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Unknown mass- pretty scared

lightning1515 Member Posts: 5
edited February 24 in Not Diagnosed But Worried

I'm in my early 30s and have a family history of breast cancer. I started having pain recently, went in for an exam and they found a lump. It's pretty large- 10cm and mobile in the upper outer quadrant. Hard to believe I noticed the pain before the lump but I've gained some weight and it's not visible. The doctor didn't seem overly concerned, but at this point I have no idea what it is. I've been more tired than usual, and although I deal with depression and it could be that, it's hard to not consider whether there's a connection. I have an ultrasound and mammogram scheduled in a couple weeks, but it feels like such a long wait.

I've read that a mass being mobile is a good thing, but something of that size seems serious. Thanks for reading, not sure what kind of advice I'm wanting..


  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 100

    Hi @lightning1515 -

    Waiting is often the hardest thing isn't it? We all just want answers so that we will feel more in control.

    I'm sorry you are going through this stressful situation. Sometimes it's best to realize that worry will not change the outcome. Try and take a deep breath and do things you enjoy to distract yourself from the worry. …whatever those things are for you.

    No one really knows whether or not there is something to be concerned about until you have your tests. Once you do and you know the results, you will either move on or take each day as it comes.

    Glad you found us. We are here if you need us.

    Take it easy and best of luck for your upcoming tests.

  • lightning1515
    lightning1515 Member Posts: 5

    Thank you @mandy23! Yes the not knowing is so difficult.. I'm trying to stay busy but it's always in the back of my mind

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,884

    We're all here for you @lightning1515 ! The waiting and the unknown are are really difficult as said by @mandy23! Please keep us posted, and do try to distract yourself in the meantime.

    Hugs from the Mods!

  • lightning1515
    lightning1515 Member Posts: 5

    Thank you @moderators! I just looked up "next day mammograms" in my city and found a place that does them, it's actually the same place I already called which said they don't have an opening til the 20th. Probably because I asked for both a mammogram and ultrasound.. The doctor said I'd need "imaging testing" and I didn't ask what that meant exactly, but both boxes are checked on the referral form.

    I understand no one can tell me the best thing to do, but any thoughts on whether I should do the 3D mammogram if I can get in sooner, or just wait for my appointment to do both? Just for my peace of mind I'd like answers sooner, the pain has been getting worse

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,884
    edited February 26

    While waiting is one of the most difficult parts about this process, you might find it worthwhile to get the additional ultrasound. Younger women tend to have more dense breast tissue, which can make mammograms have more difficulty in identifying abnormalities. Ultrasounds are particularly ideal for women with dense breast tissue. What could happen if you get the 3D mammogram is it might show things that could be abnormal, but would require an ultrasound to determine more and then leave you with greater anxiety during the waiting period than you would otherwise initially have—and may not be warranted.

    This article on Cedars Sinai's website explains the differences between mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs, which could be good to check out, @lightning1515!

    Let us know the decision you land on, and the results when you find out! 🤗

  • lightning1515
    lightning1515 Member Posts: 5

    Thank you, that's really helpful. I wasn't sure what the process would be like.. I think I'll wait for my appt on the 8th.

    I know I'm probably being dramatic about it, I just haven't told many people. My partner thinks I'm totally overreacting and it's nothing to worry about, and my sister is going through some serious health issues (not cancer related), so I don't want to alarm anyone in my family unless I have to. So thanks for the replies, I'll check back in once I get some more answers

  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 157

    Hello @lightning1515. I don’t think you are being dramatic at all. It would be absolutely wonderful if it turns out to be nothing to worry about!! But you are very, very wise to have it checked out. Anything unknown and new in our breasts needs to be figured out.

    I too had a large lump in the upper outer quadrant of my left breast when I was in my 30’s and my gynecologist thought it was probably fine but still ordered a mammogram and ultrasound. It was found to be normal but dense tissue. I guess it was just oddly arranged tissue that formed a hard, noticeable ridge/lump area. It was there for years and I don’t notice it as much anymore (I think aging helped rearrange things). I don’t remember it hurting specifically at the time.

    Perhaps you already have asked to be on a cancellation list? Some have had success getting in sooner that way. Or calling first thing to see if there are any cancellations that same day. Be sweet but persistent. They understand the anxiety that waiting causes and will try their best to get you in as soon as possible. I’m sorry for your anxious wait. We are here for you!!!

  • rrobin0200
    rrobin0200 Member Posts: 80

    I wholeheartedly agree with what @needs.a.nap says… call to get on that cancellation list! It won’t hurt to ask. Like she said, be sweet, but be persistent. You are NOT being dramatic!!! Chances are it’s benign, as I believe statistics say 80% of biopsies come back to be in the clear, but better to be safe than sorry!! I know you’re going for a mammo and a diagnostic u/s, but don’t be alarmed if a biopsy is recommended as well…. Biopsies are the only way to know exactly if it’s malignant or benign. Keep us posted!! Sending well wishes your way.

  • lightning1515
    lightning1515 Member Posts: 5

    Thank you, I appreciate the kind and supportive replies! I got my test results- its a cyst and a fibroadenoma, 1.9 cm and 2.3 cm. They said I can order a biopsy if I want, but the characteristics look benign/"normal" and they recommend a follow up in 6 months. Part of me wants to get the biopsy to know for sure, but I may just wait for the follow up.

    I'm relieved it's not 10 cm, the size was probably causing me the worst fears.. It's still uncomfortable but not so much painful lately. They said it's influenced by hormones, caffeine and chocolate. I'm going to stop taking my hormonal birth control- I started it about a year ago and don't enjoy the side effects anyway, I might consider getting paraguard.

    Thanks again

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,884

    Great news, @lightning1515! Thanks for stopping by to let us know.