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Topic: Very painful lump- scared, no insurance!

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried — Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time.

Posted on: Feb 25, 2008 07:46AM

Diamonds1 wrote:

Hello, I have general very lumpy breasts, even my Dr. says. I havent had health insurance for 2 years, i am self employed and struggling to pay bills, never mind the insane cost of health insurance. my husband is afraid even for me to go and pay upfront, b/c they track your med. history now, and God forbid anything is wrong w/ me, its a pre-existing condition, and they wouldnt cover it even if i got insurance. Sheesh. i cant win. Needlessto say im hunting for a job w/ benefits.

I am 27, F, no history of breast cancer that i know of, grand ma and Mom are still alive. Anyhow, 2 days ago i found a lump, like i do from time to time. It normally wouldnt freak me out, but this one is really painful. Its located on the out side of my right breast, almost in my armpit, pretty deep but i can feel. It is a stabbing pain that almost goes to my shoulder when i push hard. Its so hard to explain what im feeling since there are so many various lumps present in my breasts, but the general area hurts, and tends to really hurt if i push on a certain lump. It feels hard perhaps more hard then the others, but i am not sure if im imagining things. I have been touching a lot too maybe thats simply making things more painful.

I am a week from my period. Do i ride this out and see if the pain goes away after my period? then it might be a cyst or other, according to my research.

A few years ago i freaked out about a lump in my neck, the Drs said it was most likely a cyst, i saw a few specialists. FYI (if it is pertinant) the same breast w/ the painful lump, on that arm, my right side, broke out in a bad rash thats been present for 2 months. My mother in law is a nurse and gave me cortisone cream. its helping alittle - very itchy. my mom said its exzema, my mother in law though it could be what my husband had on his arm- shingles.

Randomly, i saw shingles can cause breast pain! i have sores on my back and on my scalp also.

Anyhow, any help of advice is appreciated.

How can i see a DR. w/ my situation? Planned parenthood does breast screening but asks for ss#. Does anyone have any advice for me? Im all ears. Thank you kindly.

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Posts 1 - 26 (26 total)

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Feb 25, 2008 08:28AM Rebecca wrote:

Well from what you described I would definately vote for a case of shingles. It sounds to me like your lump is very likely an infected or inflamed lymph node. That said, I am NOT a medical doctor, and it is difficult if not impossible to diagnose anything over the internet.  The only way to know for sure is to see your Dr...the sooner the better.

I hear your concerns regarding the medical community, and in particular the insurance companies, but you must remember that your health is more important than anything else.  Do not let yourself be paralyzed by fear....there are systems in place that can offer help to indivuals such as yourself.  See your Dr and then check back and let us know how you did.

Feel better, and good luck! 

Rebecca

Dx 12/6/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2008 08:29AM badboob67 wrote:

Hi Diamonds1,

I am so sorry you are going through this worry!  We were also without insurance when my lump was discovered (self-employed husband trying to find a health plan we could afford!).  I did lots of searching at the time for programs that could help and have recently begun organizing them and posting them on my wikispace page.  The address to my wikispace is at the bottom of my post in the light blue "signature" area. Perhaps you will find something there that will help.  

There is a federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Care Program that is available in all states. There are varying criteria for qualifying. There is a link on my site that should take you to more information  about the program in your state. Local health departments should have information about the program for you too.

I have many more links that I am organizing. Many are state specific. Would you mind telling me which state you are in? If we're lucky, I'll have something for you in your state.

The pre-existing condition thing is tricky. What happened with us is I was approved for Medicaid retroactively (a couple of weeks after my mastectomy). Because of that, when my husband found a local job with benefits they covered me with no problem; they considered my coverage with Medicaid--even though it was retro-active to my diagnosis--to be a "continuation of coverage". Your situation is somewhat different though because you have been without insurance a bit longer than we were. Generally, a lapse of coverage longer than 60 days makes it tough to be covered.

I can tell you that most lumps (around 80%) turn out to be benign. The fact that you are young is also in your favor. I do hope it turns out to be nothing.

Please post back with the state where you live if you can't find anything on my wikispace.  I'll see what I can dig up!

(((HUGS)))
Diane

When you're down to nothing, GOD is up to something! http://bb67.wikispaces.com/

Dx 2/15/2006, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 24/27 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2008 08:36AM Diamonds1 wrote:

Im in Westchester, NY

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Feb 25, 2008 08:38AM WellWater wrote:

First of all Diamond, take a deep breath.  80% of all lumps turn out to be benign.  A painful lump means nothing and being close to your period may have everything to do with the tenderness.  A definitive lump always needs to be checked out and if this one doesn't go away within a few weeks you do need to get it looked at. 

