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Breast lump felt but not seen on ultrasound

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  • bellaof5
    bellaof5 Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2012
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    MrsCich

    Sorry I know it's not the news you wanted to hear, please know I send all my prayers and well wishes to you !! Hugs to you.

    Steph

  • tinat
    tinat Member Posts: 2,235
    edited August 2012
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    MrsCich - Wow, you are on the fast track!  I hope you have a chance to breathe and make sure all your questions are answered and all your options presented.  Specifically, are you a candidate for nipple-sparing surgery?  I believe it made a world of difference for me in how well I did emotionally.  I know I would have done OK either way, but I feel very fortunate that it was offered and worked out for me. 

    Best wishes....

  • jennyb4
    jennyb4 Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2012
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    So sorry for you news MrsCich:( you are in my thoughts and prayers. Can I ask a question. You said part of your dx was in-situ. Iv had several melanomas the were that. Which meant it hadn't spread beyond the mole. Is is different with breast cancer?? Why the mastectomy? Is it precautionary?? Don't mean to question what you have to have done. I just don't understand.

  • Infobabe
    Infobabe Member Posts: 52
    edited August 2012
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     jennyb4 

    Jenny, the DCIS cells move along the duct and can be in a small area or all through the breast.  There can be grades 1, 2, or 3.  It can remain that way but some go on to go through a change in the cells makeup and become invasive.   Once invasive, it can travel throughout the body through the lymph system or through the blood.  

    It is unknown when and if the DCIS will change to Invasive Breast Carcinoma (IBC).  If the DCIS is in a small area and can be treated with lumpectomy with big clear margins, in some cases nothing more must be done.  

    It is possible that microscopic DCIS can remain in the breast, though it appears to be slow growing and may not be evident for a long time.  However, if the woman is younger and they have 50 years of life ahead of them they do not want to risk invasive cancer as it is a long time for DCIS to develop.  Therefore, mastectomy gives more peace of mind with regard to recurrence.  This is especially true when the DCIS is extensive.  So shape and size matters.  Please read this page for a clearer explanation.  Others have said this better than me.

    http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/68/topic/790992?page=2#idx_38 

  • MrsCich
    MrsCich Member Posts: 114
    edited August 2012
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    Thanks Infobabe, I could never have explained that.  Jenny, I have both.  DCIS and IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) of the right breast.

    I am having a Bilateral Nipple Saving simple mastectomy with right sentinel lymphnode biopsy.  After speaking with the BS yesterday, my anxiety has eased some. The surgery is a little more invasive than breast implant surgery.  A small incision underneath each breast, they scrape out all of the breast tissue and put in the implants.  In the hospital for one day, drainage tubes for 4 days.  I meet with the oncologist after it's all done and the results have come back from the lymphnode dissection and staging of the cancer. I won't know what stage it is until it comes back.  He did say that at my age (33) chemo is almost definite because of how aggressive it usually is.  Won't know about radiation until after the lymphnode dissection. 

    I meet with the plastic surgeon this Thursday.

  • tinat
    tinat Member Posts: 2,235
    edited August 2012
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    MrsCich - Hopefully, they'll be able to easily locate the sentinel node and will only have to remove one or two rather than doing a whole dissection (unless full dissection is the plan based on your age?).  Keeping my fingers crossed for you on that.  And great to hear that your BS does NSM with inframammary incisions (some don't).  Sounds like you've got a fabulous team so far - hope you land a great PS as well! 

  • MandyK
    MandyK Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2012
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    I have read most of the posts on this and I am worried about myself and to be honest a little scared. I found a lump on my left breast in October 2009 my doc sent me for a mamo and us and found nothing do sent me to a surgeon that did an exam and said I was fine and that it's just fatty tissue. I let it go and tried not to worry about it but after a while I wanted it checked again so at the beginning of this year I had another us done and they made me feel like I was crazy cause the one doc said she didn't even feel what my doc or I felt. The lump is still there and now I think I feel another one but I hate feeling like I'm over reacting. God bless and I'm sorry to hear about some of the stories on here u are all in my prayers

  • tinat
    tinat Member Posts: 2,235
    edited August 2012
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    MandyK - Hi, it's natural to be concerned when you feel something is different or isn't "right".  Odds are definitely in your favor that there's nothing ominous going on, most lumps and bumps are fibroadenomas or other benign things.  Many of us have required an MRI to evaluate lumps and bumps, especially if your breast tissue is dense.  Dense tissue is difficult to evaluate thoroughly on mammogram and even is sometimes difficult with ultrasound.  If you are really concerned and don't want to wait and re-evaluate in 6 months or a year (which is what I assume they've told you) start asking about an MRI.  A breast surgeon usually has the greatest success in jumping through the insurance hoops to get it approved.  If you have a family history or if you feel something that they can't find on other imaging studies that helps a bit to get it approved. 

