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Topic: Was your breast lump painful?

Forum: Pain —

Share important questions and provide support to others experiencing breast cancer and treatment-related pain.

Posted on: Jan 5, 2013 05:46AM

lmcclure4477 wrote:

Just curious how many people out there had a lump that was painful that ended up being breast cancer. The reason I found my lump is because I had pain. I was surprised to find out that my lump was cancer because all of the doctors said cancer doesn't hurt. I feel like smacking them all in the face because my lump did hurt!

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Jan 24, 2013 12:26PM llhines38 wrote:

Hi JOJO2373, you mentioned that you have had many benign fluid filled cysts in your breasts, did these happen right around when you were getting ready to start your mentral cycle? Because I heard these were normal to have around this time. They found some in my breasts yesturday while doing an ultrasound and I started my period the day before, just hope that when I get the results from the ultrasound Monday, that they say they are only fluid filled cysts.

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Jan 24, 2013 12:28PM llhines38 wrote:

I never felt a lump and still dont, but the ultrasound I had done yesturday shows a few (of what the technician called) cysts, I don't know if these are something you can feel or not but I hope and pray she was right. wont know for sure til Monday.

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Feb 1, 2013 02:57AM webkins0814 wrote:

Hello everyone!  I am new to this site.  I am 41 and found what lump that is painful.  I had  mammo and ultrasound a few weeks ago, both normal.  I was refered to a breast surgeon which I saw yesterday.  She told me I had lumpy breast.  The one on the side that is very painful and even my bra hurts its.  She called my breast Fibrocystic and said and reviewed my mamo and ultrasound and said they are just all kinds of small lumps on there and there are safe.  Is this normal.  I have never had this before in all my years.  I don't know when my cycle is cause I had novasure ablation which I still get my period, I just don't bleed so I don't know when it is. Some family history of breast cancer, but they are distant family members.  I just want to make sure I am being proactive for myself.  She said just make sure I get mamo every year and if anything changes to come back.  Is this normal?  I don't want to over stress about this either cause I did that for a few weeks before I saw her. 

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Feb 1, 2013 03:16AM lmcclure4477 wrote:

Have your lump biopsied! My lump was painful and they told me it was normal from the ultrasound and to come back in 6 months. I wasn't so sure, so I pushed to see a breast surgeon and she did a biopsy. It came back cancer and I was triple negative and those lumps tend to hurt. Your lump is probably fine. 80% of lumps are benign, but the only way to tell is to get it biopsied.

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Feb 1, 2013 03:41AM webkins0814 wrote:

I saw the breast surgeon yesterday, she said there was no need to biopsy.  She said they were just lumpy.  She told me to try vitamin E to see if that helps with the pain.  She said according to the mammo and ultrasound she didn't feel the need to do a biopsy cause its not big enough. She did say the left one was swelling but that is from Fibroscystic breast disease. 

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Feb 1, 2013 04:04AM Beatmon wrote:

I had lots of stinger type pains that only lasted for a second or two. They were odd and just came out of the blue. Felt like a hot poker through my nipple.....but I blew it off because "breast cancer doesn't hurt"!

Dx 7/27/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/9/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 12/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/1/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 8/9/2014, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/27/2014 Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Feb 1, 2013 06:58AM april485 wrote:

Mine the exact same spot they ended up finding my BC in. Also, I had to explain to the APRN that BC does hurt sometimes. She kept telling me that my biopsy will likely be b-9 cause BC never hurts until large tumors are present, not microcalcs like mine. Ummm, sorry, she was dead wrong. What if I believed her and didn't do the FU mammo? Ugh...BC sometimes hurts!

"Fear has been a huge dictator in my life - so I am trying to stage a coup!" ~ a friend Dx 1/30/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/20/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/10/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/21/2013 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 3, 2013 05:59AM - edited May 2, 2013 05:45PM by Cindyk8

Initially my lump did not hurt. After I found it, it began to hurt. I was told by many people that this was good, because breast cancer does not hurt. I had a horrible nagging feeling.  It is a good thing I did not rely on this because it is cancer.


