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Surviving a Breast Biopsy

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Finding a lump during the last trimester of pregnancy is one of those "you've got to be kidding me" moments. I don't have enough to worry about? Now I get to think about the big C word? And what do I do if it is cancer?

So, how does this happen? What do we do? Is a biopsy the right choice? How will all of this affect my pregnancy? All of these things went through my head. I have a wonderful OB/GYN who set me up for an ultrasound right away. I could have kept it to myself until after the baby was born, but I figured cancer is nothing to mess with. He assured me that it was probably a benign cyst, but better to be safe than sorry.

About a week later, I was lying on the table, getting an ultrasound. The technician left to see the radiologist. He indicated right away that I needed a biopsy. The worries started back up again. Cancer? Now? What do we do?

Well, they laid out the materials on the little tray, and my husband turned a little green. But, once you have an epidural, big needles are no longer so scary. The biopsy needle did look like an alien probe, and it could pass right through me, but I didn't look at it or let it bother me. The lidocaine worked very well. I didn't even feel the biopsy needle. They had to go back in and mark the area with a metal clip, which was also no big deal. I will say I was pretty well sick of being poked and prodded by that point. Luckily, the three needles was all I needed that day. The lab technician took my little sample away, and that was it. An ice pack and a Tylenol worked wonders. I took it easy that day, and by the next day, it was minimally sore.

I was one of the lucky ones. Benign cysts are very common, I am told. I am also told that cysts happen during pregnancy because the hormones start overproducing cells in the breast.

I really wanted to write this today to set any readers' minds at ease. First of all, I want to remind everyone to do their breast exams, even when they are pregnant. Then, I want to remind you that your OB/GYN should be aware right away if you feel anything different, even if you try to tell yourself, "Awe, it's nothing." Let him or her decide that.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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