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My husband found a lump in his right breast

Stacerd
Stacerd Member Posts: 6
edited June 2014 in Male Breast Cancer

My 41 year old husband found a small lump under his right nipple about four or five weeks ago. It is now larger and some what painful. He went in to see our family doctor who had to look up info on his computer to know what test to order. He took a lot of blood and we are still waiting for one test to come back. All other blood work is normal except mildly low testosterone. The nurse said that with good blood work he should not worry. We are still wondering now if he should have a mammogram done or a biopsy. Any suggestions?

Comments

  • smerf
    smerf Member Posts: 476
    edited May 2012

    I would ask to be evaluated by a surgeon. They are the doctors who make the diagnosis, and the one who would decide about imaging techniques.  Mammogram or MRI, or just biopsy the lump. Bloodwork does not make the diagnosis, but a surgeon would do an exam, and tests as needed. 

  • Joanne_53
    Joanne_53 Member Posts: 714
    edited May 2012

    I am not sure that you would have to see a surgeon but I would be asking for an ultra sound for sure -- my Family Doc sent me for the mamogram and ultra sound and it went from there ....

    Good luck.

  • cooka
    cooka Member Posts: 62
    edited May 2012

    I agree with joanne, my BC journey began with a suspicious lump in-between mammos that my PCP wanted to check out with ultrasound. Never had bloodwork...hope all turns out well.

  • Stacerd
    Stacerd Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2012

    Thanks for the info.  We will schedule with a General Surgeon and talk about our options.  

  • beacon800
    beacon800 Member Posts: 47
    edited May 2012

    This could be a condition called gynecomastia which happens to men.  The location of the lump and the fact that it is painful are consistent with gynecomastia.  That condition is benign.

    He should see a radiologist specializing in breast and have a mammogram (yes, even a man!)  if it's gynecomastia it should be reasonably identifyable as such via mammography.  Blood work won't tell you what you need to know.   If it's not crystal clear that it's gynecomastia, get a biopsy.

    Don't panic but do not stop until you get a very, very clear idea of what's going on.  Some men with cancer get a late diagnosis because doctors so rarely see it.

  • 37antiques
    37antiques Member Posts: 60
    edited May 2012

    If my husband told me he had a lump, I would get it removed.  I don't care if it's a piece of grass the weedeater threw at him, it isn't supposed to be there.  Get it out, find out what it is, and start to sleep soundly at night.

  • beacon800
    beacon800 Member Posts: 47
    edited May 2012

    Here is something very handy about male breast issues.  because it is so rare to see men with breast issues you need to see a doctor, starting with a radiologist, who specializes in breast and preferably one in a large hospital setting who can get advice from colleagues if they have questions about what they see.  I would not see a general surgeon first at all.  Start with radiology.

    http://www.radiologyassistant.nl/en/49a3cce262026

  • Stacerd
    Stacerd Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2012

    Thank you for the info on gynecomastia.  Is there an actual lump with gynecomastia?  His lump is very noticable and you can feel it. His breast is not just enlarged.  We are not stressing YET...we just know this is rare territory for doctors.  We are doing what research we can to help aid the doctors and make sure that they don't just pass it off as something easy.  I have not ever heard of seeing a radiologist.  Do you just call a hospital and ask for an appt with a radiologist who speacalizes in breasts?  We have a really great hospital nearby that is connected to a fantastic cancer research and treatment center.  Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.  

  • socallisa
    socallisa Member Posts: 10,176
    edited May 2012

    My husband had a lump in his breast  and had it removed by the same surgeon who did four of my surgeries.....it was B9

  • 1NippledBandit
    1NippledBandit Member Posts: 8
    edited May 2012

    Get the man-o-gram and ultrasound.  The docs will get a good idea of what it looks like from that.  Cancerous lumps have characteristics that can be seen with these pictures.  The family doc will probably refer you to a surgeon.  In my case, I had 2 family docs tell me I had nothing to worry about.  It was only 2 years later that I pushed to get it checked (after my nipple started retracting) that these tests were ordered.  The surgeon told me later that she knew it was cancer from the first time she saw me (before the biopsy).  Experienced surgeons know what to look for.

