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20 years old and scared...

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ella111
ella111 Member Posts: 11
edited March 2019 in Not Diagnosed But Worried

Hello everyone!! My name is Ella and I am a 20 year old college student!

I'm looking for some advice or good vibes or really whatever you can offer me because I'm honestly terrified.

A couple weeks ago I find a lump on my L breast (towards my armpit but still in the lower breast region).. I have a family history of BC, my grandma on my dads side survived and was diagnosed post-menopausal.. So my PCP says it's probably a cyst because I'm only 20- but sends me for an ultrasound anyways. I go down to ultrasound and doctor says, "it's definitely not cyst". He also finds another mass right behind my nipple. I started getting nervous because I could tell on his face something was off.... OR I'm completely crazy and over thinking it. Anyways, He tells me I'm going to need a biopsy on the two sites, so I'm waiting for that to be scheduled hopefully for next week.

One concern I have is that they never checked my R breast. I understand the L breast was the one that I felt the lump in, but then again I couldn't feel the mass behind my nipple so who knows what's waiting on my R side (that I'm just not capable of feeling). Also, I've been having pain in both breasts around the nipple (like a pinching pain).. Maybe even more so in the R breast!! Now I've read this is usually a sign that it's a B9 mass, but for some reason that's not making me feel any better...

Also!! The doctor never really described the mass to me or what his impression was. I only found out this information below when I picked up my scans and read the document attached.

It says:

In the 4 oclock position there is a heterogeneously hypoechoic and hyperechoic nodule measuring 2.3 cm.

In addition in the 1 oclock position there is a mildy hypoechoic nodule with small internal cystic spaces measuring 1.2 cm. Peripheral flow is noted.

Then they also gave me a BIRAD of 4B.


Obviously I need to talk to my doctor and ask more questions- I was just alone at the ultrasound and honestly very overwhelmed so I forgot what I needed to ask. (I should've asked if he thinks its a fibroadenoma or not, and why I'm getting a 4b rating.) Anyways while I wait for my doctor to call me back, I'm wondering if anyone can give me some information on what this all means. I know time will tell but I honestly haven't been able to do a single productive thing since the ultrasound. I feel like a walking vegetable and the anxiety is becoming too much to handle. Sorry if none of this made any sense I'm just so scatter-brained at the moment.

So nice to find this forum- and even if nobody reads or responds to my post it just feels nice to let it all out...

-Ella



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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,081
    edited March 2019
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    Dear Ella,

    Welcome to the BCO community. We are sorry for these changes in your breast and the fear that is accompanying this experience. We are glad that you reached out to share your story. We are sure others will chime in with support as everyone knows how difficult the days prior to biopsy and waiting for definitive answers can be. It is very hard to come up with all the questions you want to ask immediately and it is a good idea to prepare some, and write them down before you speak to your doctor. Here is a link to resources around common Imaging questions. Hopefully this will give you more information on which to formulate your questions. Keep us posted. wIn the meantime e are sending you warm thoughts and hopes for a benign result.

    The Mods

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited March 2019
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    Try not to worry too much! It's important to check any possibly suspicious mass, so it is prudent for your doctor to recommend a biopsy. "4" means they need to investigate further. 5 is when they *think* it's cancer, and 6 is when it is definitely cancer. Many 4's turn out to be benign and the biopsy will tell you.

    I do think you should ask for an US on the other breast, when you go for the biopsy, just to be certain there is nothing there. You might ask your doc to make it part of the order.

    Good luck - I hope it's nothing!!


  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 736
    edited March 2019
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    Hey Ella111,

    I'm sorry you have to be going through this, and so young! Do you have family or good friends, maybe friends a little older than you who might themselves have been through this, that you can reach out to for support?

    For what it's worth, you're doing all the right things, which is the most important thing. Even if your feelings are intense. Do you have a doctor or school health services you could ask for something temporary to help with the anxiety, if it's getting in the way too much?

    Try not to worry about the other breast right now. You can message your doctor or remember to ask about it at your next appointment. If they do find cancer, they will definitely be doing scanning of it. If they don't, you could still ask for your peace of mind.

    I hope it's benign and with 4B it likely is. But just in case it's not, there are more resources and community supports now for young breast cancer patients than there ever have been, and we here too will be glad to be as supportive as we can.

  • ella111
    ella111 Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    Thankyou so much!!! That makes me feel better. I hadn't thought about reaching out to see if I could get something for the anxiety, I will definitely look into that.

