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Lots of lumps and an indentation

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Taralynn
Taralynn Member Posts: 45
edited February 2021 in Not Diagnosed But Worried

Hi all!

I will start by saying I have my annual OB exam tomorrow morning where I will of course be discussing my concerns. I've been reading these forums for the past couple weeks now and everyone is so knowledgeable and friendly that I want to add my story here, as I'm sure come tomorrow I will have some questions for you all!

I am a few weeks shy of 39, 3 kids with my youngest being 2. With my last c-section I had a tubal ligation. None were breastfed.

The last few months I've noticed lots of lumpiness in both breasts. General Breast pain has been worse leading to my period. It hurts to even walk up the stairs if I don't have a bra on sometimes. All lumps I can feel seem squishy and movable. In my right breast is a definite very firm area on the upper outer part going up towards my armpit down to about my nipple. The area seems to be pretty similar to what I read about fibrocystic breasts. Ridgy, some lumps throughout, some spots are tender to touch, it flattens pretty much when I lay back, when I press on it it flattens etc. This specific spot softens a bit after my period comes but not fully. It seems close to the skin and I can feel every ridge.

About 6 weeks ago I noticed a dimple when I raise my arm or flex with hands on waist about an inch under this firm area. Strangely enough it seems the indent has maybe got a bit smaller since I first noticed it. But it also looks different depending on the lighting. It seems the more I dig into it looking to feel something it kind of stays sucked in. But then flattens out again. I feel like I sound crazy lol! I even gave myself what looked like a Hickey Because of all the digging. I do feel a very small but very movable round lump sort of under the dimple that seems attached to that fibrous part above it. Could something so small and movable cause tethering I wonder?

Regarding my left breast; it looks fuller than the right which isn't abnormal for me and I can also feel lots of lumps and ropiness but deeper down. In certain lights it seems I can have small dimples there too, but I can't be totally sure. I do get a breast exam every year but haven't been great at checking my own unfortunately.

So of course I'm very nervous. I have strong anxiety with it comes to health related things. I will definitely be discussing that with my family doctor soon. My husband made me laugh because the area of hard tissue was getting slightly red and I goteven more nervous. He's like well, you have been rubbing and poking and prodding that area multiple times a day for a month! And he's probably right because the less I touch it the less red it is.

I also want to add in the past year I've been under a tremendous amount of family stress. I lost 20 lbs really rapidly because of it and gained it all back (boo lol!) Within probably the last 6 months. I have read that stress can lead to fibrocystic changes and weight fluctuations can lead to dimpling.

So basically I'm all over the place. Again, I feel tomorrow they won't just send me on my way with a "all is great!" So I know I'll probably have questions for you ladies. I know my issues can be related to a ton of things, and it's nice to read the ladies here who have had dimpling with benign causes. Google is the worst!!! If anyone has a similar experience with fibrocystic changes or dimpling I'd love to hear!

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,903
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    Hi WorriedmominNJ, and welcome.

    We're so sorry you find yourself here and worrying. Please stay away from Dr. Google! You're sure to get some helpful responses from others here soon, but as you already know, your doctor will be the best person to discuss all of your symptoms, fears, and anxieties with. It's likely your doctor will make you feel better about what's going on and hopefully you can move on without continued worry.

    Keep us posted with what you find out tomorrow. We're thinking of you!

    --The Mods

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,077
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    worried - you got this. You've already pointed out a number of reasons for 'indentation' - weight gain & loss being prominent. You already know that breasts are never exactly the same. And your husband has done you a huge favor by telling you to stop touching, poking, prodding. And you are an age that lumpy, dense breasts are not unusual. Best of al - you know to stay away from Google.

    Good luck tomorrow. Hope you questions are easily answered. Do post back & let us know.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    Thank you MinusTwo! Isn’t that funny how I am fully aware of all the things you and I mention yet my mind still wanders really far to the bad places. It’s definitely hard not to! I will update for sure!

