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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 11:46AM

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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Apr 30, 2013 02:44PM - edited Apr 30, 2013 02:45PM by clvictory

Diagnosed & Surgery 3/2013

This is my first time posting. I can't believe how many women are posting that they had a painful lump! I am shocked because doctors are still telling women this lie! It is unacceptable. I actually had been having a mild, periodic, pain for well over a year.  The pain would come every 3 or four months and last for about a minute or less.  But this time the pain was sharp and intense. It did not go away.  I went to the doctor and she felt a lump. My FP sent me to see a breast specialist. I thought that my case (with paint) was rare until I joined this community. 

I want to do something to change this fallacy about breast cancer. 

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May 7, 2013 03:48PM Lauralind5 wrote:

Yes mine was painful and my ribs/side was too in fact thats how I found my lump from rubbing there and dragging my hand across my left breast because that was hurting too.  I think the underwire in my bra was making it worse because I stopped wearing one with underwire and its better. Still some pain though, some soreness and some shooting/burning type pain.

Dx multiple brain mets WBRT 2015/16 Dx 2 brain lesions oct 2015 CKS Dx brain mets 1 lesion 12/2014. Dx lymph nodes mets 2/2015 Dx 4/26/2013, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 4/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/15/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/18/2013 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 10/9/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/10/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 11/25/2014, Right, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx
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May 22, 2013 12:54AM - edited May 22, 2013 12:57AM by casstand

Hello I am 29 yrs old and found a lump about 9 months ago. It hurts, I experience sharp pain and my breast feels hot sometimes. It is also sore. Doc says its about 1 1/2 inches at largest point and a inch across. Have a mri scheduled for thurs and biopsy the following day. Dont know what to think about the whole thing yet but hopefully next wed when I get the results I will be able to breath a little better. I alsi like to add I finally got my doc to send me in for the ultrasound just a couple of weeks ago.

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May 22, 2013 06:58AM lmcclure4477 wrote:

I will pray that you get good results from your biopsy. My lump did hurt, that is how I found it. Most breast lumps are benign, but unfortunately mine was not. Doctors need to start listening to their patients because they blew off my concerns and said that it was probably a cyst. I am glad you will finally find an answer and that your doctors are finally listening to you. Please let us know what your results are.

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Jun 11, 2013 03:36PM EB009 wrote:

It's odd ... I have had a 6 x 6 inch itchy area on my back on and under my shoulder blade for about 2 years directly behind the left breast that has the lump .

 The last 2 months I have had burning and itchyness in my left breast on the left side of my breast at the 3 o'clock position. I found the lump Saturday morning 2/7/2013 after being jolted awake by a lightening bolt pain in my left breast ,traveled  up to my armpit and down my arm  at 3:40 in the morning., This is the breast in question. I was told at my Dr office , it is an abscessed cyst , started antibiotics yesterday  .My left  armpit also has a lump and or swollen lymphnodes  . Mamo is July 2nd.

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Jun 11, 2013 03:50PM - edited Jun 17, 2013 06:47AM by EB009

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Jun 14, 2013 04:22PM jmtrip wrote:


Your lump sounds like mine. Can you explain the appearnce of your lump?

I have had one for two years, they called it a cyst (keratinous) its located in my armpit.

I just recently went to see a dermo and he said he didnt know what it was and it needed to be

removed surgically. I have a consult next week with the surgeon.

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Jun 14, 2013 05:29PM StacieRae wrote:

I was diagnosed after a pinching pain under my right armpit led to me feel under there and I was shocked to find a sizeable lump. I figured it was a cyst because it hurt, and I was 42. My family doctor told me to put warm compresses on it for a few days, and if it didn't improve, come back. I did go back, and she immediately ordered an ultrasound. It turned out to be IDC, very aggressive. I had no breast symptoms at all to start off with. In fact, when I found the lump under my arm two different doctors checked my breasts, just to be sure. The ultraound showed the lump under my arm was a matted mass of enlarged lymph nodes, which turned out to be cancer. Within weeks, my right breast had firmed and then grew a hard, nasty, painful 5 cm tumour, and micro-tumors with skin involvement. Shortly after I got the same pinching sensation in my left armpit. The doctors dismissed it, said it was highly unlikely to spread to the other side, and so quickly, but I insisted they do an ultrasound, and sure enough it needed biopsy and turned out to be the same kind of cancer. I'm in aggressive neo-adjuvant chemo now, then double mastectomy with both axillary nodes dissected, and then 5 weeks of radiation, and possibly more chemotherapy. So don't EVER let anyone tell you that breast cancer doesn't hurt. My surgeon said my doctor may have saved my life, because most doctors would dismiss my symptoms because of my age and because I said it was painful. Thank goodness for that pinching pain that led me to the doctor. Be your own advocate, all the time.

"LIfe is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." Dx 2/7/2013, IDC, 5cm, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 3/20/2013 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/4/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 9/17/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 10/30/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 17, 2013 01:22AM - edited Jun 17, 2013 01:06PM by EB009

jmtripp.    My lump in my left breast is located at the 3 O'clock position . It is about the size of a peanut M & M . I have had re occurring pain and also itchy burning sensation . I also have a lump / swollen lymph nodes  in my left armpit . Several weeks ago I had a bad , very bad reaction  with poison ivy . When I had  the lightening bolt pain last week on 6 /8/ 2013 at 3:40 am  . I fell back to sleep and around 9:00 am  I awoke  ,  I did a breast exam and found the lump in my left breast .I thought it just may be due to the poison ivy , but then reviewed my past episodes with my left breast  ,   the fatigue ,  and re occuring itchy burning pain  I had endured  well before the poison ivy, along with with itchy area on my back , directly behind my left breast . I immediately called my GP on Monday 6/ 10/ 2013  , was checked , and told it was probably an abscessed cyst  . My Mamo was scheduled for July 2nd  . But  I called UT Medical and I had them Pax my previous mamo's to the Breast Center in the town I live in out side of Knoxville ,Tn  . I now have my mamo scheduled for June 25th . That's the next available mamo.   I hope this helps . Thanks E

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Jun 17, 2013 01:24AM - edited Jun 17, 2013 01:26AM by EB009

P.S. My lump also feels bruised and has pain or a deep bruising sensation  when I brush against it or slightly push on it at lump sight. Armpit does not hurt at all.