    Did you have your ultrasound done at a general imaging center or at a center that only does breast imaging?  Did you see a general surgeon in 2009 or was it a breast surgeon? 

    If I'm reading your post correctly it's been almost 3 years since you saw a surgeon.  I would ask for another consult with a breast surgeon, perhaps someone different than you saw before.  Be honest and say that you are becoming very concerned, that you feel another possible lump,  and you want this area examined by a breast surgeon and (hopefully) get an MRI.  Again, chances are in your favor that this will be something benign, but it would be good to put your mind to rest either way. 

    Listen to that little nagging voice and be persistent!

  • MandyK
    MandyK Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2012
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    Thank you Tina I will update after I find a breast surgeon because it was a general surgeon the first time and he just brushed me off.

  • tinat
    tinat Member Posts: 2,235
    edited August 2012
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    If you need more imaging studies and if you have the option I would also recommend going to a breast imaging facility where the techs and the radiologists and the equipment are all dedicated to breasts.  A radiologist who looks at breasts all day long and a tech who images breasts all day long are liable to take a closer look at what you're feeling than at a general radiology center.  Just my observation from my own experience.....

  • jennyb4
    jennyb4 Member Posts: 8
    edited September 2012
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    Hope everyone is doing well. Just wanted to give an update. I went to the specialist on Tues. After discussing my options which there weren't many of, they are going to do an excisional biopsy. She said we could try and get an MRI approved but it could take awhile and it really wouldn't tell her what it is anyway. They can't do a needle biopsy because it doesn't show up on US so theirs no guidance. So I guess its better to just get it out and over with. And of course find out what it is. Does this sound like the right decision, just looking for some guidance. Thanks for listening.

  • tinat
    tinat Member Posts: 2,235
    edited September 2012
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    jennyb4 - Hi, obviously the breast surgeon can feel what you are feeling or she wouldn't be doing an excisional biopsy.  At least you're not being dismissed and that's encouraging, right?

    I had 3 biopsies with ultrasound guidance and 2 with MRI guidance, but none of them were palpable.  Since your area is palpable and the surgeon obviously doesn't feel a needle biopsy would be as helpful as an excisional biopsy that sounds reasonable.  As you said, just get it out.  If it was me, that would help to put my mind at ease.  I had an excisional biopsy in 2009 and it was a bit unnerving because I had to have needle localization, etc. before.  Since yours can be felt it should be pretty straightforward.

    Fingers crossed for you that this turns out to be nothing exciting.  Good luck! 

  • jennyb4
    jennyb4 Member Posts: 8
    edited September 2012
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    Thanks Tina. That's what my husband said, just get it out. Even if hopefully its nothing. I don't have to worry about it anymore. When you say localized needle numbing, does that mean they do that before you get sedated. She didn't mention that. She said they give you that stuff called twilight sedation. So I assumed that was all. Are you saying the numb it before that to. And what can I expect to feel after?

  • tinat
    tinat Member Posts: 2,235
    edited September 2012
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    Sorry if my choice of words was confusing Undecided.  When I said unnerving I actually meant it was a bit stressful, not that they numbed anything.  The area I needed biopsied in 2009 couldn't be seen or felt from the outside so right before the biopsy I had to have a series of mammograms and a needle/wire threaded so the tip was right at the suspicious area.  Otherwise, the surgeon wouldn't know what tissue to remove.  You won't have to go through that process.  Since yours can be felt on the outside it will be a much simpler biopsy.....the surgeon can go by sight and feel.  So it should be pretty straightforward.  I had general anesthesia because the surgeon had to go deep.  It's nice that you can get the twilight sedation, works great and much easier to recover from.  You should feel fine, except obviously sore from the incision.  They'll probably send you home with some pain meds and ice packs.  Every surgeon seems to do something different regarding stitches and sutures.

    I agree with you, even if it's nothing you will at least know and won't have to keep following it and wondering.  I hope you can get it scheduled soon and be done with it!!!   

