just under that size. Do you think it possible that they could be abnormal breast tissue and as I have just lost weight and my breasts have practically shriveled up to crumpled crapes that I am only feeling the abnormal tissue that has been hidden under a thin layer of fat all these years? the one breast has tissue that feels sort of stringy ( under the skin) while the other doesn't have that feel at all. 

 

Has anyone else got abnormal breast tissue that has a sort of stringy lumpy feel and can tell me that it is normal and I will be fine? please?

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I hope everything turns out well and that the lumps are nothing. But I disagree that you're too young to have to worry about breast cancer, whether there is a cancer history in your family or not. I've known several people with no family history of cancer and yet they were diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30's. 

 

Is the doc going to do any kind of testing, or was this appointment the end of his involvement? 

I'm sure it's worrisome but it's probably nothing to worry about...and yet I totally understand wanting to be SURE everything is ok. 

 

 

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you are not too young for a mammogram.

there is simply no way i would "wait and see". 

at all.   i'm actually completely boggled that an md would say that.

question one: may i have a biopsy please?

question two: this week or next?

 

this is not to be trifled with.

please.

ann

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That is the end of the DR. involvement. I don't really know what to do now. I  guess I will self monitor. DH suggested that the DR. probably feels breasts all the time and maybe can sort of get a feel for  abnormal breast tissue

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My fibrocystic lumps feel rubbery to the touch, and are mobile, meaning that they move around slightly when palpated.

 

I would observe yours for a few months, see if they change, if they get tender during your cycle, if you have nipple discharge, or feel lumps in your armpit.

 

I had a lump this time last year, and went through six months of repeated mamograms and ultrasounds until I finally got an appointment with the best breast radiologist in town. Mine turned out to be a complex cyst.

 

If you still have doubts or fears though, go back to the doctor and really push for a mammogram.

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you are not too young for a mammogram.

there is simply no way i would "wait and see". 

at all.   i'm actually completely boggled that an md would say that.

question one: may i have a biopsy please?

question two: this week or next?

 

this is not to be trifled with.

please.

ann

well the Dr. could not feel the lumps, just the abnormal breast tissue.

 

 

I don't know what to do except sit here and cry.

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re the abnormal tissue: when it is dense like that, there is a 3-6fold increase in breast cancer probability.  so its an indication that they should be extra diligent, which is different from "wait and see".

 

worried,

ann

 

 

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My fibrocystic lumps feel rubbery to the touch, and are mobile, meaning that they move around slightly when palpated.

 

I would observe yours for a few months, see if they change, if they get tender during your cycle, if you have nipple discharge, or feel lumps in your armpit.

 

I had a lump this time last year, and went through six months of repeated mamograms and ultrasounds until I finally got an appointment with the best breast radiologist in town. Mine turned out to be a complex cyst.

 

If you still have doubts or fears though, go back to the doctor and really push for a mammogram.

thank you

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I had a friend (really) who carried a pea sized lump for years while her doctor told her not to worry. The doctor was wrong. I would ask for the mammogram and go to another doctor if need be. But that is just me I guess.

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My baby sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29, but by that time it was already in advanced stages. I strongly disagree with ignoring it.

 

I'm now in a high risk category. I just had a MRI and mammogram. They were different enough from my last scans that I had to go in last week for ultrasounds and biopsies. 

 

There were 5 areas they wanted to look at with the ultrasound. They decided 3 of them were lymph nodes. They thought one was just a fibroid, but they did a biopsy on it. The other one they weren't sure, so they did a biopsy on it too. I go back on Wednesday for the results.

 

I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding for 9 years straight. My breasts feel sort of stringy and lumpy. But, the hard knots they were describing (including the lymph nodes) felt different. 

 

I would ask for an ultrasound because that's what they are going to do if something turns up on a mammogram or an MRI anyway. 

 

eta: I'm just describing this process so that you know what it entails. It doesn't automatically mean cancer, not by a long shot.  :grouphug:

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:grouphug:   i have just had way too many friends wait and see...

 

if there is no difficulty, a specialty mammogram and/or biopsy will put your mind at ease.  (they will do a mammogram and then if they see something, they will do a biopsy.  i found mine, the doctor couldn't find it, sent me to a specialist mammogram where they asked me where i felt it.  they paid extra attention to that area.  they read it carefully.  nothing showed.  two months later, they did another one and decided it had been a small cyst that was gone.  they thanked me for paying attention, and said how much they wished folks would come when they felt something.  it is what they are there for.