Dx 1/8/2013, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 1/14/2013 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 2/13/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/13/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 6/24/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/22/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2013
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Feb 5, 2013 02:10PM Blubelle wrote:

I have pain too. I treat the cancer in my breast with natural methods, but I only noticed how much pain I had been having once it was gone. 2 weeks into a raw food and wheatgrass program the pain disappeared.
Now I have pain if I stray from my program or feel stressed. The holiday turned out to be difficult, I started getting pain over thanksgiving and have not been pain free very much since then.
Stress will cause it to hurt almost instantly and if it's a minor thing the pain will subside quickly. I've been wondering if it could be muscular from my back and neck.. Most of the tumors are gone, smaller or less worrisome looking, but based on imaging and pain I'm back in the middle of decision time.

Dx 3/12/2012, IDC, Both breasts, 5cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 5, 2013 02:40PM chris1959 wrote:

  i had pain also and i had been told cancer didnt hurt so it was problbly nothing...well they were wrong i had cancer stage 4 ....chris

Dx 10/2011, 5cm, Stage IV, 23/30 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 10/27/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 11/5/2011 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/19/2013 Bone Chemotherapy 2/10/2014 Xeloda (capecitabine) Surgery 2/19/2014 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 3/19/2014 Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy 6/21/2014 Bone Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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Feb 9, 2013 04:42AM - edited Feb 9, 2013 04:45AM by FLwarrior

Pain is how I found my lump. It was a very sharp, intense pain. It felt like I was being stabbed with a very hot knife. I had the pain for 3 days and then it stopped. The pain started late on a Friday afternoon so all I did over the weekend was read on-line...everything I read said cancer didn't hurt.  It seemed like I had all the symptoms of fibrous breasts and maybe cysts. I was in between jobs with no insurance, so I didn't go to the Dr. right away. I did call a mammography place, and several gyn offices and spoke with them, they all said get it checked out, but cancer lumps don't hurt. I was lead to think, it couldn't be cancer...cancer doesn't hurt... I found a job, insurance kicked in, and I noticed nipple inversion beginning, so I finally went to the Dr. (months later...). I had ILC.  Thinking back now...I wonder if the intense pain I felt (for those 3 days) was the tumor breaking through the wall...being the exact time that it became invasive. So in my case, yes the cancer lump did hurt!

FLwarrior Dx 1/31/2011, ILC, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 15, 2013 01:04PM firework1068 wrote:

Yes....yes....yes, i have (had) dence breast with benign cyst drained every couple of years. There was pain associated with the cyst however, the pain at the tumor site was different. My chihuahua kept pressing her nose into my breast and I knew the pain was much more than the usual cyst.
Every time I'd go in because of a lump pain I was told that pain was a good sign because cancer doesn't hurt!
Geesh, don't they listen to their patients?!!

Dx 6/2/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/7/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/7/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 4, 2013 10:32AM thirdgenerationmomof2 wrote:

I had pain before my diagnosis but I had many cysts in both my breasts so that may have contributed to the pain. When I had my BMX done, my path report showed multiple cysts in both breasts. One was right on top of my tumor site. I did not find my tumor because I was used to the pain from always having lumpy, cyst filled breasts. My routine mammo picked up the lump.

I did have intense itching around my nipples. Not sure if that is a symptom or not? Also weird because my blood pressure ran high before surgery and had never done that before. I wonder if high blood pressure is a sign of cancer too.

Oncotype DX Score: 19 Mentor smooth round high profile memory gel implants (400 on left & 450 on right) Dx 1/14/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/14/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/20/2013 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2013 Surgery 5/21/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 9/14/2014 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Mar 7, 2013 08:13AM MichelleVA wrote:

I too had a painful lump in my breast.  I found it one night before getting a shower.  It was sore, movable, soft and it actually got smaller in size.  (yes, I did wait about a week and a half)  Everything you want a lump to be.  Even my NP at the GYN office thought it was a cyst but wanted to get a mammo and US to be sure.  Surprise and happy birthday to me! 

Dx 1/16/2013, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Mar 7, 2013 09:07AM navygirl wrote:

Like firework above, mine was painful and my dog was obssessed with sniffing the spot where the lump was found. I had pain in that breast before the lump was palbable, along with my dog sniffing the spot. When I found the lump in the shower one morning, a wave of panic washed over me because of the combination of the pain and the dogs behaviour. At my first mamo, they also said pain was a good sign because bc wasn't painful. I'm not sure why, but I didn't believe them. I'm glad I didn't get a false sense of security from that. Mostly because of my dogs sniffing it, I was certain it was cancer, and when I got the call, it really wasn't a shock like it would have been if I hadn't been prepared. It's amazing how many of us were told by medical professionals that cancer isn't painful.

life is short, play hard
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Mar 7, 2013 11:54AM mig69 wrote:

Mine was painful, I couldn't lie on my left side. I had had cysts before and they hadn't hurt, so I knew this was different. My doctor thought it was nothing, as I was only 40, but thankfully she referred me for an ultrasound, where they could tell straight away what it was and sent me off for a biopsy.