  • jennyb4
    jennyb4 Member Posts: 8
    edited September 2012
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    Thanks Tina for explaining. It is scheduled for the 26th. I'm assuming they will have some idea what it is when they see it. Like they would know if it was just breast tissue??

  • tinat
    tinat Member Posts: 2,235
    edited September 2012
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    jennyb4 - Well, your surgeon might speculate, but I wouldn't count on finding out anything for a few days.  Hang in there!!!
  • Wimpy17
    Wimpy17 Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2012
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    I just had the same problem. Mammagram and ultrasound were clear. My doctor sent me for a BSGI, which the surgeon said is rare and prob saved my life. I am 34 yrs old. The BSGI showed the lump we felt was normal but found cancer in the other breast that the mammogram missed. Thank God for that dr. And that test. You need to request a BSGI or a breast MRI. Don't take no for an answer.

  • Infobabe
    Infobabe Member Posts: 52
    edited September 2012
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     Wimpy17

    Did your insurance company give you any flak about paying for the BSGI?  They are dragging their heels about paying for MRIs. 

  • angeet123
    angeet123 Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2012
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    Yes I have two what I call huge lumps in my left breast that I can feel, even see one, the Dr's can feel but they do not show up on any mammogram or ultrasound. When they did a biopsy they called me at home to ask me if I would let them get more tissue because they were baffled. The biopsy was neg. I don't know what to do. Actually I am scared I .know I should let them get more tissue. What was your experience like?

  • flygirl38
    flygirl38 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2012
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    Hello, I just found this board and am hoping I can get some solid advice.  About 2 weeks ago a minor ache on the outside edge of my left breast woke me.  I decided to feel the area and found a small 'lumpy" area that did not hurt on palpitation.  It really doesn't hurt still, just a small ache to remind me it is there.  After a week of it only getting slightly more distinct (just enough that I didn't think I was imagining it) I made an appointment. The nurse practitioner did send me to get a mammogram, but because she felt the "plug" on my breast implant (which I explained had already been checked out), but she said she was not concerned about the area on the outside of my left breast because it was just thickened tissue.  The mammogram today showed thickened tissue as well, so they did an ultrasound.  During the ultrasound the technician said she could feel the "ridge" even with the equipment (imaging tool) she was using to scan, but did not see anything suspicious.  Her "guess" was a pulled muscle.  I have gotten well beyond the "I'm imagining it point", and it is definitely different from the right side, with a little ache to it as well.  Should I be concerned, and if so, what do you recommend as a follow-up?

  • Pinkpanther21
    Pinkpanther21 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
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    Hi



    I'm in a similar position in a way - I found a lump on my left breast about 10 weeks ago, went to my GP and he sent me to see a breast consultant. The breast consultant confirmed that he could feel the lump and would prefer to have a biopsy done. I went yesterday expecting to have my ultrasound and biopsy but was only given the ultrasound. I'm only 28, which reduces the concern straight away (slightly frightening as I've heard of many woman my age and younger being diagnosed) and have very 'busy' breasts apparently. The Dr that conducted the ultrasound confirmed he could feel the lump but said he could not see anything on the scan - he admitted himself he expected to see a small benign lump such as a cyst. He said as he couldn't conclusively see anything on the scan that he would not be able to do a biopsy (even though he could feel it). My mum is just recovering from her reconstruction treatment that she had 3 months ago, perhaps this is making me worry more (I am human), however, don't feel being ushered off home with the advice to 'keep an eye on it and if it appears to be getting larger to go back to my doctor'. I think that in a few more months I could have developed some severe paranoia issues, which I really don't want as I do tend to become easily obsessive about things like this. Does anybody have any advice, am I being overly concerned for nothing?

  • worried13
    worried13 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
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    Pinkpanther

    I would get a second opinion. I am going thru this same process and have only had an ultrasound at this point. I am 31 and a general surgeon did the ultrasound and found nothing. She refused to do a breast exam but yet she noted "normal clinical breast exam" which I find strange since both my GP and GYN dictated that there was a small palapable mass in the areola of the left breast. Anyway the general surgeon didn't even recommend further imaging study for me or any type of follow up. The report did say she could visualize "3 millimeters only if breast tissue due to intraglangular implants" is it just me or wouldn't you expect her to reccomend further imaging because we were unable to fully see the area?! I have my second opinion appt 6/6 and will hopefully know more then.

