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Biopsy in Two Days . . .Terrified

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luvmyboys76
luvmyboys76 Member Posts: 5
edited August 2022 in Waiting for Test Results

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.


Comments

  • alliegator
    alliegator Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2022
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    Be gentle — stop beating yourself up about a delayed mammo. The great news is that you got back in for screening. Scheduling the biopsy is definitely the way to go to confirm what the breast changes actually mean and if any treatment is required. It sounds like you are getting in fast for the procedure, so you shouldn’t have to agonize too much longer over the uncertainty. I wish you the best of luck with the biopsy & results. If struggling with anxiety about the biopsy, consider asking your Doc if a short term Rx is right for you to take the edge off the day of the procedure.

    Also…regardless of the outcome, use your experience to reach out to the over 40 women in your life to encourage them to get their screening mammos scheduled. I’ve successfully convinced a handful of friends and coworkers to get in for a yearly round of breast smashing.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,052
    edited August 2022
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    luvmyboys76, welcome to BC.org! We're sorry for the worry that brings you here, but glad you found us and decided to reach out to our members.

    We know it is easier said than done, but please, try not to worry too much. Keep in mind that cancer is not always the cause of breast changes. In fact, several studies estimate that breast lumps are benign in 80 percent of cases in the United States. More information about breast lump causes can be found here: What Mammograms Show: Calcifications, Cysts, Fibroadenomas

    Good luck with biopsy, and please, update us when you learn more.

    The Mods

  • luvmyboys76
    luvmyboys76 Member Posts: 5
    edited August 2022
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    Thank you for your words. And I apologize for probably posting this under the wrong topic. I am just scared. Part of me can’t wait for the results o the biopsy and part of me dreads them.

  • emmamaaz
    emmamaaz Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2022
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    My humble advice is to stop googling; it will ruin your day. You are reached at the right platform. You can share your feelings here. We all are here to support you.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited August 2022
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    Luvmyboys it is quite possible that this area wouldn't show in a previous mammogram so please don't worry about those "missed". My mass was missed for a long time as well and I had yearly 3D mammos plus ultrasounds. You are taking the right course for yourself by getting the biopsy. Your Birads score was indicated as "4a" which means much more likely than not the mass should be benign and I sincerely hope that is the case with you. I am so sorry you are having to go through all this. I surely understand the fear and anxiety. Vent to us here and if it feels unmanageable please speak with your doctor to get some pharmacological help. Let us know how the biopsy goes.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,158
    edited August 2022
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    luvmyboys, I had a biopsy today too! I am not the least bit worried about cancer. I know it is likely benign but I had IDC in 2003 and ILC in 2018, so this would be my third time! The other cancer was in the same breast and I had a mastectomy. My surgeon refused to remove both breasts, because I am not BRCA positive. If it is positive, I want a mastectomy and I am confident my new surgeon will be on board with that.

    You know what they say about worrying? Worrying is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won't get youanywhere.

    I know it's hard not to worry, but chances are it's benign. The way I see mine is that if it is cancer I have a great breast surgeon and oncologist and I will do all I can to be cancer free again. We can and will get through this! Regardless of the outcome of our biopsies we will get through this!

    BTW, I had just transferred my breast care back to my local hospital due to distance and I was two months past my yearly date for my mammogram. I also stopped my AI (Letrozole) after 6 months. Did that cause me to be where I am now? Who knows, but it doesn't matter to me. I did what I did, and my situation is what it is. We don't have crystal balls, we can't see the future, all we can do is move forward and make the best choices we can at the time.

    I was told I should get my results on Friday. May we both get good news

  • luvmyboys76
    luvmyboys76 Member Posts: 5
    edited August 2022
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    I just received my results this morning - benign fibroadenoma, thank God.

    I am so relieved, and hope you get benign results, too, mavericksmom. I wish I could be more rational when these things arise, but having had cancer and having heard all of the same things 15 years ago - “looks" benign, “only 10-20% and up being cancer" and the like, and then having it end up being cancer after all - brings it all back. I don't get to live in the space where cancer is something that happens to “other people". I know differently.