     Best of luck and keep us posted. 

  • 1NippledBandit
    1NippledBandit Member Posts: 8
    edited May 2012

    PS.  Cancer can be detected by blood work but only if the cancer is producing one of the known proteins that the docs can look for.  It is a good sign that you have clean blood work, but I would still push for further testing.  Better to be safe than sorry.  I have my blood tested every 6 months as part of my ongoing treatment.  They know the proteins that my cancer produced and that is what they look for.

  • Stacerd
    Stacerd Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2012

    All blood work came back clean and the Family Dr. is telling him that he needs no further testing done.  The lump should go away on its own.  I am a bit ticked off.  He won't even consider a mammogram or ultrasound.  I guess it is time for a second opinion.  Thanks for the advise.   

  • beacon800
    beacon800 Member Posts: 47
    edited May 2012

    Well, yup, you do need a second opinion.  Sounds like your doctor was looking for elevated tumor markers in the bloodwork.  That is not reliable, even with patients who have known and proven invasive cancer.  So your doctor is not up to speed on this. 

    From all the advice on this board, you know what to do, so go and get that mammogram. 

    Hope it's nothing at all :)  Good luck to you and your husband.

  • 1NippledBandit
    1NippledBandit Member Posts: 8
    edited May 2012

    I was misdiagnosed by 2 different doctors.  They told me it was a lipoma (a hard fatty benign tumor).  They told me to watch it and see what it does.  I went almost 2 years before I was finally diagnosed correctly.  Even then, I had to push to have the tests done.  All this time I was not thinking cancer.  Getting a man-o-gram and ultrasound is simple and noninvasive.  Frankly he would be stupid not to have the tests done.  If it turns out to be nothing, great!  If it is cancer and you ignore it, it could lead to an untimely death!  This is a no brainer.  Clear blood work means little.

  • Stacerd
    Stacerd Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2012
    He is now scheduled with a Surgeon who speicializes in breast issues and is also scheduled for a "man-o-gram" (i like that Laughing) and ultrasound on Tuesday.  Hurray, I feel much much better now that we are moving in a proactive forward motion.  
  • 1NippledBandit
    1NippledBandit Member Posts: 8
    edited May 2012

    It could be nothing but it is sooooo much better to catch it early if there is a problem!  Good luck!

  • jdm21
    jdm21 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2012

    Glad to hear he's getting a man-o-gram. My very wise (woman) pcp sent me to a surgeon as soon as I reported a small lump last December. The surgeon also did a needle biopsy. Like most men, I delayed going to the doctor, and only went when I found some free time. I was soon diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer--but it was grade 3, very aggressive, so I was extremely lucky to discover it before it spread. I had a lumpectomy and just finished 3 months of chemo. Radiation begins soon, then hormone therapy, but my prognosis is excellent.



    I hope your luck is even better than mine!

  • steelrose
    steelrose Member Posts: 318
    edited May 2012

    Stacerd...

    Yay for moving forward without delay! Just wishing you and your husband all the best.

    And "Man-O-Grams..." hey... they could catch on! 

  • Stacerd
    Stacerd Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2012

    We just got back from the Gen. Surgeons office and my husband also had a mammo and U/S done today.  It looks like a "normal tissue" lump.  We are very relieved.  He will be having it removed in the near future.  Thanks for all the info and advice.  It has been greatly appreciated.  

  • Joanne_53
    Joanne_53 Member Posts: 714
    edited May 2012

    Wonderful news Stacerd --- always like it when it is good news.

  • 1NippledBandit
    1NippledBandit Member Posts: 8
    edited May 2012

    Great news.  Congradulations.

  • OneWhoCares222
    OneWhoCares222 Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2012

    The Primary Doc should have sent him directly to a surgeon!.