Your husband is correct - do not run out and buy insurance thinking that IF you have any health issue they'll pay....they will NOT.  They not only check your health history but if you pop up with something a few months after siging up, believe me it will be denied.  I understand the high cost of insurance - I pay almost $700 a month for it and have high deductibles to meet.  I do without things to pay for this but in the long run it's worth it.  If you and your husband are w/o insurance, one of you needs to find a job with benefits.  Not easy, I know.

IF something turned out to be wrong, you can talk with the doctor's office manager - some states have programs for the uninsured, don't be afraid to ask.

Good luck, let us know what happens.  Trina

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.

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Feb 25, 2008 09:02AM badboob67 wrote:

Diamond,

I am going to post a couple of links here for you.

First is the New York State Department of Health website cancer page.

This is The New York State Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program page. 

This one is for The New York State Breast Cancer Support and Education Network.  

Take a look at these links and make a phone call or two. If you still aren't able to get anything, let me know and I'll keep digging!

(((HUGS)))

Diane 

When you're down to nothing, GOD is up to something! http://bb67.wikispaces.com/

Dx 2/15/2006, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 24/27 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2008 09:10AM badboob67 wrote:

The Patient Advocate Foundation has a page to search for assistance by state. They currently have 79 listings for New York State. 

Click

here

to search. These programs are not "disease specific". 

When you're down to nothing, GOD is up to something! http://bb67.wikispaces.com/

Dx 2/15/2006, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 24/27 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2008 09:14AM, edited Feb 25, 2008 09:15AM by badboob67

Komen is also a possibility:

Komen Foundation's National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline, 1.800 I'M AWARE

When you're down to nothing, GOD is up to something! http://bb67.wikispaces.com/

Dx 2/15/2006, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 24/27 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2008 09:24AM Diamonds1 wrote:

THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I feel a slight amount of relief, at least i feel more patient now. I am going to monitor this lump/pain. I will be researching my options with your links and if this doesnt go away in about 2 weeks, I will definately be getting it checked.

Quick question (maybe silly), is it possible for BC to get really bad in that short amount of time, if it were indeed cancer?

Thanks!!

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Feb 25, 2008 09:52AM badboob67 wrote:

Diamonds1,

So glad I could help!  Your (NOT SILLY!) question is common. Generally speaking, most cancers have been forming for a number of years before they are detectable as a lump. There are some types of breast cancer (bet you didn't know there was more than one type, huh?!) that can move rather quickly but  two weeks for you to do some research and work up the nerve to get it checked out shouldn't be a problem. 

You will be in my thoughts and prayers! I hope you come back to us with GOOD NEWS very soon!

(((HUGS)))
Diane

When you're down to nothing, GOD is up to something! http://bb67.wikispaces.com/

Dx 2/15/2006, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 24/27 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2008 11:30AM tygress wrote:

KUDOS to you badboob67 for helping Diamonds1! And all of us. I would say too, that most cities have some sort of "Well Woman" medical program that helps people w/o insurance. When I lived in Houston, TX and had no ins., I went to a place called "The Rose". I found out about it thru Social Services. I admit it was a bit humbling to call someone for help like that..but worth the peace of mind I got after.

I found a lump..4/1 syllable words w/ a DICTIONARY of meanings

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Feb 25, 2008 02:45PM Shirlann wrote:

Hi honey, in the event that no help is offered, and you need to keep on top of this, I have a suggestion.  When a friend of ours had a back injury, God help me for suggesting this, he went to another city, used a fake name, and got treatment (of course, he had to pay for it).  I am sorry and ashamed that in a country as rich as this one, such a thing even needs to be mentioned.  But it did work for him, he was in construction and did not want a "bad back" on his resume, as he would not be able to get work.

I feel terrible suggesting this lying, but if worse comes to worse, it is something you can do.

Hoping this is not necessary,

Gentle hugs, Shirlann 

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Feb 25, 2008 03:34PM Diamonds1 wrote:

Thank you and hugs to all! You are such a supportive, gracious and kind group. I am so sorry for anyone who has had to suffer w/ this disease. Just having this scare is giving me a different feel on life. Making me realize how precious life is... and unfortunately how terrible our health care/insurance industry is.

