Biopsy in Two Days . . .Terrified
Like everyone else here, I wish I didn’t have to make this post. I am 45F, and had a screening mammogram a couple of weeks ago, on 7/20. Like an idiot, I hadn’t gone since 2019 - the pandemic, and then I just kept putting it off. I got a call-back and they ordered an ultrasound. In the past, it has always ended up being okay - a cyst or superimposed tissue. The ultrasound was on 7/25, and this time it was a solid mass. And so here we are.
It is a 2cm mass. So not exactly small. Mammogram said it was oval, equal density, and partially-circumscribed/partially-obscured. Ultrasound found it oval, hypoechoic, circumscribed, with posterior through transmission and mild internal vascularity. I don’t know its orientation, and the report doesn’t note it, but on the screen it was noticeably wider than it was tall. It was dark, seemed to give some when they moved the transducer, and seemed to have a thin, light border all around it, But this is jut from what I think I remember. I know what all of these terms mean, but not the significance of all of them. The radiologist said it looked like a fibroadenoma, that they are common in young women (I’m 45 though) and asked if I wanted to monitor or biopsy. I chose biopsy. She classified it BIRADS 4a. I am struggling to believe it is benign at age 45, and it being a new growth. How fast do fibroadenomas grow? Would it really not have been detectable 3 years ago? And do they show vascularity? Any radiologists here? The biopsy is on 8/2. I’m an not scared of the procedure or of surgery, but am terrified of cancer (especially tnbc) and chemo.
I cannot seem to feel this mass. Even knowing where it is (left breast, 2:00, 8 cm from nipple, middle third depth).. I would have never found it on self-exam. Just feels like the same old lumpy, ropey tissue. So I can’t say how firm or smooth it is. The radiologist felt the area but didn’t comment as to whether or what she felt. It has some pain since the mammogram and ultrasound. I don’t recall any localized pain before that. I do get shooting pains in both breasts cyclically. I remember having pain now and then with the cyst.
I do not have a history of either breast or ovarian cancer in my family, though the men (including my father) have had a lot of prostate cancer. They never ask this in screening and so I was never labeled high-risk, but isn’t prostate cancer susceptibility in the same gene mutations? I asked one time and they just shrugged. And I have a personal history of parotid cancer 15 years ago. This is a very rare cancer. It was treated with surgery and radiation to the cheek/ear area. There is no chemo for it. It was low grade and followed up with PET scans for several years to check for mets (which would have been rare; the type I had tends to recur locally). I do recall what that tumor felt like. It was very firm, no give whatsoever, and felt like it was attached to the bone beneath (it was right on top of my tmj, just in front of my ear, and was visible when I opened my jaw wide and was palpable). I will say this experience is moving a lot faster than that one did, and the agonizing wait has been less.
I also have Graves Disease.
Anyway, it is so upsetting to me to have to go through this all again. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful sons, and I am terrified of tuning their world upside down. My oldest was a newborn the first time I had cancer. In fact, it was toward the end of my pregnancy that I found it. He is starting high school in a couple of weeks, and here we are again. And my younger guy is so sweet and innocent; I don’t want to destroy that. I just am feeling discouraged and my thoughts are going to lots of dark places. Im spending too much time googling every detail. I’m not sure I can handle cancer again. I know that if it turns out to be, I will have to fight for my boys’ sake, but I am so scared right now.
Thanks for listening.