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Waiting for mammogram after finding lump

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micmash
micmash Member Posts: 5

Hello everyone! I have been on this forum a few times over the last 10 years or so and am back again.

Quick.background. my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 40s. Mastectomy, chemo etc. Returned late 40s and she passed at 49. I found my first lump in 2009 at 31. Turned out to be a large fibroadenoma. Over the years since I have had 3 biopsies, ultrasounds, gene testing, mri guided biopsy. All ultimately with B9 findings. I have since had 2 children in 2014 and 2016. I have not had a mammogram since before my oldest was born so 2013. But have been seen multiple times a year by a breast specialist for breast exams. My last was in late September with my obgyn for my annual. In the last few weeks i discovered a lump on my right breast. It is prob the size of a gobstopper. It feels movable and round. I am petrified. I have a telethealth appt today which will hopefully be enough to schedule mammogram. My anxiety is off the charts that putting off a mammogram has finally caught up to me. Im 43 and my daughters are 4 and 6.

Looking for any support, advice. Etc. Thank you

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  • tntnsd
    tntnsd Member Posts: 124
    edited February 2021
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    Hi micmash,

    Sorry that you have to worry and have to be here. While I would never recommend anyone to push off yearly screening mammogram, it is no guarantee that mammogram would find the lump much sooner. (I found the lump, got myself a screening mammogram, it came back as normal; my doctor and I insisted on an ultrasound and diagnostic mammogram; it is the ultrasound that found the mass) . You did self exam for your breast and also see breast specialist/OBGY regularly, so please don’t feel it is your fault that the lump is not discovered sooner.

    Anyhow, I hope you can insist on a 3-D diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound to check it out thoroughly; hopefully it is just a cyst.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
    edited February 2021
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    Welcome micmash! I agree with tntnsd on not beating yourself up for delaying your mammogram. What is most important is being present now which is what you are doing. Hoping the appointment went well and you'll be getting scheduled soon! Please check back in, ok?

  • micmash
    micmash Member Posts: 5
    edited February 2021
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    Good afternoon! Just an update. I have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound scheduled for March 9th. They said I get results same day so to prepare to be there 3 hours minimum. So now I am really freaking out. It's a long time to sit and wait alone. My husband can't come because of covid.

    I've been in this waiting game multiple times before and it never gets easier. My anxiety has taken over.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,918
    edited February 2021
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    Dear micmash,

    Good luck on the 9th. Keep us posted on what you learn.

    The MOds

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,939
    edited February 2021
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    Wow, three hours? I've had diagnostic mammos + ultrasound and it took about 45 minutes. I hope they were just giving you a long estimAte to block out a chunk of time in your day. Good luck!

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited February 2021
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    micmash,

    At 43, you are probably in peri-menopause. That is the age when those of us with fibrocystic breasts tend to develop cysts. They are really common in women in their 40s. I had more cysts than I can remember, and some were very large. "Movable and round" is good - in fact that's pretty much the description of a cyst. Of course that might not be what it is, but at your age and from the description, the odds are pretty good.

    So keep thinking "harmless cyst". And while I know that having a 3 hour appointment sounds daunting, keep reminding yourself that with luck, the whole process will be over by the time you leave the appointment.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

  • micmash
    micmash Member Posts: 5
    edited February 2021
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    Yeah I was quite surprised when she said that as well. I'm hoping you are correct. But for some reason it has me very anxious and worried. Like that somehow means they 100 percent think I have cancer. But I'm guessing it's just because of results being given same day, I will have to wait for radiologist etc to read all the film.

    How do you calm the anxiety? Its so funny because I've been in this waiting game before, but for some reason this time I'm just over the top worried.

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited February 2021
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    The 3 hour thing.... I think they are preparing you for the most time it could take. But maybe it will take a lot less. I've gone through this many times and there are several steps to the process. First I'd have the mammogram. Then I'd be sent back to the waiting room to wait until the Radiologist read the mammogram so that the tech would know what to look for with the ultrasound. That can take a while if the Radiologist is tied up doing a biospy. Then I would have to wait for the ultrasound room to be free - because of course there are a steady stream of women going through their standard mammogram and/or ultrasound screenings. Then I'd have the ultrasound, and would have to lie on the table waiting until the Radiologist was again free and able to look at the imaging and come in to talk to me. I don't think it's ever taken 3 hours for me to get through the process, but it probably has taken 2 1/2 hours.

    The amount of time is due to the steps in the process and the fact that you have to wait for the Radiologist to be available. It has nothing to do with any expectation that the results won't be good.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
    edited February 2021
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    Best to you micmash! Check out some of the lighter forums and threads on this site - thinking decreasing anxiety - cats, dogs, humor and games.... YouTube - mindfulness, guided imagery, deep breathing, etc. I hear great things about the CALM app..... take walks, do some in-place exercise at home (e.g. hand held weights, leg raises, abs, etc.) - can help decrease the physical stress in your body...

  • micmash
    micmash Member Posts: 5
    edited March 2021
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    Good morning everyone! This afternoon I have a diagnostic mammogram and potential ultrasound! My nerves are shot and my anxiety is off the charts. I'm trying to remain calm.

    I had an in person breast exam by an obgyn last week. He couldn't feel or find my lump while I was laying down. I sat up and found it for him by pushing up from underneath. He definitely felt it but said he didn't feel like it was anything alarming to him. This confused me a little but I guess he feels this stuff all the time. Or maybe he just didn't want to panic me. He wrote in my chart notes

    -- No palpable masses when examined supine. When seated and with breast supported can palpate 5mm mass with deep palpation.

    -Ok to continue with Dx mammo and US if indicated as scheduled --

    Is this good or bad? Is that big?

    I'm so scared about my appt today and because of covid I have to go alone.

    Thank you all who have responded.


  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited March 2021
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    5mm is tiny - just 1/5th of an inch.

    It's good that your doctor was able to feel the lump but isn't particularly concerned. If he felt the mass to be round and/or softish and/or movable - which is in fact how you've described it - those features would be more indicative of a cyst than something ominous.

    And yes, since well over 90% of breast lumps are benign, your doctor might have a lot of experience with benign lumps. But even if the doctor is quite sure that the lump is a cyst, imaging is still necessary so of course he said to continue with the mammo and ultrasound. If it is a cyst, the ultrasound will be necessary, since a mammogram might "see" the mass but only an ultrasound can "see" the fluid inside that identifies the mass as a cyst. So don't panic if you are sent for the ultrasound after the mammogram.

    Hope it goes well today. Let us know!



  • micmash
    micmash Member Posts: 5
    edited March 2021
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    So had both mammo and ultrasound today. Radiologist told me the lump i feel is new since my last imaging in 2013. He said its probably similar to prior benign findings. Said I had a couple options. 1. Watch and ultrasound every 6 months for 2 years 2. Biopsy and be done with it. He said if it was his wife, daughter etc he would encourage biopsy but it was up to me.

    I obviously chose biopsy. I dont want this hanging over my head. I know he can't 100 percent say one way or another its cancer without biopsy but should I be encouraged he even gave me an option as opposed to "this is highly suspicious you need a biopsy asap"

    I already have anxiety and this is just making it so much worse. My biopsy is scheduled for Thursday morning.