Dx 1/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 8, 2013 11:36AM maltomlin wrote:

Yes I had a stabbing pain and when I put my hand on that spot I felt the lump. A very hard lump. I read somewhere that it felt like a carrot stuck to your breast - hard. And that's exactly how it felt. I knew immediately what it was.

The surprise to me was 'how the hell did I not notice it before?' How did it get so big?

Dx 5/2/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/15/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/21/2008 Ellence (epirubicin), Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 12/29/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 1/7/2009 Breast
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Mar 12, 2013 01:45AM maisy wrote:

I am 41. I first started having breast pain about a year (?) before I was diagnosed with BC, but it would always come and go and I didn't feel a lump, so I didn't pursue it. I was never an expert at self-exam and it's easy to attribute it to your period.  But then my breast started getting very sensitive all of the time, sometimes even swollen, and the stabbing pains increased (often sharp & intense) and then I could feel this hard moveable mass along the right side of my breast.  I guess depending on what position I was in, it would shift and I wasn't sure if I really felt it.  That made me doubt there was a mass (denial?) but when I asked my husband to feel if he felt something, he definitely did.  Kept hoping it was a cyst but it turned out the mass was even bigger than I could feel and it hurt. The mammogram was extremely painful!!

It really angers me to see these commercials/ads that say breast pain is not a sign of breast cancer and that it is a myth.  Even all my doctors seemed surprised that I had pain and went on to say that breast pain is not usually associated to BC.  Obviously in all of our cases, that's not true.

Dx 6/7/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/26/2012 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement
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Mar 12, 2013 02:07AM Lisa1637 wrote:

Ladies...This is such an important topic!

In December I went to my GYN because I had this (huge) lump that jumped out when I was PMS.  And it hurt!  The very reassurring nurse who did the exam told me she thought it was benign because BC doesn't hurt.  She also said that it was squishy and not hard, attached to the wall.  She found a few other squishy lumps in my 'extremely' dense breasts.  She ordered a diagnostic Mammo and Ultrasound but told me 'I would have a good holiday.'  Boy, was I relieved.

2 weeks later, after the ultrasound, the radiologist said they wanted to do 4 biopsy', that lump and 3 calcifications.  The lump was benign but one calc came back with DCIS.  I'm grateful for that lump but realise how misinformed I had been...thanks to you ladies!


Dx 12/27/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/18/2013
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Mar 17, 2013 07:10PM sara613 wrote:

It's crazy how much docs lie you guys are living proof and my last bs dismissed me based on the fact that it hurts at times and I'm young.

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Mar 17, 2013 09:28PM DEbeachgirl wrote:

My breast hurt off and on for a couple months. A burning pain and then it would stop. I went to nurse practioner and we didn't feel anything and then a month later there was a lump beside my nipple that hurt. Everything I read said cancer didn't hurt and bc of my age everyone thought it was a cyst.

Michele. ~The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. Dx 11/4/2008, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/20/2008 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 12/16/2008 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/21/2009 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/6/2009 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/10/2009 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 10/10/2010 Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 8/4/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 10/10/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction Hormonal Therapy 2/24/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 3/2/2013 Afinitor (everolimus) Chemotherapy 7/10/2013 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 11/4/2014 Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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Mar 22, 2013 09:21AM deedee3835 wrote:

Hey Lady:  I was diagnosed 11/09.  I had a good mamogram 7/09 and some how from 7/09 to 11/09, a lump grew on my right breast looked like a smaller breast.  I was putting pressure on my nerves.............and it HURT like all heck.  I remember my co workers saying, oh it probably a cyst can't be cancer cause cancer doesnt hurt........Well had biopsy done and guess what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!it was cancer.  It wanted to smack them all.  So for all you people who may be confused about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!! breast cancer can hurt.

delo Dx 11/9/2009, ILC, Stage II, 22/24 nodes, HER2-
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Mar 22, 2013 09:50AM Denise-G wrote:

My breast hurt like crazy - like a bee sting - a year and a half before diagnosis.  I googled and googled and found, breast pain isn't cancer - baloney!  My body was trying to tell me there was a problem.  It was 1.5 years later before my 6 cm tumor was discovered.

