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Topic: Breast lump felt but not seen on ultrasound

Forum: Waiting for Test Results — Biopsy, mammogram, CAT scan, PET scan, ultrasound, or other tests.

Posted on: May 20, 2011 01:30AM

someone27 wrote:

I had an ultrasound for a breast lump that I feel and my doctor feels. Ultrasound came back all normal. I went to doctor so she can see if there is still a lump, which I had told her there is, but I guess she wanted to recheck. She checked and said yes. Anyone had a lump that can be felt but not seen on ultrasound? My thoughts are going crazy. Thanks in advance.

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May 20, 2011 01:47AM TinaT wrote:

someone27:  Some things will show up on MRI when they can't be seen on mammogram or ultrasound.  I would at least inquire about getting an MRI.  It couldn't hurt to ask for one.  Best wishes!

Additional areas of lobular neoplasia and multiple ADH throughout left breast found at mastectomy. Oncotype DX = 18 (Opted out of chemo)

Dx 12/8/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 12/18/2010, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 02/16/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/15/2011 ArimidexSurgery 08/24/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 04/08/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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May 20, 2011 02:14AM AnnNYC wrote:

someone27 -- I had a painful lump at the edge of my areola.  It didn't show up on diagnostic mammogram or ultrasound.  Fortunately, the doctors who looked at the mammo and ultrasound told me "you have dense breasts, which means the mammo might not see this, and the nipple/areola area is hard to visualize by mammo and ultrasound, and we can FEEL it, so we're referring you to a breast surgeon ASAP."  The breast surgeon did a fine needle aspiration (FNA biopsy) which was "inconclusive" -- so she recommended excisional biopsy -- taking the whole lump out.  Everyone kept saying "It's probably benign, but let's be sure."  I'm incredibly grateful they were so persistent, as it turned out not to be benign.  MRI is a good tool, too.  It's said that 80% of biopsies are benign, so the odds are in your favor -- but I think it's a good idea to get a definitive answer about a lump.  Wishing you the best!

Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 20, 2011 06:59AM joycek wrote:

My tumor was not seen on mammogram either. I also have very  dense breast tissue.  I saw a BS and she agreed to order an MRI after I suggested it.  Medical insurance approved it.  It showed an invasive breast cancer.  Glad I pursued this.  If I had waited another 6 months to repeat the mammogram as suggested maybe the outcome would not have been as good.....if you can call any cancer diagnosis good.  You need to be our own advocate in these situations as this is Your Life and the only one you get.......protect it.

Dx 2/23/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 03/10/2010 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)
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May 21, 2011 08:54AM PennStateMac wrote:

Hi!

I am going through the same exact thing right now.  The other night my breasts got very sore and tender.  I decided to do a self exam and found a small lump in my right breast.  I had a script for a mammo that my dr gave me that I was putting off.  I called the next day and got in.  They did a screening and then a diagnostic of the area I felt the lump.  Then followed up with an ultrasound and found nothing unusual.  But they did say I have dense breasts due to my age (I'm 35) but to follow up with my dr.  I was there yesterday and she felt not one, but two BB sized lumps.  Right away she said she wanted me to see a breast surgeon-which I have to admit scared me.  I have my appointment on Tuesday afternoon and I am fully expecting to hear her say she wants to do a biopsy.  I am trying to stay calm too, but it is hard.  I know that 80% of these lumps turn out B9, but it is still hard to not let your mind wander. I keep thinking that if it is the worst then it was caught early. For the ladies who had their lumps come back postive what was your treatment? 

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May 21, 2011 05:35PM, edited May 21, 2011 05:36PM by someone27

Thanks for replies. I went to my primary doctor after ultrasound showed nothing. She sent me for a regular chest xray. She said maybe ultrasound missed something under bone because the lump is to the left breast but near the chest bone in between both breast. I have looked online and dont find info about regular chest xray being useful. She says how I'm 27, healthy, no family history so she doesnt think its something bad. If the chest xray shows something or nothing and I still have the lump *it hasnt disappeared in a month I dont think it is* then she will refer me to a breast surgeon. It will be another week of waiting for a referral then waiting for an appointment. Irritating.

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May 21, 2011 06:22PM TinaT wrote:

someone27: Hmmmm, I'm with you - doesn't seem like a chest x-ray is going to help, but you never know.  Sounds good, though, that she'll refer you to a breast specialist.  If he/she decides that an MRI would be helpful, the breast surgeon would likely have better luck than your primary doc getting insurance authorization.  Or, they may decide to just go ahead and biopsy it if it's easily accessible.  Sounds like the proper steps are happening...hang in there!!! 