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,077
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    Yup - it's really hard not to worry. That's one of the best things about BCO - other people who understand that.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    update - exam was done bright and early. I explained my concerns before she even touched me and she said she wasn’t overly concerned. She definitely fel what I feel in my right breast and said it feels cystic but ordered a mammogram and ultrasound to be safe. She didn’t seem like it was a rush, she said just make sure it’s not around my period because it won’t be pleasant. She said she didn’t even see the dimples I’ve been obsessing over for a month. Maybe what I am seeing is not what they even look for as being concerning?

    After she left the room, I checked in the mirror there and I barely see anything either now. I will say my right breast is the softest I’ve felt it in a while today; my period is just ending. I’ll try to get in for the scans next week before I ovulate!

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
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    What you described in your opening post certainly sounds fibrocystic. So good news that your doctor was unconcerned, and good news that your breast is softer now that your period is ending.

    At your age, you may be just entering peri-menopause. Our hormones start to fluctuate just like when we were teenagers, and our breasts react to that. Over 50% of women have fibrocystic breasts; for some of us, like me, that's evident from teenage years but many people don't even know they have fibrocystic breasts until they hit around age 40, when the lumpiness and cysts and pain kicks in. Sounds like that may be happening in your case.

    "She said she didn't even see the dimples I've been obsessing over for a month. Maybe what I am seeing is not what they even look for as being concerning?" Yes, that's probably the case.

    Good luck with the mammogram and ultrasound. Hopefully you get the 'all clear'. Let us know!


  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    Thank you Beesie! Hoping to get the scans next week and I’ll update for sure. In the meantime, I’m going to try to stop staring and poking and rubbing. Lol

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    small update and thoughts - I can't get in to get my scans for another week, next Friday. My husband will come with me because I didn't realize they would actually give results then and there. My doctor ordered a mammogram and ultrasound, but the radiology place says the doctor there will determine if an ultrasound is needed after the mammogram. I'm already in the mindset to push for the US if the mammogram says “clear"

    My mind is wandering again. Doctor said she's not “overly concerned" so it means she's somewhat concerned right?? Why didn't she see the indent I'm referring to? Why didn't I specifically say, this right here do you see this?? does this look ominous?? I should have asked more questions.

    All those silly thoughts are going through my head. I felt much more at ease after my appt so I need get back to that space. Now that I can't remember the specific details or words from her My anxiety is kicking in.

    I'm back to looking at my breasts multiple times a day. Trying not to touch too much. The original indent looks different everytime I look it seems like. Guess that means I'm looking too much lol! my daughter turned 12 yesterday and my husbands birthday is Monday and I need to just enjoy the moments. I can't help but think I'm going to get awful news just in time for my own birthday though. Just venting ....... *edited for typos

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,939
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    Wow, you are really overthinking this. If nothing shows up on a mammogram, I don't think you can get an ultrasound because there is no area for them to aim for. Ultrasounds aren't fishing expeditions. Stop over-analyzing every freaking word or you'll wind up with an ulcer.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    lol yes I'm really an overthinker!! Not denying that there. I've done well the past few days but making the scan appt sent me in a frenzy again. I typed all those silly thoughts out realizing how lame they sound.

    Good to know about the ultrasound, I must have misunderstood what some of the ladies here have said about requesting one.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,939
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    Maybe some places will do U/S on request. I've had them on various body parts but always ordered by a doctor for a very specific area. Not sure insurance would cover one of it's not deemed medically necessary.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    thanks Alice! My doctor ordered a mammogram and ultrasound, both bilateral. But maybe just put both down if needed. I’ve never had any scans like this so I’m clueless when it comes to how they’re done. So it did strike me funny that even though my own doctor requested both, that another doctor might override that request? Guess we’ll see next week!

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,077
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    Worried - as you know... don't look. don't touch. Just pretend you don't have any breasts for the next week. If that means you never take off you bra for a week, well worse things have happened.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    not a bad idea, MinusTwo! :)

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    hi ladies. I had a mammogram and ultrasound this morning and the radiology dr (who had zero bedside manner) says he’s suspicious of cancer and I need a needle core biopsy. 4 “solid masses” close together in my upper outer quadrant. He said one is fairly large, but I don’t know what that means. I don’t have a report yet. I know biopsies come back negative a lot but I’m not counting on that. Not really sure what to think right now... I really had high hopes for a better outcome today but I guess the dimpling and redness mean more than I relaised

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    he also said the lymph nodes look good so “that’s good news” according to him. I know cells can be found still in the lymph nodes, do they biopsy those wleo

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
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    Well, at this point, since anything greater than what is deemed to be a greater than 2% chance of cancer is deemed “suspicious“ enough to biopsy, along with the fact you have always had “busy” breasts, I would try to not worry too much about it in the meantime. Most breast biopsies turn out to be benign.