 

if there is a problem, then the sooner you can deal with it the better.  and the doctor's right; at your age, the chances are really small.  but much better safe than sorry.

 

:grouphug:

ann

 

 

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It's probably nothing, and yes, I know a couple women who have rather "fibrous" breast tissue.

 

However, I'm shocked by your doctor's reaction.... I don't want to alarm you, but I have known more than one woman who got breast cancer before 40. (And I see that while I was posting, several others said the same.) Chances are probably small that it would turn out to be anything serious, but it really would be best to have it checked further.

 

It would be quite reasonable to have a sonogram or mammogram and have a specialist look at it. I am sure it will turn out fine, but do follow up on it to ease your mind. :grouphug:

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I would not wait and see.  I can't believe a doctor would even say that.  I would push for a mammogram.  If that shows nothing, then I would relax a bit and just self monitor.

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I agree that you should, even for your own peace of mind, get the opinion of another doctor, and a few more diagnostic test.  My cousin was told that she was not to worry, and far too young for any concern, and by the time she DID worry it was too late.  Of course, I'm not saying this to scare you...there are many breast lumps that are not a problem, but just that it's foolish for any Dr to say that you're too young to have to worry about it.  Hugs to you... :grouphug:

 

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I found a hard lump last year at age 30. They found 3 others I didn't feel. They were tumors not cysts and were classified as fibroadenomas. I did have a biopsy and found they werent cancerous. I do know there is a huge push to not over test at this point but I would really have an issue not testing as your DR suggested. Is a second opinion possible?

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I agree with elfgivas. It is best to put your mind at ease with a mammogram rather than to wait and see. My aunt who caught her breast cancer at the very early stages is healthy and fine now 25 years later. My MIL who was detected with stage 3 BC survived for five years. Breast cancer in the earliest stages has a near 100% survival rate. When it comes to breast cancer, there can nothing more deadlier than waiting and watching.

 

I am not saying this to scare you. The lump may after all turn out to be nothing. But when it comes to breast health, wait and watch is probably the worst thing you can do.

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They gave me a mammogram at age 16 because I had cysts in my breasts!  They weren't sure what exactly was wrong, and they treated it with progesterone and me avoiding caffeine and dairy, etc. But you're definitely not too young for a mammogram!  Get a new doctor, if you must, but they need to look into that further.

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you are not too young for a mammogram.

there is simply no way i would "wait and see". 

at all.   i'm actually completely boggled that an md would say that.

question one: may i have a biopsy please?

question two: this week or next?

 

this is not to be trifled with.

please.

ann

THIS!

 

Advocate for your own health....ask, ask, ask for a mammogram and/or a biopsy.

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My grandmother had breast cancer when she was in her early 30's.  It was detected early and she survived.  She is 89 now.  I would get a second opinion.

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I'm surprised that this was the doctor's advice. It is true that it probably is nothing, but it is still wise to check it out. I would expect them to do a needle biopsy just to be sure (really easy and quick procedure, though when I did it I had to meet my doctor at the hospital - still took under 5 minutes).

 

I agree to get a second opinion, just to be safe.

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Maybe your doctor has gotten to know breasts and lumps and what they mean, but for her to say that no one gets breast cancer at your age is just plain dumb. I would insist on a mammogram. If they are suspicious, they will do an ultrasound. Probably it is nothing, but if you're going to have lumpy breasts generally, it's good to get a baseline reading on a mammogram. Then, they can compare future mammograms against this one.

 

I'm at high risk for breast cancer. My mother had it, and her mother had it, and her mother's mother had it. All of them survived, because they all found it early. (And NOT through mammogram -- that hadn't been invented yet! just through feeling a lump.)

 

I get a mammogram every year, and in-between I have a breast MRI. In-between all of that, my doctor examines me. She has gotten to know my breasts and lumps over the years and knows what I already have. My breasts are so lumpy that I can't tell what's what anymore, but honestly, I don't even worry about it anymore. I'm in good hands.

 

Please try not to worry. It's probably nothing serious, and if in the small chance it is, it sounds like a very small lump and probably completely treatable. But, be proactive and get a mammogram.

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Please, please, please go to another doctor.   I had a mammogram last year because I felt a lump.  I was 37.  It turned out not to be anything, if it is something you need to have it taken care of, if it is nothing your mind will be at ease.   :grouphug:  I know that you are scared as many of us have been, don't take no for an answer on this.

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I vote with everyone else - get a second opinion from a different doctor and ask for either an ultrasound or mammogram. 

 

I found a lump when I was pregnant with youngest.  They did an ultrasound to avoid radiation and found it just to be a clogged milk duct, but the peace of mind at that point was priceless.