    Push for another opinion and further testing, better safe than sorry.

  • Jenn12
    Jenn12 Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2013
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    I also have a strong family history with breast caner. Five generation of women on my mothers side all have/ had breast cancer. I had a yearly check up and my doctor found a lump. So I had a mammogram and ultrasound that didnt show anything except that I have dense breast tissue. I had the follow up with my doctor and he found a second lump on the same breast. So I am having a biopsy. Have a lot of people saying not to worry because I am young, but my mind is going crazy because of my family history.

  • Lizp1175
    Lizp1175 Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2013
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    Hi everyone,

    I felt a lump in my left breast and went to the MD.. She felt it as well, referred me to a general Surgeon and asked for a mammo and ultrasound.

    I don't know hat the mammo showed but the tech for the ultrasound said they didn't see the lump and that I shouldn't worry about cancer.

    It worries me that they didn't see something I could feel.

    I don't know if I should be worried or not.

  • Sinfullyd
    Sinfullyd Member Posts: 17
    edited July 2013
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    I am also in this situation. I have palpable lumps in both breasts but because im only 30 i am not allowed a mammogram. Ultrasound was performed but it showed nothing so i have been told go home and forget about it!! i am heading back to my GP tomorrow and asking for a second opinion. Even if it is nothing to worry about i will still like to know exactly WHAT it is.

  • Lizp1175
    Lizp1175 Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2013
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    Sinfullyd,



    So sorry your going through this. It is very hard. I would insist it be removed or biopsied at least.

    They were able to see my tumor finally today. I will be having a biopsy and fingers crossed its nothing to worry about. :)

  • Sinfullyd
    Sinfullyd Member Posts: 17
    edited July 2013
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    Hi lizp. I hope your biopsy comes back ok. I'm glad they finally managed to see something. I went to docs again yesterday and was told categorically that I have cysts, nothing more. Even tho the scan showed nothing at all. So that's it. No biopsy, no asperating, just get on with life and deal with it. The doc said my pain is nothing to do with the cyst at all (strange how the pain is exactly where the cyst is) and i need to go back in 2 weeks if pain hasn't gone. It's been over a month now of pain so hopefully by some miracle it will just all go away cos the doctor says so! Sorry a little bit of a rant there lol

    Keep us posted with the results of your biopsy. Fingers crossed for you x

  • EH95
    EH95 Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2014
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    I had a physical examination done my doctor found 2 lumps in my breasts so she sent me for an ultrasound. The ultrasound came back with no underlining mass or cyst. To be sure she sent me to a surgeon who said he only felt like it was breast tissue but again to be sure he sent me to get a mammogram done. I just got that done today the lady showed me the imagining from the mammogram and nothing was visible. The surgeon also asked for a biopsy to be done but the hospital declined. I now have to wait 2 weeks to see the surgeon and see what he thinks about the ultrasound and mammogram results and it is then up to him to request another biopsy if he feels it is necessary. I am only 18 and having read this i am really worried!

  • carmellow18
    carmellow18 Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2014
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    I just went in today to have a Diagnostic Mammogram and Ultrasound done. I found a superficial lump on my right breast, waited about 3 weeks to go to the doctor because I told myself it would go away. She looked at it and told me it was superficial and about .5 cm but then she felt another lump about 1 cm and deeper in the tissue, so she sent me to have the mammo and US. The US Tech could not even find the lump the doctor found, and I was of no help because I did not feel it (I never give myself breast exams) so she told me it was probably nothing. I have to wait until Monday to get results from mammo and US back....but if the US tech told me its nothing should I be relieved? Obviously the doctor felt something! She also referred me to a breast specialist....so my question is...do I trust the tech and assume nothing is wrong and I am worrying for nothing? and even if it comes back showing nothing should I still go see the Breast Specialist? BC runs on my mom's side of the family as 3 aunts have passed away ranging in age from 35-45. I am driving myself crazy with readying things online.....just want to know how reliable the US tech is...and if she didnt see the lump on the US does that mean it really is not there? I am only 28 years old in case that matters at all

  • Infobabe
    Infobabe Member Posts: 52
    edited March 2014
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    Carmellow18, because of your age and the US 's remarks, I would not worry.  My mother used to say, don't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.  We spent way too much time worrying about things that never happen.  That said, I think you should follow through with the specialists appointment.  You will continue to worry until you do.  You should probably ask for a BRCA  gene test given your family history of younger women and BC.