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5 years out from stage1a and I think I have lumps

I have a doctor appointment next week.

I had stage 1a IDC ER positive in 2018. I had lumpectomy, sentinel node removal (negative), and did 4 rounds of TC. Then radiation. Followed by Tamoxifen. At year 5 (7 months ago) I had a clear mammo, and took a break from tamoxifen bc I was having uterus issues with it. Issues being so much lining, which I bled out for 35 days and then felt better. Don’t worry, I had a uterine biopsy and it was benign. Very soon after that I thought I was feeling a swelling in my affected breast, and can feel tiny “knots” in my armpit. I’m concerned it’s more cancer, but it’s so small I can’t tell if it’s just lumpy boob since they were radiated or if it’s something hard like cancer. It didn’t feel like this before, and the other boob doesn’t have any lumps. I think I’m in denial but I keep taking tamoxifen bc if it is more cancer I’m hoping tamoxifen will kill it. After worrying about it for a month I decided to make an appointment. Although I don’t know what will happen bc it hasn’t been a year since my last mammo, so will they even do one? Will my insurance cover it? I’ve been disappointed at my gyn visits and don’t usually get a breast exam. Hoping doc will do one and tell me I’m crazy. But anyway has anyone developed a recurrence this soon after a negative mammogram? Does it really grow that fast? Every day living in fear.


  • mtnclmbr
    mtnclmbr Member Posts: 3
    edited September 2023

    By the way I’m 42 and my initial tumor was grade 3.

  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 156

    Hi @mtnclmbr. I don’t know how to answer your questions but I just wanted to say Hello and welcome. I don’t think you are crazy for being concerned. After getting breast cancer once, we have every right to be hyper-vigilant!!!

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 841

    Hi @mtnclmbr , If your doctor thinks you need another mammogram it will be classified as a diagnostic (as opposed to screening) mammogram and your insurance should pay for it. If there is something unusual going on it is always a good idea to get it checked.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,879
    edited September 2023

    @mtnclmbr, welcome to We all understand your concerns. It's okay to feel worried, and it is wonderful that you decided to join our welcoming community for comfort and understanding. Even if it's something benign, your health is so important, so we're glad that you took the initiative to get checked out.

    Please let us know what you learn at your doctor's appointment. We're thinking of you!

    The Mods

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,879

    @mtnclmbr , we are just checking in on you to see if you have any updates? Thinking of you!

    --The Mods

  • mtnclmbr
    mtnclmbr Member Posts: 3

    He did a breast exam and didn’t feel anything. I was just paranoid. He’s suggesting now, since it’s been 5 years and I’ve had such a hard time with tamoxifen, that I take a shot to suppress my ovaries and then take an aromatase inhibitor for 2 more years. Told me to think about it. I think I just want to be done though. My initial tumor was so small. I’m over it now. I’ve done alllll the treatment, if it wants to come back just let me die, it was meant to be. This is dragging out way too long.

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206

    Hi mtnclmbr,

    I understand your fear and choice. I was genetically tested to find i had Brca2 and my tumor was removed as Her2 positive. Two years down the road i know i never had the choice you had. A lumpectomy to get the clear margins would have removed most of my breast.

    You are young and my sister who did not want to be tested for Brca2 found herself with ovarian cancer nearly 2 years after i was diagnosed. She is telling our younger sister she may not compete the final 3 chemos after her hysterectomy. I thought, really? She did not tell me this, but our other sister. I have another friend

    I have a friend who will say to make a list. A short or long list. The pro and con for saying no more treatment. It is your body and your choice. Be good to yourself in making the choice. Do it because it feels right.

    I know I join the others in saying please come back and share as we women understand.