  • quinnie
    quinnie Member Posts: 113
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    worriedmominnj: So sorry you are going through this. THis time of the journey is the most stressful. Not knowing what is really going on. Please try to relax, enjoy your family, have a glass of wine or whatever you like and hope for the best. Its especially hard at your age when having painful lumpy breasts can be common. I am glad you persisted and got the mammo and u/s. There is still a good chance that all is negative. Please let us know so we can support you through this journey.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    thank you ladies! I do still hold out hope that maybe this is something mimicking malignancy. The fact that there are 4 makes me nervous. They’re close by At 9:00,10;00 and 2 at 11:00. I do think I can feel them all. Again, the doctor was stone cold and didn’t seem to want to answer any questions, even though I was flustering to think of some. I asked about the size and he wouldnt even give me an answer. Probably because he literally didn’t even remember the actual sizes. What does fairly large even mean?? I didnt get a report, is that normal? It hasn’t been posted to the online portal yet.

    I’m still curious about what this fibrous feeling is below the lumps. The US tech said the two can be totally unrelated. Maybe something will be on the report. The doctor left the room so fast he wasn’t there to even answer that.

    I called to make the biopsy appt and had to leave a message and didn’t get a call back. I’ll try again tomorrow. I called to speak to my OB and she’s out today. Grr! I did speak to a very nice nurse though.

    Funny thing was, when I asked her about some details on the report she let me know their location. Then I asked size and she said 10cm, 8cm, 7cm and 5! I almost hit the floor. How did things THAT large grow and I didn’t catch them????? I couldn’t even find anything online about a mass 10cm!!! Well, after some searching (And measuring lol) I realized she was giving me the distance from the nipple. And I do recall the US tech typing “10 CMFM” not knowing at the time what it meant. So that mistake made laugh a little and feel more at ease that maybe I’m not breaking some record :(

    Regarding the lymph nodes that the doctor said was a “good thing” (the only spark of positivity he showed!) does cancer usually show up on an ultrasound if it’s in the nodes? Do the nodes automatically get bigger if they contain cancer? Do they get biopsied too?

    Thanks for reading :)

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    got my report in my hands finally, BIRADS 5, what I expected based on the vague info from the doctor. I don’t have my hopes up at this point though the report really doesnt have as much info as I thought it would. I read DJ Mammos post about “unfavorable words” on a report and all I see is “irregular”. I guess solid would be considered unfavorable too.He mentioned 4 masses though only 3 on the report actually say “mass” and they’re all under 2cm at 11:00 and 10:00.

    the larger area of concern (which is assume is what he labeled as fairly large when speaking to me) is a at 9:00 and says “irregular shadowing tissue“ measuring 3cm. Anyone know what that means? This is where my strange indent is and it actually feels like there’s oddly nothing there, let alone a mass of some sort. I actually remember when she scanned this part looking at the screen and seeing a distinct white spot, not dark. Sort of looked like a ghost! Any insight on this?

    also there are microcalcifications which I know can be worrisome. Random, but when I had a KUB years ago for kidney stones, they mentioned calcifications then and my blood calcium has been a bit elevated for many years. Wonder if any of this comes into play? Can someone just be prone to calcifications?

    Axillary lymph nodes are unremarkable. Breasts are heterogeneously dense.


    Official conclusion is: there are 4 solid irregular masses right upper outer quadrant. Multiple masses and suspicious calcifications Mammographically.

    Waiting to hear back from the biopsy people. My OB suggested I make an appt with the breast specialist too.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    Also, for example, the masses are 9x14x13 mm, 8x12x8mm , and 16x12x14 mm . Are these considered taller than wide? The report doesn’t state that but I’m curious.