Shirlann, my husband said a similar thing. he said why dont you just give a fake name/ss#, so they dont track me. Its so rediculas how they do that! where is our privacy anymore?

Thanks again and bless you all.



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Feb 25, 2008 08:16PM miniota56 wrote:

I will say prayers for you and your family. Praying for B9. If a clinic or hospital takes any kind of federal funding they have programs for free care. My husband had pre existing conditions. We were without insurance for 2 years. Like you he was afraid to go to the Dr. Hear in MN he has a plan which is excellant bought through the state. Me I'm on medicare + other insurance. My Dr told me there are Federal laws when it comes to BC. Hope everything turns out for you.

Hugs

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Feb 25, 2008 10:50PM Diamonds1 wrote:

Ok ladies. Now im confused! I felt the left breast for the heck, in the same spot, on left side, near/in armpit/breast border, i have a small lump and pain there too!!?? I laid down and felt around the right side some more. It feels grainy, small and in a very lumpy area, of very small like a chain of fatty, small lumps or lymph nodes. i have less on left breast, but at least one similar sore tiny lump or node. on the right side, it is very painful. the pain radiates into my back/shoulder if i press hard. I dont know if this is a good sign or a bad sign.

My husabnd thinks its muscle related, since i recently helped him bring a 100 lb TV down our spiral staircase. I dont know why it would be muscle related when there are small bumps im feeling pain on.

Any insights on this?

Thank you again.

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Feb 25, 2008 10:52PM Diamonds1 wrote:

ps- on the left breast/lump area, when i press, it also hurts my left back/shoulder area. ???

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Feb 26, 2008 05:00PM Diamonds1 wrote:

anyone have any insights? (see above post). Thanks.

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Feb 26, 2008 05:57PM iodine wrote:

I am sure many are reading this and wishing they could help--me, too.  I'm just not sure at all what it may be.  Gonna have to hit up the doc for an eval on it I guess.  sorry

Dotti---BE NOT AFRAID, Pope John Paul

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Feb 26, 2008 06:26PM, edited Feb 26, 2008 10:19PM by anneshirley

Hi--every state is different and New York is one of the more progressive.  Please call the New York State Insurance Department (used to have an office on William St. in NYC) to ask if pre-existing condition (in New York) would preclude you from coverage.  I thought I read somewhere that New York has a provision that outlawed pre-existing clauses, but I may be wrong.

Also, there's a New York State program called Healthy New York which has a relatively inexpensive insurance plan for self employed New Yorkers if income is  below a certain amount.  You really need to see a doctor, but call the Insurance Department to inquire about pre-existing clauses in New York, maybe tomorrow.  I'll also check on internet to see what I can find.  If I have any luck, I'll post again.

Anneshirley Picture of Mary & Sophie, my nieces

Dx 6/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 26, 2008 06:31PM anneshirley wrote:

Just found this, after entering "New York pre-existing conditions health insurance."

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that two health plans have agreed to re-examine their decisions to deny coverage to thousands of New Yorkers.

Under the terms of the settlement, two divisions of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield in Central New York and Utica-Watertown, will review 16,621 claims, and Mutual of Omaha will review 156 claims, that were denied since 1997 primarily due to alleged pre-existing medical conditions.

"State and federal law require that a pre-existing condition be covered unless diagnosis or treatment of the condition was actually recommended or received six months prior to enrollment in a plan," Spitzer said. "This agreement will help ensure coverage for pre-existing conditions for those who are entitled to it."

The plans’ review of their denials is necessary because their contracts and/or denial notices contained incorrect or incomplete pre-existing condition definitions, and omitted or incorrectly stated the members’ right to be credited with covered days under previous health insurance.

Spitzer’s Health Care Bureau began an investigation of Excellus and Mutual of Omaha after receiving complaints that the plans wrongly denied coverage due to alleged pre-existing conditions. In one instance, the widow of a Mutual of Omaha member called the Health Care Bureau’s hotline after the plan billed her over $200,000 for medical services provided to her late husband. Her husband had twisted his knee several weeks before he joined Mutual of Omaha. Diagnostic tests conducted after his enrollment, however, revealed that, in addition to the sprain, a malignant tumor in his knee had spread throughout his body. The plan refused to cover her husband’s care, arguing that his cancer existed before his enrollment.

A review of the plan’s contract revealed that it had incorrectly defined pre-existing condition as that "which manifests itself in symptoms which would cause an ordinarily prudent person to seek medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment." After the Attorney General’s office contacted the plan, it reversed its decision and paid for the care.

