Lump & Pain but nothing on Ultrasound?
Hello everyone, I'm not sure if this belongs here as I have not been diagnosed, but I saw many of you had trouble getting doctors to take you seriously. I'm looking for any type of advice on how to proceed with them
I'm 25 now, but almost two years ago, I found a hard vertical lump in my right breast. I didn't realize I still had insurance through my parents at the time, so I just did my best to ignore it (it has been painful on and off). Recently within the last 6 months it seems to have gotten bigger (about 2 inches long now, maybe half an inch wide) and has been consistently painful (no matter what time of the month) to the point where I can't lift my arm, and even cuddling with my partner leaves me in tears. I would describe the majority of the pain as a constant burning, and then often it is stabbing and sharp from the lump area, to my nipple, to my bicep, sometimes my left breast gets the stabbing now. I started doing some research and somewhere found that I was still covered under my parents' insurance until I turned 26. Great, I have six months left!
So I made an appt with my family doctor back in my hometown 2hrs away last Monday (1/13). He felt my lump and knew right away it wasn't normal, told me it was probably a fibroadenoma, and sent me for an ultrasound just to be sure. I went in for the imaging the 15th. The tech (nurse? I'm not sure what her title was) spent about 5 minutes silently gliding the wand over me (felt like my lump was being run over by a truck each time, I was so sore). Then she left the room to go show the images to the doctor. He came in about 20 minutes later and told me it wasn't cancer, and that actually everything looked normal and they couldn't find anything. He then had me point to the lump and spent about 30 seconds doing the ultrasound himself, to tell me again, there is nothing there. He never once felt my lump for himself. He then told me it would go away in a few weeks and gave me a sheet of paper about PMS boob symptoms and a list of recommendations. I was starting to get choked up at this point because I was grateful it wasn't cancer, but now this pain is just nothing? how do you fix that? I told him I've had the lump for two years, it's never gone away, and it's gotten extremely painful lately. He verbatim said, "Wow.. well, just keep monitoring it," shook my hand, and left. That was all I got to say to him.
I have never been on birth control pills, I very rarely drink coffee or soda, and I'm not much of a chocolate eater (these were causes listed on the sheet he gave me that would make my symptoms worse). The paper also had this to say about breast pain: "Breast discomfort is often more apparent approximately two weeks before a menstrual period..." Oh gee! Thanks for letting me know! Except I'm a 25 year old woman, not a prepubescent girl learning about my body changes for the first time. My breast soreness from PMS is completely different from the everyday burning, sharp, pains. My breasts are also lumpy when I'm on my period, like little pebbles, but this lump I'm referring to is large and relatively smooth.
With that being said, my first question: I was/am PMSing, would the fact that my breasts are swollen change or hide anything on the ultrasound?
A day later I got a call from my doctor's office, (wasn't even my doctor himself) telling me that it was not cancer. I told the woman I think I'm going to get more imaging done here in my current city, and she said she'd have to ASK my doctor (say what?!). Fast forward to today, after nearly 3 hours on the phone, going back and forth with my family doctor, the ultrasound office, and a new women's center, I finally get permission for an additional ultrasound with a breast specialist in two weeks.
Second question: The ultrasound unit would not send my ultrasounds to me, is this normal?
So if you've made it this far, does it sound like I'm headed in the right direction? If this new ultrasound comes up normal again, what should I do? Even fibroadenomas should show up on ultrasounds. I just don't understand what this huge lump is if nothing is showing up? I have B cups so the lump is hard to miss when you're feeling for it, I'm even starting to be able to see it when I stand sideways. I've also read that most breast cancers aren't painful, and then some articles say many types are, did/has anyone experienced pain like this? And finally, should I be pushing for a biopsy yet? I think the most difficult thing for me right now is everything is out of my control and I just don't know how to deal with the bureaucracy and politics of health care. I was completely unaware that I would need (and have to wait to get) my doctor's permission to do anything more. So much for autonomy. Anyways... any information, anecdotes, and/or advice is welcome, and thank you in advance! Stay strong beautiful ladies!