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,579
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    Nodes with suspected cancer can be palpable and they will U/S and biopsy them if suspected. I went through two different biopsy sessions because the first one they didn't get enough tissue out of the axillary node and wanted to check out some other areas from the breast MRI (which were oil cysts in the end).

    The fact that your axillary nodes are noted as unremarkable is definitely good though! And try not to read into the doctor's demeanor - you are still at early stages of diagnostics and he has limited information to share at this time until biopsy is done and he isn't a specialist. Right now you have some suspicious lumps that are concerning enough to go in and get some tissue and figure out what they are for certain.

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
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    So specifically what are the recommendations on that report? You left that part off.

    It should say specifically what the impression is for each area noted. Is the recommendation to biopsy one, two, three, four or what? Usually one or more would be noted as being something like “likely benign“, or “probable fibroadenoma“ or “complex cyst” or...(fill in the blank.)

    What is the description of the calcifications?

    Is the Birads 5 your breast density rating? The Birads rating as to the level of suspicion for cancer? Normally there would be a rating assigned to each of the noted masses. Which of the areas are rated what?

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    Melissa, thank you. There is basically none of that info you mentioned in here and now I am even more frustrated. It seems the reports I’ve seen posted are more detailed for sure. there are no impressions stated for each finding. Each finding says “there is a solid irregular mass measuring xxxx” and their locations. And then the one about the irregular shadowing tissue.

    The recommendation says “US guided biopsy one or more areas in the upper right quadrant.” So I don’t know how many they plan to check.

    The Birads 5 is the chance of malignancy score. It just says that at the bottom, not for each concerning spot.

    The calcifications says “numerous microcalcifications of varying size”. Which I know is not ideal ....

    I spoke to my OB this morning and she’s still talking about The possibility ofFibroadenomas and cysts which I’m not optimistic about.

    I’m going to try to pull up my report online and see if I can copy and paste!


  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    BREAST DENSITY: HETEROGENEOUSLY DENSE. FINDINGS:

    RIGHT MAMMOGRAM:

    LARGE AREA OF IRREGULAR DENSITY IN THE MIDDLE THIRD OF THE UPPER OUTER QUADRANT EXTENDING POSTERIORLY. THIS LARGE AREA OF IRREGULAR DENSITY CONTAINS NUMEROUS MICROCALCIFICATIONS OF VARYING SIZE SUSPICIOUS FOR A NEOPLASTIC PROCESS. THERE IS A MORE FOCAL IRREGULAR MASS MORE SUPERIORLY, LATERALLY, AND POSTERIORLY WHICH IS ALSO SUSPICIOUS. BOTH OF THE ABOVE DESCRIBED AREAS IN THE CORRESPOND TO THE PALPABLE LUMP. IS ANOTHER AREA OF IRREGULAR DENSITY BETWEEN THE 2 DESCRIBED ABOVE.

    RIGHT ULTRASOUND:

    RIGHT BREAST TARGETED ULTRASOUND WAS DONE INCLUDING SCANNING OF THE LATERAL BREAST BETWEEN 8:00 AND 1:00 AS WELL AS THE AXILLA. THE VISUALIZED RIGHT AXILLARY LYMPH NODES ARE UNREMARKABLE.

    MULTIPLE SOLID MASSES WITH IRREGULARITY IN THE RIGHT UPPER- OUTER QUADRANT.

    AT THE 9:00 POSITION ABOUT 5 CM FROM THE NIPPLE, THERE IS A LARGE AREA OF IRREGULAR SHADOWING TISSUE WHICH IS ESTIMATED TO BE ABOUT 24 X 22 X 33 MM IN SIZE.

    AT 10:00 ABOUT 7 CM FROM THE NIPPLE, THERE IS AN IRREGULAR SOLID MASS 16 X 12 X 14 MM.

    AT 11:00 ABOUT 10 CM FROM THE NIPPLE, THERE IS ANOTHER SOLID IRREGULAR MASS OF 9 X 14 X 13 MM.

    AT 11:00 ABOUT 8 CM FROM THE NIPPLE, THERE IS ANOTHER SOLID IRREGULAR MASS OF 8 X 12 X 8 MM.