 

It is really difficult for me to imagine an md suggesting waiting - or it's nothing - or that someone young can't get bc due to their age.  That's just plain wrong with bc.  Be proactive.  You know your body better than anyone else (with the possible exception of hubby ;) so go with what you feel and see what it is.  If it's just tissue - great - but if it's a hidden lump, it's better to know what it is even if it's a cyst or clogged duct.

 

There's NO WAY I'd wait to see if it got large enough for someone else to feel if I thought I had something.

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That your doctor said you're too young for cancer and too young for a mammogram sends up danger flags everywhere.  Both of those statements are just wrong, wrong, wrong.

 

Many people here with a family history of breast cancer start getting mammograms in their 20's, or even teens.  With no history, I had my first screening mammogram in my late 30's.  My gynecologist said he likes a baseline to have to compare to down the road.

 

I have lumpy breasts (the lumpiness developed after that first screening mammogram).  Most breast lumps aren't harmful.  I believe statistics say more than 80 percent of breast lumps fall into that category.  So most likely you're just fine.  Thankfully, all of my lumps have checked out fine, although one fibroadenoma did get big enough over time that it had to be removed.  But lumps should be thoroughly checked out, both for your physical health and for your peace of mind.  What I've experienced for lumps is a diagnostic mammogram (different than a screening mammogram), followed by an ultrasound/sonogram.  And then a biopsy if needed.

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That sounds typical for an Australian doctor. I told my DR I had a lump but because he couldn't find it he told me not to worry. He also said I was too young ( I'm 39). I think it must be the culture. When I was pregnant with my first child (I was 32) I had a Canadian doctor and he felt a lump and sent me straight for an ultrasound ( mamaograms dont work as well on young people). Now I had had that lump since I was 16 and told him so but he still sent me. The ultrasound person was Australian and thought it was nuts that the doctor sent me for an ultrasound at that age....I wonder if it really less common here in Australia.

 

Anyway if you know it is there I would go to another doctor and another till you find one who will send you. They most likely will do an ultrasound at your age. It will put your mind at rest. I think you can actually book a mammagram yourself at the clinics they have but I am not sure of the age they accept.

 

When my Grandma was 29 she got lung cancer. She went to 7 doctors before she found one that would test her and not tell her it was just the flu. My grandma had no risk factors, young, non-smoker, etc and yet knew we have a family history of cancer (different kinds). She ended up catching it early enough that they removed one lung and she lived till she was in her 60's when it returned. Her life would have been much shorter if she had listened to the doctors ....plus she had 7children at the time...the youngest only 9 weeks old. She got to see her grandchildren grow to teens.

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From the doctor's perspective, few are going to have problems at that age so it's highly unlikely, and it's not "her" so she has no problem going with the odds.  However, there ARE people who do get bc young and it's honestly true that the earlier something is caught (esp bc) the better the odds are.  She may not have come across one yet - and she could be correct that you have nothing to worry about - but... I wouldn't take that chance.  People buy lottery tickets every day and no one I know of throws their tickets away without checking them simply because the odds are that they won't win.  To me, it'd be the same way with this except I'd be hoping I didn't win.

 

If this were a lump I'd had for years without change, my reaction would be different.  Since it's something you've recently found - then another - I'd want to know just what they are for the peace of mind at the very minimum.

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so do I . I guess I will self-monitor and hope it stays the same.

My sil had breat cancer at 22. She is still alive because she did not listen to that bullcr@p and got a mammogram. Her mother died in her early 30's from breat cancer. 2 of my cousins had breast cancer in their early 30's. Both are alive because of early detection. A few aunts ....not so lucky!

 

Too young for breast cancer is absolutely ludicrous! Insist on a mammogram. Most lumps are too small to feel. Once you feel one....have it checked for real.... No joke. I hope it is just fatty tissue or nothing at all....but, I wouldn't make any assumptions! 40 is a perfect age for a baseline mammo. A few months here or there? For your peace of mind....get it checked!

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Your doctor's advice on this is complete idiocy. There is NO way to tell if something is cancerous by feeling it.

 

On the one hand--statistically you are more likely to be fine than not.

 

On the other hand, the risk of real cancer is so frightening, with the potential for a terrible outcome, that it is irresponsible not to take the simple step of getting a mammogram to make sure. Waiting and seeing is literally gambling with your life.

 

Here in the US they push routine mammograms at your age.

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Pls get checked.

Please.

 

The fear of the unknown can be paralyzing, I totally get that.