Additional areas of lobular neoplasia and multiple ADH throughout left breast found at mastectomy. Oncotype DX = 18 (Opted out of chemo)

Dx 12/8/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 12/18/2010, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 02/16/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/15/2011 ArimidexSurgery 08/24/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 04/08/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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May 24, 2011 04:49PM dexxy wrote:

So I've just been diagnoised, but have been going in for Mammos since I was 22.  I'm now 43.  Now I wouldn't go every year but every other if I could get a doctor to allow me.  I have a lymph node that has been larger than normal sine then so we have watched it over the years.  I can not tell you home many ultrasounds I would have the technician would just look and me and say "nothings there" and I's alwasy be like yes it is feel it!  So just becasue its not showing up doesn't mean a thing.  If you want to be really sure why not do a biopsy? or better yet a breast MRI, those are the only ways we've ever been able to rule out all of my cysts and dense breast tissue.

Dx 5/5/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/20/2011 Lumpectomy (Left)Chemotherapy 07/08/2011 Cytoxan, TaxolRadiation Therapy 10/06/2011 ExternalHormonal Therapy 12/01/2011 Tamoxifen
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May 24, 2011 05:15PM, edited May 24, 2011 05:15PM by TinaT

dexxy:  Sorry you're here, but WELCOME!  So, you've been diagnosed with breast cancer with a positive lymph node?  What is your diagnosis?

Additional areas of lobular neoplasia and multiple ADH throughout left breast found at mastectomy. Oncotype DX = 18 (Opted out of chemo)

Dx 12/8/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 12/18/2010, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 02/16/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/15/2011 ArimidexSurgery 08/24/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 04/08/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Jun 2, 2011 07:03PM, edited Jun 2, 2011 07:04PM by dexxy

thanks Tina T

have more results now 0/1 nodes HER2 - but grade 2

so they are reccomending chemo, but why? because I'm 43, they say I'm young so I should do chemo. But doesn't it kick your butt and make you feel old?

Dx 5/5/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/20/2011 Lumpectomy (Left)Chemotherapy 07/08/2011 Cytoxan, TaxolRadiation Therapy 10/06/2011 ExternalHormonal Therapy 12/01/2011 Tamoxifen
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Jun 2, 2011 10:07PM kayakgirl wrote:

Hi Someone 27

For your own peace of mind see a breast surgeon. My breast surgeon feels strongly that every lump should be evaualted by a breast surgeon. IMHO have the lump biopsied. A core biopsy is an in-office procedure, they numb you up and then stick a needle in the lump and withdraw some tissue - once you get the numbing medication which is no worse than getting Novocaine at the dentist the test is painless.I would not wait a month -breast lumps need to be evaluated by a breast surgeon. I had an area of breast tissue that just felt firmer, my mammogram and ultrasound both didn't show it, the radiologist said it was up to me, I could see a breast surgeon or return in 6 months for repeat mammograms and ultrasounds. I choose to see a breast surgeon and a had a large tumor that was invasive lobular cancer with isolated tumor cells in my lymph node- if I waited 6 months who knows where I would be today. There is a young woman in my breast cancer support group who was 27 and her doctor said she was too young to have breast cancer, she waited and when she was finally diagnosed she had 22 cancerous lymph nodes. I am not trying to scare you, 80% of breast lumps that are biospied are not cancerous.  A negative biopsy will give you peace of mind. 

Dx 06/2008, ILC 3.8 cm, Stage 2A, ER pos/PR pos, Her2 -,SNB with isolated tumor cell, 07/08 bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction and port inserted, 4 cycles of chemo TC x2 then AC x2 from 08/27-10/29/08, started on Tamoxifen

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Jul 3, 2011 11:22AM AngieManus wrote:

I had my first mammogram last month. They did pick something up on it. They sent me to have an ultra-sound which showed nothing, My Doctor scheduled another mammogram for December. The NP at my Dr office said not to worry since nothing showed un on the untra-sound. Should I be concerned? What should I do now? Should I go to another Doctor. I put my trust in Doctors, but, not sure on this. I am 44.

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Jul 3, 2011 11:33AM jhunnicutt36 wrote:

Angie,i to am in the same with boat with you.i have an indention on my left breast and two lumps that showed on mammo and not ultrasound.Go to another DR.My nurse at the breast care center said that alot can go unnoticed on ultrasound.I wouldnt wait.

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Jul 3, 2011 11:43AM, edited Jul 3, 2011 11:48AM by TinaT

This Post was deleted by TinaT.

Additional areas of lobular neoplasia and multiple ADH throughout left breast found at mastectomy. Oncotype DX = 18 (Opted out of chemo)

Dx 12/8/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 12/18/2010, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 02/16/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/15/2011 ArimidexSurgery 08/24/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 04/08/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Jul 3, 2011 12:29PM, edited Jul 4, 2011 11:57AM by TinaT

A good general rule....when in doubt, PLEASE ask for an MRI.  I fought for an MRI because my mammograms were basically useless and I finally got it authorized after 6 months.  Five masses showed up.  Went to ultrasound for biopsies, but only three could be identified (1 ILC, 2 benign fibroadenomas).  Went to MRI for the remaining two biopsies (1 DCIS, 1 benign fibroadenoma). 

