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worriedspouse1995 Member Posts: 3
edited October 2022 in Not Diagnosed But Worried

Hello everyone,

This might be long, and I don't know if anyone will respond but I have to get this out. The anxiety is unbearable.

My fiancée (37, woman) has a large, hard lump in the upper quadrant of her right breast. It's so large, that you can see the difference between her two breasts with a naked eye. The lump has a mostly smooth texture, I can feel the edges and she's able to move it. She has thickening in her areola; the pores are enlarged around the nipple (IDK if it's "dimpling") but there are no other skin changes. No discharge. No inverted nipple. Lump is tender at times and aches periodically, but she messes with it CONSTANTLY so that may be why. The lump doesn't change size, but that one breast swells during her period (it goes back down afterwards) and that is the only hope I have, that there could be a hormonal cause.

Here's where her situation may be unique: She has had this lump for a minimum of 8 years!!!!! She had it felt by her OBGYN years ago and he said it felt normal. She never got it investigated further (foolish, I know) and now the lump has grown throughout the years.

Since meeting her two years ago, I have been pushing her to get it checked out and she's agreed to go in December when her health insurance is sorted out.

She has a pretty positive attitude about it, but I am so worried. I can't talk to her about it, because I don't want to disturb her mindset. I know that most breast lumps are benign, but the "what ifs" are driving me insane. I am especially worried that she's had the lump so long, so if she does have the big C, it may be advanced at this point.

I know that none of you can tell me what it is, I'm just looking for anyone who's had similar symptoms.

Have any of you had the same lump for several years?

Could a cancerous lump grow for years and not cause other symptoms?

Could a lump this large + areola changes be anything but cancer?

Do breast cancer lumps swell during your period?

How do I support her?

I feel so selfish for being anxious about HER body, but I love her so much and I keep thinking about losing her :(


  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    You're supporting her by unloading all of your anxieties here instead of onto her, so good job on that! :)

    Unfortunately, this is par for the course with suspicious lumps. We ALL experienced this anxiety about waiting to figure out what it was or waiting for scan results, and there's little you can do about it except distract yourself with fun stuff, avoid Dr. Google, and don't totally lose your marbles before there's actually something to worry about.

    I don't know what she's thinking but it's possible she's already processed that it might be cancer and is ready to face it. I was. I had a lump for years that my partner wondered about and by the time I finally had enough concerning symptoms, I knew it was cancer and was not surprised.

    So yes, a cancerous lump can grow for years without any other symptoms. I don't know anything about benign breast conditions so I don't know what other things could cause her symptoms. But there seem to be many options. And from what I understand, cancer generally does not change throughout your menstrual cycle but don't quote me on that.

    You are not anxious about her body. You anxious about HER. One of the biggest pet peeves cancer folks have is the focus on boobs. So keep your focus on her health and her. Which it sounds like you're doing, hence the anxiety. :)

  • worriedspouse1995

    Thank you so much for responding!

    I definitely made the mistake of Googling, and it made my anxiety 10x worse (I have sworn off of Google for now). My girl is a generally positive person and just brushes it off as "things will be fine". That's her attitude about everything in life. I think she may be scared a little, deep down and that's why she has neglected to get it checked.

    I know that it could be benign and that even if it's cancer, that doesn't guarantee that I'll lose her. Reading this forum has definitely helped, though I am still terrified.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    It's okay to be terrified! Cancer is scary. Believe it or not, this part is harder than finding out it's cancer and going through treatment. It's weird. Human brains do not handle not knowing things or handle uncertainty very well!

    Hopefully it's benign and you can put all this behind you soon. But if not, there will be a treatment path to follow that many, many people and couples have successfully followed before and come out on the other side. You can do it!

    That said, make sure she goes as soon as she can to get that checked out. Someone feeling it eight years ago is not helpful now. It could very well have felt normal back then and changed since.

  • worriedspouse1995

    Don't know if anyone will see this, but the anxiety is horrible today :(.

    She just had a period and the lump got GIGANTIC. Her period has passed and it's back to its usual size (which is like a regular sized lemon).

    I'm going to talk to her about getting it checked. Does anyone know how to go about this with no insurance? I just can't allow her to wait it out anymore.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    Try Planned Parenthood if you have one nearby. Or any other local women's clinic. Cancer doesn't normally change during periods though, as far as I know.