  • blah333
    blah333 Member Posts: 68
    edited March 2019
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    Sorry you are going through this. 20 is very young. Biopsies are very stressful, probably the most stressful thing I've encountered in life. 4B also sounds stressful, mine was 4C but I didn't know it at the time. Before my biopsy they told me it was about 50/50 chance, although I later found out it was going to be more like a 80% chance. However, I had a cluster of calcifications and the image of my mammogram I could see a big constellation.

    Your report does not sound absolutely doomed or obvious as cancer, it could easily be benign. You may want to post your report info on this thread and see what this former radiologist says about it. https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/83/topics...

    See if you can gather more info at your biopsy. They may not want to worry you or try to avoid questions until the results come in. Mention you are concerned about your right breast as well.

    You sound smart and on the ball and kudos for being alert about what's going on. I also could NOT function after my mammogram knowing I'd need a biopsy. I had 18 days of my life in a haze and just researching cancer between my mammogram and diagnosis. Terrible. Try to do something you enjoy or go outside or visit friends. Keep us posted.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited March 2019
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    Ella - God bless you for having to go through this but know that you are taking all the right steps. And yes even with your family history age is on your side to point to benign results. I hope you can take someone with you when you go for your biopsy for emotional support. More than likely the doctor performing the biopsy won't give you any additional information at that time. That is perfectly normal. They want to review the sample and give you clear information so don't read anything into it. Hopefully you will get results quickly. The waiting around is the hardest part so try and keep yourself focused elsewhere as best you can. We are all hear supporting you for whatever you need. Hugs

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
    edited March 2019
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    Ella, the odds of someone being diagnosed with breast cancer at twenty are almost infinitesimally small. It can happen, but it is very, very rare. Better than 80% of Bi-Rads 4 biopsies are benign, and benign conditions, such as benign fibroadenomas, in teens and young women are very common.

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited March 2019
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    First of all, kudos to you for being on top of things and getting a lump checked out. I am glad your family doctor sent you for imaging...too often concerns are ignored because women are too "young". Breast cancer is very rare in women your age, but rare does not mean non existent. I would call and ask about doing an ultrasound on the other side. Call before your biopsy. If it is an ultrasound guided biopsy, they might be able to do them at the same time, and if there are any suspicious areas, then they can check them then. 80% of BIRADS 4 are benign, so praying you are one of the 80%. Do keep us posted, and this waiting is the HARDEST part, so come here to vent anytime. We get it.

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited March 2019
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    And do not hesitate to call and ask about the biopsy scheduling when you ask about the ultrasound. The squeaky wheel gets the soonest appointment.

  • ella111
    ella111 Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    Thankyou so much KBeee!!! I called yesterday for my R breast and they just got back to me- so I have another ultrasound at 2:45 today! Hopefully if they find something today on my R breast they can add that to the list for Tuesday's biopsy. I'll be sure to keep you updated. Thanks for the support everyone, it means a lot :)

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited March 2019
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    I am so glad you're so on top of things and willing to advocate for yourself. It will always serve you well! Do keep us posted.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited March 2019
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    ella way to be on top of things!! You are impressive!

  • ella111
    ella111 Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    Quick update!! Biopsy this morning went well and it didn't hurt much at all! Dr. said the mass behind my nipple looks like a fibroadenoma which is good! but the biggger one (that I can feel on my side) he isn't so sure about. To me it looked irregular (like squiggly around the perimeter) and had patches of white on the inside. I'll have to just wait and see. Hopefully I hear by Friday!! :)

  • djmammo
    djmammo Member Posts: 1,003
    edited March 2019
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  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited March 2019
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    I'm glad it went well. Do keep us posted.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited March 2019
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    Ella I am so glad the biopsy was not an ordeal. Keep us posted and crossing fingers for a no biggie!!

  • ella111
    ella111 Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    hello again!!! Really didn't want to post again until I got my results but here I am.

    My nipple (on the lump side) is bleeding the tiniest bit and it's scaring me because I don't think its due to the biopsy. The nipple on that side has looked more dry and cracked over the last few days too... I guess it's only bleeding when I squeeze it a little, but still definitely not normal for me.. any chance this is due to a fibroadenoma? Maybe I am just messing with it too much and I'm drying out the skin?

    I know the biopsy results are coming soon so I just shouldn't think about it, but it's a little hard when things like this keep popping up... For example I've also been having pains in my L arm too and feeling nauseous and exhausted, but I've been telling myself my anxiety is just causing me to imagine these things. Everyone keeps saying I'm fine and it's just anxiety- but honestly at this point if something isn't actually wrong I'd be surprised.