Better to face it and get it checked by someone else.

Don't put the burden of diagnosis on your husband. If it does not get better, and you find out it is something, think of how he would feel, to have missed it.

 

Please do this. 

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Having a friend with rare advanced breast cancer at 42 I would follow up. She was told it was nothing to worry about. :(  

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My cancer is not breast cancer -- mine is Stage IV Ocular Melanoma.  In my little community of survivors, one thing we've all learned, which isn't yet the societal norm, is to view physicians as professionals we hire and fire by choice.  Of course, firing a doctor is easier than it sounds, since you just call the receptionist, cancel your next appointment, and ask for a copy of your records.  I'm a complete lightweight when it comes to confrontation, but I've fired at least two docs this way.

 

Do not wait.  Hire a professional with whose approach/attitude/demeanor you are comfortable, and may all your scans be negative.

 

 

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Put your mind at ease and ask for a second opinion. 

 

There is probably nothing amiss but you are going to worry about this until you have been reassured. I would make an appointment to see another doctor  straight away.

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By the time you can feel a lump, it's huge. If it's cancer, it's stage 3. You don't want to go there, that's where they start recommending chemo and radiation after surgery. 

 

Get the ultrasound or mammo. If it is benign, great, you've got your baseline mammo done. Around here that's done at 40, so you're right on time.

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Here in my province a first mammogram is recommended at 40. This provides baseline information. Get a second opinion. Cancer isn't confined to age groups.

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Thank you everybody.

I will see if Dh can feel it. If he can then I will go to a second GP

 

Respectfully, you know your own breasts better than anybody else, including hubby OR a doctor.

 

Your doctor is right that chances are very small you have a problem.  Your doctor is wrong that means you shouldn't investigate.  Remain calm, but investigate.  You will not regret that you had a mammogram or ultrasound that turned up nothing, but you might very much regret not having one.

 

 

(Side Note:  If you have dense or lumpy breast tissue, many docs recommend having a "baseline" scan done anyway so that it can be compared at a later date if anything changes.  So even if it shows negative it will still serve a purpose.)

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Melissa, I'm in Australia also. I had a small, painful lump the end of last year. My dr sent me for an ultrasound. I'm 38. I think I paid $40 after medicare. It was a cyst, but they found something else. I had a biopsy and it was not cancerous. Worth it for peace of mind. :) Go back to your dr and ask for a referral for an ultrasound, or go to another doctor and ask for one.

 

Then come back and let us all know the good news when it's nothing! ;)

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By the time you can feel a lump, it's huge. If it's cancer, it's stage 3. You don't want to go there, that's where they start recommending chemo and radiation after surgery. 

 

Get the ultrasound or mammo. If it is benign, great, you've got your baseline mammo done. Around here that's done at 40, so you're right on time.

 

I think  you have some misinformation. Staging is done based not just on size of the tumor but whether it has spread to the lymph nodes and beyond.

 

 

Women can definitely feel tumors smaller than stage 3. Radiation is given after a stage 1 tumor, sometimes even for DCIS (Stage 0) Chemo depends on the type of breast cancer and the stage. Stage 2 cancers are likely treated with chemo.

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its sad that so many of us know so much about it.

(good, but sad... and an indication of how unfortunately prevalent this is)

 

hope you are able to call today (well, its already tomorrow in australia, but ykwim ;).

ann

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I agree that a mammogram would be prudent. I'm 44, and I've had three. I'm adopted and don't have any bio family medical,history available to me, so my doctor wanted a baseline at 35. We moved, and my new physician requested that I have one at 40, and I had a third this past spring, which was later than she preferred it to be. I have dense breast tissue, so she feels strongly about me having regular mammograms.

 

As has been stated previously, by having a mammogram now, you will at least have a baseline, even if the lump is nothing to worry about. You will also have peace of mind. The stress you are feeling right now isn't good for you, and you should advocate for yourself in order to have this checked thoroughly.

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I would demand a mammogram regardless of your age. DEMAND. I would actually say "write me a referral for a mammogram please." If they balked I would ask for my records and say I would going to a new Dr. 

 

I am Mrs Mungo's sister, our sister had a double masectomy at 29 and even then it was too late. 

 

While I agree it could be nothing I absolutely disagree that waiting a few months is a good choice. Some types of breastcancer that "wait a few months" is the difference between beating the cancer and it being too late.

 

I have also had mammograms, ultrasounds while I was breastfeeding and I had a biopsy a couple years ago that was just an intraductal papilloma. There is no real good reason to wait, particularly when it is so serious.

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