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What might this lumpiness be?

By Anonymous April 8, 2009 - 10:30am
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I had a benign lump removed from my left breast about seven years ago. I had a surgeon who I would visit yearly to keep and eye on things and maybe about four years ago, I noticed a teeny lumpy area with some firmness at the bottom part of the right breast. My breast doctor checked this out and said that it was nothing. My MD also looked at it and said that it may have been caused by my underwire bras and like my surgeon had said, felt that it was not even really in the breast tissue, but more on the rib. I have quite lumpy breasts anyhow.

When I touch it, the lumpiness mirrors that that in my right breast, but is a little firmer and tender, especially around the time of my period.
I can feel it often when I wake up in the morning. A bra may hurt it a little sometimes.
It hasn't really changed in about four years but I still wonder what it might be. So many allopathic doctors don't have answers. My breast doctor's answer is always to cut any little thing out, which I don't believe is always the answer.
I have just moved and been to another doctor and she also didn't even notice what I was talking about. She offered a mammogram which I didn't accept as I am under 40 and I also have read that they can be dangerous in themselves.
I am on the pill, in my late thirties, have absolutely NO history of cancer of any kind in my family. Any ideas what this firm lumpiness might be and if I should see another doctor and/ or get a mammogram.

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EmpowHER Guest

Thanks Alysia.
This sounds like it could be a fibrous cyst. It is a little lumpy and sore if I press on it. I will talk to my doctor. Actually, I may try a new doctor as my current one is quite dismissive.

April 13, 2009 - 10:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks so much. I will meet with my doctor and try to organize this. Hopefully my insurance will cover it.
I appreciate your advice.

April 13, 2009 - 4:42pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Anon:

You might also ask about the possibility of a fibrous cyst. The reason I mention this is because my daughter went through a similar experience. Her doctor was less dismissive than yours and suggested a biopsy. Fortunately, the lump was benign; but, she has to have an annual mammogram to check for any further developments. Her ENT was also very observant and helped locate another growth in her neck.

So, you may not necessarily have an indicator of breast cancer, but of something else less "obvious." It's your health and there's no reason to take anything for granted, even when a doctor says "it's nothing."

Hope you're well.

April 13, 2009 - 5:50pm

Hey Anon, thanks so much for your patience and for writing. We asked Lillie Shockney , RN., BS., MAS, and Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center about your question. Here's what she had to say:

"It's a good sign that it hasn't changed over a long period of time. The way in which a diagnosis would be made would to do an ultrasound of the specific area where you feel this thing."

Did you find this information helpful?

April 13, 2009 - 3:01pm
HERWriter Guide

I'm sorry - please try to keep these thoughts at bay - although worry can do crazy things with our dreams; it did with me recently and the dream affected me for days.

We did re-email the expert today regarding your post; the delay is probably due to circumstances beyond our control although that doesn't help someone who is worried so hang on - we'll get you some advice!

April 13, 2009 - 1:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks. I appreciate this. I had a bad dream last night that I had cancer. I guess that it's really on my mind.

April 13, 2009 - 1:20pm
HERWriter Guide

No word yet, as the reply would be posted right here for you.

It may be that it was a holiday weekend for so many people - most people I know took three days off and are not back to work until today- but let me check into it again for you! Hang tight - and if our expert is unavailable for this question, I'll find another!

April 13, 2009 - 11:32am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Susanc,
I am just checking back to see what an expert has to say about this. I really would love someone to guide me on what to do next. Having already had three doctors tell me it was probably nothing, I don't want to get more expensive tests just to hear that again. Any word from the expert?

April 13, 2009 - 11:08am
HERWriter Guide

About 80% of breast cancer patients have no familial history of breast cancer - just bear that in mind.

There is a vocal school of thought out there than mammograms are dangerous due to the radiation they emit, although x-rays are highly calibrated nowadays to decrease that risk. According to most experts, there are no studies to show that x-rays cause cancer or increase the risk, but I'm sure opponents will produce studies that say otherwise. I get an annual mammogram regardless and I'm still under 40. I am a firm believer in natural medicine but allopathic doctors and medicine save many, many lives.

But if you know you have a lump - all the mammogram will tell you is that you have a lump! So it may be futile anyway! A biopsy will tell you what the lump is (or isn't).

A breast ultra sound is also an option. And also consider that this just may be how your breasts are; it may not be just allopathic doctors who don't know - no-one may know. Some women have uneven or lumpy breasts naturally.

I have submitted your question to an expert - come back in the next few days and hopefully we'll have an answer for you!

April 8, 2009 - 11:34am
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