    I will never skip a mammogram again, and will keep up with my other screenings as well. I will remind all of my friends and family to get their mammograms and pap smears and PSA tests and colonoscopies. I am going to work to get my immune system healthier. Having had cancer, an autoimmune disease, and benign tumors tells me it has serious malfunctions. I would love to get genetic testing given the amount of cancer in my family, and look into prophylactic surgeries if warranted, but I doubt insurance would cover the testing.

    I hope others stumble across this post and see that women over 30 CAN develop fibroadenomas. Most “official" things you read online make it sound as if it is very rare to develop them in middle age. And of course cancer forums are of and for people who ended up with cancer - the ones who got benign results aren't posting - so it skews things a bit. Always get lumps checked ASAP, of course, but just because there is a new solid mass doesn't mean it is cancer, even if you are over 40. During this experience, I have had other friends in their 40s and one in her 50s reach out to tell me that they have also had these diagnosed within the past year or two, so I don't think it is all that rare.

    Mostly I want to thank the community here. Once thing I have learned over the past ten days is how supportive and kind the breast cancer community is. This is invaluable to those who are afraid. My first cancer was so rare that it was difficult to find people - even online - who had been through it. Most people don't even know what a parotid gland is, much less that you can get cancer in it. I was so young (30) and it was a very isolating experience. This was not.

    Thank you again, and may God be with you all!

    (And sorry for the novel-length posts!)

  • luvmyboys76
    luvmyboys76 Member Posts: 5
    edited August 2022
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    I just received my results this morning - benign fibroadenoma, thank God.



    I am so relieved, and hope you get benign results, too, mavericksmom. I wish I could be more rational when these things arise, but having had cancer and having heard all of the same things 15 years ago - “looks” benign, “only 10-20% and up being cancer” and the like, and then having it end up being cancer after all - brings it all back. I don’t get to live in the space where cancer is something that happens to “other people”. I know differently.



    I will never skip a mammogram again, and will keep up with my other screenings as well. I will remind all of my friends and family to get their mammograms and pap smears and PSA tests and colonoscopies. I am going to work to get my immune system healthier. Having had cancer, an autoimmune disease, and benign tumors tells me it has serious malfunctions. I would love to get genetic testing given the amount of cancer in my family, and look into prophylactic surgeries if warranted, but I doubt insurance would cover the testing.


    I hope others stumble across this post and see that women over 30 CAN develop fibroadenomas. Most “official” things you read online make it sound as if it is very rare to develop them in middle age. And of course cancer forums are of and for people who ended up with cancer - the ones who got benign results aren’t posting - so it skews things a bit. Always get lumps checked ASAP, of course, but just because there is a new solid mass doesn’t mean it is cancer, even if you are over 40. During this experience, I have had other friends in their 40s and one in her 50s reach out to tell me that they have also had these diagnosed within the past year or two, so I don’t think it is all that rare.



    Mostly I want to thank the community here. Once thing I have learned over the past ten days is how supportive and kind the breast cancer community is. This is invaluable to those who are afraid. My first cancer was so rare that it was difficult to find people - even online - who had been through it. Most people don’t even know what a parotid gland is, much less that you can get cancer in it. I was so young (30) and it was a very isolating experience. This was not.



    Thank you again, and may God be with you all!



    (And sorry for the novel-length posts!)
  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,052
    edited August 2022
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    Luvmyboys, this is WONDERFUL news! Thank you for coming back to share the benign results -- you're sure to give hope to many!

    Take care!

    --The Mods

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited August 2022
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    Luvmyboys - ..Best..News..Ever ! Congrats on a benign finding so happy to hear this.

  • alliegator
    alliegator Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2022
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    Luvmyboys — CONGRATS! So pleased to read this fantastic piece of news, and thank you for your cancer screening advocacy amongst your friends and family. 🌸❤️🌸❤️