    Was supposed to have a pediatrics exam tmro (I'm in nursing school) but I just emailed my prof and said I don't think I can take it. My anxiety is just way too high to be retaining any information right now. So now I feel guilty for trying to get out of that but it's just a little too much right now.


    I feel like an absolute crazy person.

  • cecyc
    cecyc Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2019
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    You are not crazy.  Anxiety sucks!! I totally get what you are saying.  Our mind does crazy things to us when we are so stressed.  Praying for benign results for you. 

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 226
    edited March 2019
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    You're not crazy, you've just been through a lot! I was told to expect nipple bleeding after my biopsy, which was sort of behind/above the nipple too, if that's of any comfort. The sore left arm totally makes sense if the procedure was on that side, what with holding it in a somewhat unnatural position for a long time and being really tense and worrying about stuff going on nearby. You've been through a lot, and anxiety and all sorts of physical manifestations are completely to be expected. I hope you are able to sleep tonight and get good news very soon!

  • blah333
    blah333 Member Posts: 68
    edited March 2019
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    I hope you are OK..... I still have some weird pain in my armpit from a biopsy a month ago. Hopefully your professor understands..... I could not think of anything but cancer between my biopsy and diagnosis. 20 year olds should not have to go through with this! To the person that said you have a very miniscule chance of this being breast cancer, that is true. It happened to me at 35 and I later read that the risk for the average 35yr old woman getting it is 1%! So 20 years old must be a mere fraction of a percent. Though, it still does happen. Keep us posted.

  • ella111
    ella111 Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    Looks like more waiting for me... Called around all day today and was just informed that they sent my slides to another lab for additional testing so I "might be able to hear back by next Tuesday or Wednesday"..... Like GREAT... I get that it isn't their fault but all this waiting SUCKS

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited March 2019
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    Waiting is horrible. Just horrible. My cancer center offers all this woo-woo stuff like art and drumming for mental wellbeing... I always felt, hey if you want us to relax, screw the qi gong, and just speed up the flipping test results!!

    FYI my two longest and most horrible waits came from them double checking a GOOD result. They are really hesitant to give you good news and be wrong.

    Try to do something distracting for the weekend. Like Marie Kondo your closet, or cook a complicated cake, or dive into a good abosrbing book, or something else that will eat time and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment or pleasure. I hope you will hear back soon, and that you get good news.



  • ella111
    ella111 Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    Thank you so much, santabarbarian!! Feeling calmer already :)

  • Motheroftwo36
    Motheroftwo36 Member Posts: 13
    edited March 2019
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    I’m sorry u are dealing with this at 20. For me the most stressful part was up to diagnosis. After that I sort of accepted it and I’ve been fine. Weird I guess. With my i was diagnosed with dcis but they had to additional testing to see if it was invasive. So the fact they haven’t given u results is actually a good thing! Good luck and keep us updated.

  • ella111
    ella111 Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    Still no word, so I'm guessing I'm not hearing back today either. Everyone I have talked to on the phone the last few days basically tells me they don't know and not to call back.


    I totally understand that this is a process and the labs get backed up and sometimes they need additional testing... But if you tell someone their results will definitely be in by day X, and they dont come in, shouldn't you call them and explain what's happening? Even if you can't give me a new ETA on the results, just a little communication so I didn't feel completely forgotten about?....Maybe I'm expecting too much? But seriously I found the lab number and called and was pretty close to getting cursed out by the lady.....

  • ella111
    ella111 Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2019
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    They finally called and said the one behind my nipple is a fibroadenoma and the other one they are not sure about. I guess they did not get a good enough sample of it, but she said they didn't find any malignancy so that's good! I just have to have another small surgery to get that one completely removed and then they'll do another biopsy

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 736
    edited March 2019
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    Great news!!

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited March 2019
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    I'm so glad the one is benign. Sorry you have to have surgery, but glad they are taking this seriously.

  • ts542001
    ts542001 Member Posts: 36
    edited March 2019
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    so sorry you are experiencing all this stress, the worst part is the waiting. i'm praying for you and hope this is a benign lesion. your age is really favorable for a benign lesion, but it is still important to biopsy and get pathology back as you never know...you are doing the right thing and i'm glad you are folllowing up and not burying your head in the sand!!! several years back i had a needle biopsy that was not able to tell what the lesion was, so i had to have an excisional biopsy, but that biopsy was negative for cancer. i'm hoping yours is too.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited March 2019
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    thanks for updating us! Good the first one is benign, hoping the second one proves benign too.