So for me (no masses felt, no family history):

~Digital mammogram showed 0 masses

~Ultrasound showed 3 masses (1 cancer, 2 benign fibroadenomas)

~MRI showed 5 masses (2 cancers, 3 benign fibroadenomas)

If your gut is telling you that something isn't right or if you're being dismissed as "too young" or "it didn't show up on ultrasound so don't worry about it" PLEASE ask for an MRI!!!

Additional areas of lobular neoplasia and multiple ADH throughout left breast found at mastectomy. Oncotype DX = 18 (Opted out of chemo)

Dx 12/8/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 12/18/2010, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 02/16/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/15/2011 ArimidexSurgery 08/24/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 04/08/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Jul 3, 2011 11:30PM cycle-path wrote:

someone27: a chest xray is irrelevant, but I note that you've had only an ultrasound, not a mammogram. An ultrasound should never be used as a replacement for a mammogram, and CERTAINLY an xray shouldn't substitute for one! It's pretty outrageous that a doctor has suggested an xray. 

An MRI could be a good idea, but get a mammogram first. 

BTW, if the lump is painful then the odds are that it's nothing of consequence. Painful lumps are nearly always benign, but even so they should be checked out in case yours is one of the exceptions. 

I am an Uppity Woman. Don't like my posts? Put me on IGNORE.

Dx 12/10/2010, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Jul 4, 2011 07:07AM mom3band1g wrote:

Had a lump that never showed on mammo or ultrasound. The mammo place told me it was nothing since they couldn't "see " it. My Dr didn't agree and sent me to a BS. I was 39. I'm so grateful for my Dr! _

lumpectomy 2/10/10 bi-lat mx 3/25/10 rads completed 7/10!

Dx 1/19/2010, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jul 4, 2011 07:29AM, edited Jul 4, 2011 07:30AM by hrf

ILC usually does not show on either mammogram or ultrasound. At the minimum an MRI should be ordered immediately as well as a biopsy. ILC is sneaky and is often not detected until it is very advanced. Find yourself a more knowledgeable doctor asap

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary

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Jul 5, 2011 07:59PM someone27 wrote:

I had other posts, forgot to update this one. I had the lump for four months-antibiotics for 10 days didnt work, ultrasound 1.5 week later showed nothing, xray week later showed nothing. A month passed dr said it wasnt an infection/abcess/cyst so then I waited for the referral to a breast surgeon for biopsy. I was checking it daily and thought it started decreasing in size and was told to wait and see how it changes with my next period. That past and now it is gone? She said it was a fibroid then(?) and I have to see if it stays gone or comes back. I'm happy but I guess I wont know.

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Jul 5, 2011 08:05PM, edited Jul 5, 2011 08:07PM by someone27

@AngieM,

I just saw your reply. I am not sure, no experience. I would think they would do a second mammogram, which you said they planned, BUT I would request for sooner than December. From my posts on here most people told me ultrasounds miss things. I think people might miss your post since it is int he middle of a post. Go to the forum and post a new one so more people can give you help.

=)

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Jul 12, 2011 06:58AM kikiwiki wrote:

My lumps only showed on an MRI...still have no idea what they are cause I'm 25 and the doc just wants to watch it for a few months. I have been going through this for almost a year now. I know how scary it is to have lumps and not know what they are. Don't let it consume your life but at the same time pursue every test you can get out of any doc you go to!

Weather its B9 or Cancer, finding a lump changes the way you view life.

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Jul 12, 2011 04:43PM Sublimis wrote:

I am in the same boat.  I just got back from my first mammo.  My lump didn't show up, so the radiologist herself gave me an ultrasound.  The u/s showed a bunch of cysts in both breasts, but not the lump I was worried about.  The radiologist said to keep my appt. with the Breast Care Center (next Friday).  I am 34, lots of BC and ovarian cancer on mom's side.  She thinks the lump is hiding between cysts.  That and having dense breasts is making it hard to get a look at it.  I don't know what to think.  I don't know anything more than I did a couple of weeks ago other than I have a bunch of cysts I didn't even know about.  I don't know.  It is all so confusing.  Hopefully when I go to the BCC they will just biopsy it and get it over with.  I have no idea what the options are.  The waiting, the not knowing is the worst.

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Jul 12, 2011 05:13PM, edited Jul 12, 2011 05:14PM by TinaT

Sublimis:  Hi, waiting is so hard.  Please hang in there.  If more questions seem to come up please ask about having an MRI.  It is often the best way to screen dense breast tissue.  Take care!