In addition, the Attorney General’s office found that both plans’ member contracts and/or denial notices omitted or failed to accurately state the members’ right to be credited with prior health insurance coverage. Generally, a consumer has "creditable coverage" if he or she was previously covered under another health plan and had a break in coverage of 63 consecutive days or less between leaving the prior plan and starting with the current plan.

"This action by Attorney General Spitzer sends a clear message that health care consumers will be afforded the protection guaranteed by federal and state law," said Mark Scherzer, Counsel to New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage. "New York’s mandated pre-existing condition definition prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for conditions that consumers did not perhaps even know they had before they got their insurance. That’s only fair."

Please call New York Insurance Department, as I'm sure it can help with your decision about finding a doctor now. 

Anneshirley Picture of Mary & Sophie, my nieces

Dx 6/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 26, 2008 06:37PM Diamonds1 wrote:

Thank you for the information! The problem is, i have no way to get insurance right now to even investigate this. As mentioned, Im going to wait since im a few days away from TOM. Since discovering the pain on the sides of my breasts (near armpit/bra wire area), my Mother, and best friend both said they had the same pain in the past. My best friend had it as early as last month. It was also just before her TOM, she is same age as me. Not to say we are all the same, and not to say this isnt more serious- but i have decided to wait until after TOM. However, i sort of remember this kind of pain happening before, on the sides, if i press hard. It makes me wonder if im not pressing down on a tender muscle, or wearing the wrong bra. I have size 36D bra. Thanks again for the information!

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Feb 26, 2008 06:42PM Diamonds1 wrote:

I read some info on this site: www.embarrassingproblems.co.uk...

Since the pain is on both side, in same area, i find it too ironic. I think its my bra, which i know does not fit me well. I am wearing a size too small, since i gained some weight. the back of the bra goes up and the front sags. i think my under-wire is digging into my breasts, which have gotten larger in the past few years.

I will keep an eye out, but since it is in both breasts, rather then one, i thought that is a sign of it being cyclical, menstrual related.

But, then again- i dont know for certain!

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Feb 26, 2008 06:44PM anneshirley wrote:

But even if this turns out to be nothing, you need to have health insurance.  One never knows, even at your young age.  Here is the link to Healthy New York:

http://www.nyhealthinsurer.com/healthy_new_york/ 

Anneshirley Picture of Mary & Sophie, my nieces

Dx 6/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 26, 2008 06:47PM, edited Feb 26, 2008 10:20PM by anneshirley

You might be suffering from "costco."  This is the short name.  it's inflammation of the cartilage and can cause pain under breast and back.  I have it, and I believe it started when I wore a sports bra too small for me.  It's painful but is relieved somewhat if you take an anti-inflammatory drug.  My doctor told me to take three Ibuprofen, three times a day.  It did kill my stomach, however, but it certanly helped.

Good luck, but don't let the insurance go if this clears up.  You really do need it in this country, at least for now. 

Anneshirley Picture of Mary & Sophie, my nieces

Dx 6/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 26, 2008 06:55PM Diamonds1 wrote:

Thank you for the info. I checked the healthy ny link, i think the income requirement knocks us out. We make over the amount for a family of 2, namely since we have rental income that is quite high (despite the fact that it goes to pay a mortgage and not for our gain).

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Feb 26, 2008 09:05PM badboob67 wrote:

Diamonds1,

Sometimes those rules can be bent a little if you talk to the right person. If you give it another month (cycle) and are still feeling something's not right, you will do yourself a favor getting it checked out. You don't want to go through the worrying and wondering, right?

It also frustrated me that our income was considered to high for some assistance, but they didn't take into account how much our mortgage costs. In my area, they have a standard housing expense allowance around $200--no matter how many are in the family!  I'd like them to SHOW ME where someone could find anything more substantial than a tent for that $$$!!

Anyway, you can take some time calling the health departments, etc. and ask questions without having to reveal your name or anything else. You'll have a better idea of what's available in case you need it in the future, right?

(((HUGS))) to you!

Diane 

When you're down to nothing, GOD is up to something! http://bb67.wikispaces.com/

Dx 2/15/2006, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 24/27 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 28, 2008 02:24PM msannie57 wrote:

Healthy Living Partnership of Westchester Co.

145 Huguenot St.
New Rochelle, NY 10801

Maureen Bradley, RN, MS, FNP-c
Phone: (914) 813-5255 Ext:
Fax: (914) 813-4147

For some of these program you must also meet age guidelines.

Ann