    I am the wife of a MBC Patient/current Survivor. What a ride

    we've been on for past year +.  So...all:  Primary Docs are

    not versed in "male breast exams".  Would love to share our

    journey...tests/mastectomy/PET Scan/BRCA/and so many other

    tests. 6 Chemos...no radiation...Now Tamoxifin (for a Man?)...

    Give me a break.  Many problems there.  OK...

    If anyone wants to talk about Male Breast Cancer...one year

    later...:

    .

    (Edited by Mods to remove member's personal email address)

  • 1NippledBandit
    1NippledBandit Member Posts: 8
    edited June 2012

    OneWhoCares...  Please share your story.  Start a new thread and let us know what you have been through.  I hit my 2 year mark this week and have been on Tamoxifin for about that long (no side effects that I can see).  I also agree that primary doctors do not always catch breast cancer in a man.  I saw 2 different doctors over 2 years and they bolth told me that it was nothing.  If you have a lump, get it checked! 

  • sammy0345
    sammy0345 Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2012

    As soon as my husband found his lump he went to our family doctor who sent him immediately to a surgeon for a lumpectomy...no blood tests or scans, and sure enough it was breast cancer....both the doctor and surgeon were somewhat surprised to say the least. He had a full mastectomy a couple of weeks later with lymph node removal....he is now on chemo (Taxol and carboplatin) and herceptin... for 6 round, then 16 rounds of radiation and then 5 yrs of Tamoxifin.... I amd so glad our doctor is not a "wait and see" kind.

  • mmburr13
    mmburr13 Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2012

    Breast Cancer is so uncommon in men that I feel I need to share my story.  My father was diagnosed 10 yrs ago (age 48).  He had the lump removed & still decided to go through with treatment because they found 1 cancerous lymph node.  He became sick again around Dec 2011 & with some convincing got him to see his original Oncologist who helped determine his prognosis.  My dad has been without a job so no medical to cover tests, etc.  Chemo worked the first time & he was able to live 10 more years but always said he would never want to go through that again if the cancer ever came back.  Since he has no medical insurance this time, he didn't feel he had a choice unless he wanted to rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills.  (Arkansas does not offer aid unless you are considered disabled or broke) My mom, brother, & I supported his decision.  He is now nearing the end after months of pain & discomfort.  Hospice has been very gentle & caring.  I live in California & haven't seen my dad for 3 yrs only because of the distance.  I am flying back there (Arkansas) to say good-bye & to support my mom.  I am trying to prepare myself for what I am going to walk into.  The cancer has spread everywhere.  He was on Methadone for the pain but is now on the Fentanyl patch.  He isn't eating or drinking & hallucinates.  My mom keeps me updated everyday & there is always something new to tell me.  Some days are good & some not so good.  He doesn't do well at night & is very agitated & confused.  His behavior changes a lot & his personality isn't there.  I believe after doing some research on-line that the cancer has spread to his lungs, kidneys, liver, & brain.  The Hospice nurse said today he looks yellow.  But what is the cancer & what is the meds?  It's most likely a mixture of both.  My biggest fear is that he won't recognize me or understand who I am or why I am there. 

    My mom is my hero.  They have been together since they were 17 yrs old.  She has taught me through all this what unconditional love is.  She never gave up on him & supported him through all his decisions & hasn't left his side.  I pray that he goes in peace & that my great grandpa is there to help guide him to heaven.

    Thank you for letting me tell my story.

    Michelle

  • 1NippledBandit
    1NippledBandit Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2012

    Thank you for sharing it.  I'm sorry to hear that it is ending this way.  May God rest his soul!

  • steelrose
    steelrose Member Posts: 318
    edited August 2012

    Michelle,



    Your post breaks my heart. My Dad died of male breast cancer and I know how hard it is to see our healthy, strong fathers in this condition. Be strong and just know that your presence will be felt by your Dad and appreciated by your Mom. Somehow with time, the good, happy memories of our parents far outweigh the painful ones. I wish your family peace. Thinking of you...



    Rose.