I write a BC Blog and it is one of my missions to let people know BREAST PAIN CAN BE CANCER.  It is amazing how many searches I get on "bee sting like pain in breast" that leads people to me Blog. We have to continue to get this word out there! my BC Blog with over 200 informative posts about all aspects of BC - stop by! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/22/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/26/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/27/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 22, 2013 03:45PM signalfire wrote:

My lump was found because it was painful; it was right behind the right nipple and about 2 cm; it felt like PMS-style pain at first, a dull ache only on that side, and then while I was 'thinking' about getting a mammogram, it became more sore, like a bruise.  After the nurse practitioner felt it, she sent me quickly for a mammogram (a 'diagnostic', not routine, this time), followed by another focused mammogram and then ultrasound and finally biopsy.  It was mucinous 2.1 cm with spots of LCIS, DCIS and DC infiltrating also in the specimen, after a lumpectomy.  I am now awaiting insurance approval for a double mastectomy to reduce the threat as much as possible.  I don't want a reconstruction; at my age (almost 60) I'm not really interested in carrying about a pair of 44DDs anymore and in any event, it wouldn't be me, it'd be a prosthesis and more surgery than I want to submit myself to.  

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Mar 24, 2013 12:42PM just2_blessed wrote:

Hello....this is what my letter said on Friday....Your breast Imaging study has shown an area in your breast that will need further evaluation....and said that I may have dense breast tissue which can hide cancer or other abnoomalities. I have to go and get a test done called a "Spot Compression". calling Dr. on Monday morning.

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Mar 24, 2013 01:17PM - edited Mar 24, 2013 01:21PM by indenial

My cancerous lump was very painful... so much so that I was tempted on multiple occasions to grab a syringe from our cabinet & drain my "cyst" myself. (Doc told me it was a cyst, without doing any tests, because it was painful & I was only 29 years old.) When i finally got tests done months later, I really really really downplayed the pain because I had learned by then that no one was willing to consider it might be cancer if it was painful. Get your lumps tested, and even lie about the pain if you have to. I'd never advocate lying in most situations but this is your life at stake.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. ~C.C. Scott Dx 2/11/2013, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 4/9/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 7/3/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 5/11/2016, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Surgery 5/26/2016 Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy 9/4/2017 External: Bone Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 26, 2013 02:01PM raysnbucs wrote:

I felt the pain, well before I felt the lump. It was almost like being stabbed with a red hot knife at times lasting only a few seconds at a time. Sometimes it was bad enough, I had to stop what I was doing and sit down till it as over. Most of the time , I noticed it after I had had too much caffine. So I chalked it up to that. Now, that I have been dignosed with IDC, and a 5cm lump, I am betting it was from that. But I agree Breast Cancer can be painful. 

"My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you." Footprints poem - Mets to bone in spine Dx 2/13/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Dx 3/20/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2013 Radiation Therapy 5/1/2013 3DCRT: Bone Surgery 5/28/2013 Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 6/13/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 10/30/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Apr 16, 2013 09:16AM heather214 wrote:

I have had all the Drs. tell me that breast cancer is NOT painful, but that was my ONLY initial symptom. My left breast just started aching terribly, and I just knew it was breast cancer. Other symptoms followed soon after: changes in the look of my breast and hardening of the tumors, but I am very thankful to have had the pain. Unfortunately, at first I attributed it to my cycles, so did not act immediately. But, when it did not go away, I went in. Was diagnosed within a week.

Dx 2/8/2013, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 4/3/2013 AC Targeted Therapy 6/7/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 7/22/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Apr 16, 2013 09:28AM Lily55 wrote:

Its high time doctors stopped saying breast cancer is usually not painful as so many women can say differently, pain was my first sign too and I never had a lump as the cancer I had was lobular

Dx 4/2012, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/3/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 8/15/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 3/7/2019 External: Bone Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Apr 23, 2013 11:32AM RMagdahlen wrote:

I also had a lump that was very painful. Throbbed and pinched. It is what enabled me to get an early diagnosis.

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