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Dimpling in left breast at 26, worsened over time, ultrasound scheduled

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Hello,

Thank you for providing this space. I am 26 years old with no history of trauma or surgery to the breast. I also have no children and have never breastfed. As I am in between insurance during the midst of all this (recently lost my job), I do not have a PCP and paid out of pocket to be seen as soon as possible. The doctor was puzzled by my symtpoms but referred me for an ultrasouund. I am wondering if I should push for additional testing?

My symptoms: A dimple exclusive to my left breast (lower outer quadrant) that has worsened over time. I put a screening off due to fear and avoidance. I couldn't find a lump on my own (my breast is normally lumpy). During his exam, the doctor said he felt a “cyst” and "dense tissue." He explained that the cyst wouldn’t explain the “significant” dimpling which is worse upon movement (deepens when I raise my arm up, lean forward, and flex).

The left breast also looks like a different shape when I flex it and especially compared to the right. Almost like someone took a small chunk out of my boob when I flex? I can feel the dent regardless of movement though the dimple itself is much more subtle just standing there.

I do have stretch marks but these are relatively symmetrical and appear on both breasts. I am hoping the symptom is some kind of unusual stretch mark or cellulite situation but it's hard to imagine either of those would cause the pulling observed when I flex.

Any thoughts on this symptom and guidance regarding patient advocacy given my age and symptoms? My doctor mentioned dense tissue during the physical exam but I thought that could only be seen on imaging? Can someone explain what he meant? Shold I be requesting additional testing in addition to the ultrasound or is that enough? Just need general tips for navigating this situation and coping with some of the fear.

Thank you so much.

Comments

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,228
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    @elephonetic - Hi, and welcome to Breastcancer.org. We are sorry that these changes to your breast health have brought you here, and glad that you reached out.

    Your age makes breast changes less likely to be related to cancer, but it's a good thing you have been diligent in following that dimpling. Hopefully it's nothing, but best to get it checked out.

    We hope you will hear from other members here as well. For now, here is an article from our main site with information about Common Imaging Questions that may help you ease your mind.

    Hope this helps, and please, keep us posted.

    The Mods

  • sarahnh
    sarahnh Member Posts: 105
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    I would try to avoid worrying about this as much as possible, until you have the results of the ultrasound. Easier said than done, I know, I'm sorry! I totally understand wanting to research everything right from the get-go.

    In my experience, ultrasound is the most effective imaging test for showing what's going on in a particular area, especially with dense breasts. I've read posts from people who had dents or dimples which turned out to be benign (for example something called Mondor's disease), and also from people that turned out to be cancer. The ultrasound will almost certainly determine whether more tests are needed.

    People think of ultrasound as low-tech, but it is actually much more recent technology than mammograms.

  • emac877
    emac877 Member Posts: 688
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    elephonetic - I think advocating for an ultrasound was a wise decision. I had dimpling in my breast that I put off for I can't even remember how many months because I thought it was nothing and I thought what I was feeling was a rib, not a lump since it was at the bottom of my breast up against my ribs. I was older than you, almost 41at the time. That said, I feel like it's never a bad idea to get used to advocating for yourself. You will know your own normals and body better than anyone. I am in hopes for you this is a benign change and that the ultrasound gives you piece of mind.

  • elephonetic
    elephonetic Member Posts: 4
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    Thank you for the words of encouragement and intel regarding benign causes. I have my ultrasound scheduled for Friday and will update following my appointment. Trying to keep distracted until then to ease the health anxiety. I really appreciate you responding, thank you again.

  • elephonetic
    elephonetic Member Posts: 4
    edited July 2023
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    Hi there - thank you so much for responding. I really appreciate your response and wish you the very best in your treatment. I have my appointment scheduled for Friday and will come back to update.

    The early symptom you described around the rib is shocking as I had a similar thought during my self exam. May I ask if a doctor performmed a clinical breast exam on you prior to ultra/mammo/mri testing? And if so, did they communicate similar observations regarding the bottom of your breast and rib area as you described? My doctor ordered the tests based on dimpling alone, even though "cyst" is included on my ultrasound order.

  • emac877
    emac877 Member Posts: 688
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    I actually had a very disappointing experience with the OBGYN I saw beforehand. I told her about the dimpling and she brushed it off. She was too busy with her student and was at the time transitioning to opening her own aesthetics surgery clinic so I think she had very little interest in doing routine well woman exams anymore. I was 40 and she said almost as an afterthought that mammograms weren't recommended until 45 but I could get one if I wanted. I had to drive that as it was clear she had no interest in it. I've never been back to that women's clinic. I made an appointment for a mammogram the next day and mentioned the dimpling to the mammo technologist who got very concerned and took extra images. I credit her for getting someone to take me seriously.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,228
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    @elephonetic how did your ultrasound go yesterday? Thinking of you!

    —The Mods

  • elephonetic
    elephonetic Member Posts: 4
    edited July 2023
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    Thank you so much. My ultrasound came back negative - "No sonographic evidence of malignancy. No sonographic correlate for area of skin dimpling." The tech and radiologist suggested a breast MRI for better sensitivty but without signs of malignancy on ultrasound and my age it may be difficult.

    I will either have a breats MRI scheduled or be referred to a breast surgeon for further examination of the dimple. I feel much better that the ultrasound was clear but still anxious about the dimpling. I will update when I know the next step.