Additional areas of lobular neoplasia and multiple ADH throughout left breast found at mastectomy. Oncotype DX = 18 (Opted out of chemo)

Dx 12/8/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 12/18/2010, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 02/16/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/15/2011 ArimidexSurgery 08/24/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 04/08/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Jul 25, 2011 02:34PM, edited Jul 25, 2011 02:39PM by MaggieGB

This Post was deleted by MaggieGB.
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Jul 31, 2011 02:03PM Lindacrj wrote:

I have a very similar story. I found a lump about a week and a half ago. Went for ultrasound and it wasn't seen. The uultrasound tech did feel it and also described it as a pea sized lump. I am waiting for approval for an MRI and will have it on tues. Dr didn't order repeat mammogram as I had one five months ago. I also have a discharge from that breast for the past seven months. To add to that I have been in surgical menopause for 12 years now. I also have a cyst in that breast that was also ther six months ago.
From what I have read post menopausal women shouldn't get cysts if not on hormone replacement. Does anyone have any experience similar to mine.

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Jul 31, 2011 02:32PM TinaT wrote:

Lindacrj:  So sorry you're going through this, but I'm very happy to hear that you'll be getting that MRI soon.  I hope it turns out to be good news, but if it isn't please know that you can handle whatever comes your way.  Best wishes!

Additional areas of lobular neoplasia and multiple ADH throughout left breast found at mastectomy. Oncotype DX = 18 (Opted out of chemo)

Dx 12/8/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 12/18/2010, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 02/16/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/15/2011 ArimidexSurgery 08/24/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 04/08/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Aug 5, 2011 07:21PM Flautalee wrote:

I agree with some other posters that you need to ask for a breast MRI. Some tumors just don't seem to show up on Mammos or Ultrasound. Also for another poster, if your fine needle biopsy is not clearly OK or not - and you feel something different, ask for an incisional biopsy which will take out the lump and be easy for the pathologists to study. I had a clean mammo and ultrasound in Sept 1999 and found a lump the size of a golfball the following Memorial Day weekend. Some thoughtless people said "Oh, you must not have had a mammo for it to be so big." Not so. Take care and be well.

lee

Dx 6/1/2000, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Dx 6/9/2011, IDC, <1cm, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 2, 2011 02:22PM MommyOfThree wrote:

I am so happy to of found this board, although sorry for the reason we are all here. I went for a follow up pap at a new doctor (we relocated), being It was a new practice they suggested doing a complete exam. Upon leaving I had a referral to a breast surgeon and for a mammogram/UltraSound due to a L breast mass.I was advised regardless of the mammo/US outcome I was to go to the breast surgeon. Wow- I was petrified as that was the last thing I was expecting I had the mammo/us done the next day and the radiologist advised me they could not see anything (not even the mass the doc felt) and being I had an appt with a surgeon he will most likely try to aspirate and/or want to do an MRI or biopsy as although they are great reference tools they are not 100%. I feel your anxiety and frustration.. wishing everyone the best! 

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Sep 2, 2011 04:01PM Lindacrj wrote:

So my update.. I went to a surgeon and he said he would remove the lump only to find out he is not covered by insurance. Also my mri was denied. So I went a second best surgeon and she sent me for another ultrasound and monogram. Those results came back and now I need a Biopsy, but not in the area where they found the lump. The lump still show up on anything.g according to reports however the vs said it was a lipoma. Not sure where she got that info though. Will ask when I go back after Biopsy next week.

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Sep 6, 2011 05:28PM pembrook wrote:

Went to primary dr. a month ago with what I thought was a swollen lymph node in right armpit.  I was told not lymph node but mass in upper wall of right breast.  A small lump was found in my left breast too!!  Immediately had mammogram and ultrasound done. Came back fine.  TECHNICIAN told me right side was not even in my breast but armpit instead.  Went back to dr. for followup.  She still felt lump in left breast and said right side is breast wall and technician should not have said anything!!!  My right side is becoming uncomfortable, hard to raise my right arm above my head. Right armpit is visibly different from left. Dr. sending me to breast surgeon, have appt in two weeks. Breast cancer is in my family, my grandmother found her's in upper breast wall.  Nice to talk to people who understand, the waiting is truly the hardest.   I am 50 years old and had complete hysterectomy in 2004, therefore I believe "fatty" cyst can not appear. Also currently unemployed with no insurance.  Really having a hard time trying to hang on.   Family and friends are very supportive but don't understand anxiety of looking for a job in between dr. visits.  

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Sep 6, 2011 05:34PM Bren-2007 wrote:

Pembrook .. I'm sorry you are in this position.  You might try the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program in your area.  You can contact them through your local health department.  If you qualify for the program, medicaid will pay for your care until you can get insurance.

Wishing you the best,

Bren

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