    LEFT MAMMOGRAM:THERE ARE NO SUSPICIOUS FINDINGS.S.

    LEFT ULTRASOUND:

    TARGETED ULTRASOUND OF THE LEFT UPPER QUADRANT WAS OBVIOUS ABNORMALITIES.

    CONCLUSIONS

    1. THERE ARE 4 SOLID, IRREGULAR, SUSPICIOUS MASSES OUTER QUADRANT. MULTIPLE MASSES AND SUSPICIOUS CALCIFICATIONS MAMMOGRAPHICALLY IN THE RIGHT UPPER-OUTER QUADRANT.

    2. NO OBVIOUS ABNORMALITY IN THE LEFT BREAST.

    RECOMMENDATIONSULTRASOUND-GUIDED BIOPSY OF ONE OR MORE OF THE SOLID MASSES IN THE RIGHT UPPER-OUTER QUADRANT.

    I PERSONALLY REVIEWED THE RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THIS EXAMINATION WITH THE PATIENT AND HER HUSBAND. WE WILL BE ATTEMPTING TO CALL IN THE RECOMMENDATION FOR RIGHT BREAST BIOPSY TO THE OFFICE OF THE REFERRING PROVIDER.

    BIRADS 5: HIGHLY SUGGESTIVE OF MALIGNANCY: APPROPRIATE ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN


    the “irregularly dense” spot is what my doctor had originally said felt fibrocystic. Its squishy and rope like and changes with my cycle ..... in the mammogram findings it seems some words are left out at the end so it’s even more confusing to me.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    Maybe it’s me being aggravated but it seems he put as much effort in typing this report as he did explaining it to me. Pretty much said he thinks I have breast cancer, sorry ... and left the room. It’s just upsetting all around...

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
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    Kind of hard to sort out. Not very specific about the shape or distribution of the calcifications. Assuming by the “biopsy one or more” of the masses that they all look similar enough that they are comfortable only sampling one, I guess you’ll get better information from biopsy radiologist/surgeon. It does sound like you need to be preparing yourself to be diagnosed and I am sorry about that

  • Bellamom
    Bellamom Member Posts: 1
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    praying for you and hoping your biopsy is benign.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45
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    STILL waiting for my biopsy. It’s scheduled for Thursday and I’ve had no luck getting a sooner appt. I have some questions on my mind and am hoping some of you can help:

    1. the 3 solid masses on my US report seem pretty cut and dry, except the one that says “irregular shadowing TISSUE”. Any idea why he would say tissue and not mass like the others? Also struck me funny that he didn’t use posterior shadowing as I know that’s a common phrase.

    2. Is the standard measurement LxWxH? Since he didnt specifically note taller than wide etc, I’m curious if mine are.

    3. Would a diagnostic scan bother mentioning non suspicious findings? In the same area of these lumps I have what feels like dense patch of fibrocystic tissue. (Mentioned in my original long post, the doctor said it felt cystic) It doesn’t seem to be listed on his findings. To me it feels squishy and lumpy and ridgey. But of course I’m due for my period in a couple days so it does tend to get firmer.

    4. On the same spot as this fibrocystic patch the skin is sometimes pink. Sometimes not. It’s very weird. Sometimes it’s a slight purple-ish. I’m very pale so I compare it to when I get cold and certain marks and scars have a purple tone If that makes sense. Oddly when I wake up in the morning is when it’s the lightest and as the day goes on it can tend to be more noticeable. Hasn’t got worse at all so I guess that’s good. No itching, not raised, no pain, etc. Anyone experience this?


    I’ve prepared myself for not good news. But these questions are just weighing on my mind. I know I’ll get the answers soon enough, but any insight would be appreciated!!

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 752
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    Worried, you are so young and I'm sorry that you are going through this. I do not have any answers to your questions. Just stopping by to wish you well on your biopsy. They will probably take a few samples. I found the US guided biopsy to be the easiest on me. For me, I had a palpable lump and another bordered irregular shadowing mass. That one was a cyst. I'm wondering if it's just that Dr.'s choice of terminology. Hang in there, try not to read too much into it before you really and truly know what you are dealing with. Good luck.