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Jun 17, 2013 02:22AM Nickie69 wrote:

My lump was painful, that's how I found it. Sharp shooting pains lasting for a couple of minutes. It was when I was having the pain I put my hand to my chest to try and stop the pain I felt it. Was told probably a cyst but mammogram and ultrasound showed that it wasn't. I was also told not to worry as if it was benign it probably wouldn't hurt.

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Jun 17, 2013 06:37AM EB009 wrote:

The waiting for the initial mamo and what's to follow is the worst. And now this week there is nothing . No itchy burning sensation , no bruised feeling like I was elbowed . Nothing . But this has happened before during the past several months . It's re occurring . There is not a constant pain like a throbbing tooth ache. It comes and goes . Of course this time there is a lump and my age ( 50 ) and being a DES daughter is a factor . My older aunt's told me it is most likely a cyst or abscessed cyst  as my GP stated. Either way I'm having it checked out   aggressively  .   I was told by 2 friends who have BC  ... The only consulation I can give  you is to treat it as if it is the worst outcome  . which we're all praying it's not .  Try to go about your normal life and  not worry  and wait for your appointment , but be aware of any changes and document any and everything that occurs with that area . One friend had symptoms of shooting pain with ocassional itchy burning periodically over a years time . She had it checked and nothing came of it and then  at one point later the next year  she found the lump .  When she went for her mamo , she said she knew what the out come would be because she just had not felt well or normal for about a year . But it was subtle and over time . She said the sensation in her left breast would occur and then go away ... she said looking back , it was  as if she had  warning sign's and her body was trying to tell her something was wrong . That last year she said she was unusually tired .

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Jun 17, 2013 12:57PM EB009 wrote:

I spoke too soon .. was spraying degreaser in the oven  ... stopped to realize the subtle burning itchy feeling is back. It's not painful , but bothersome and my back shoulder blade and left breast are as one now and are working in sink  as I have felt this once before prior to finding the lump .... Hmmmm .. I'm not crazy after all.  Jot's this down in her book of note's .

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Jun 17, 2013 03:28PM Hope1953 wrote:

hi lmcclure4477,

My lump was painful also. I found it in the shower and went and had a Mam and the tech read it wrong he said it was fine and then the lump grew more and more. I went back to Gyno and he said yes, it got bigger, so I went to a surgeon and he did biopsy and yes it was cancer. Then I had a double Massectomy. Now after 2 yrs I'm Cancer free. Are you ok know.


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Jul 1, 2013 10:16PM purple87 wrote:

I went 5 years with lump on my rt breast hurting and shooting pains. EVERY year I was told my mammograms were fine. The pain continued and the lump got bigger. This year I refused to have just another mammogram and insisted it be biopsied. They found a second mass during my biopsy. Both came back malignant. I have ILC....don't let those doctors make u feel stupid. You know your body. Maybe if I had insisted sooner I wouldn't have had to lose both my breast.

Surgery 6/3/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 6/22/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/22/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/4/2013 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/24/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Dx ILC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/6 nodes Radiation Therapy 3DCRT: Breast
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Jul 2, 2013 12:13AM babs6287 wrote:

I think everyone should know that breast cancer can hurt.  All these years I was told that it doesn't so I waited about 4 weeks after the pain started to finally go to my Dr.  You can imagine my shock to find out I had a large stage 3 tumor!  We really need to educate people so they don't dismiss any symtoms due to mis-information.  If I didn't have a lymph node in my neck that popped (and was unrelated to my cancer) I probably would have waited way too long to go to my Dr! 

Dx 8/17/2012, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 16/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/24/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 9/21/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 1/21/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/22/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 8/29/2013 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 10/30/2013 Reconstruction (left) Surgery 1/28/2014 Reconstruction (left) Surgery 5/18/2014 Reconstruction (left) Surgery 10/17/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 1/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 2, 16/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2015 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 3/14/2015 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 10/1/2015, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 2, 16/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 10/24/2015 Chemotherapy 1/1/2016 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 10/6/2016 CMF Chemotherapy 12/9/2016 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 4/27/2017 Gemzar (gemcitabine) Chemotherapy 6/21/2017 Halaven (eribulin) Targeted Therapy 8/10/2017 Chemotherapy 11/29/2017 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 12/14/2017 Doxil (doxorubicin) Chemotherapy 7/26/2018 Halaven (eribulin)
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Jul 2, 2013 12:33AM raysnbucs wrote:

I had varying pain, have, I should say. I want to smack the doctor who told me, 'you don't have breast cancer because it doesn't hurt.' Not only did I have it, damn thing already spread to my L3 vertabrae. 

"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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Jul 2, 2013 04:43AM Lily55 wrote:

Conventional doctors can be very ignorant of the realities of bc

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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Jul 2, 2013 06:53AM carolpr56 wrote:

Mine hurt too. By the time of the excisional biopsy a week later it was dimpling the skin. IDC 4 years after umx for DCIS, in the mx side. Both the BS and onco said less likely to be bc because of the pain.

Dx 6/2009, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR- Hormonal Therapy 12/5/2009 Dx 6/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/12/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jul 4, 2013 11:36PM Lunalin wrote:

I am 8 yrs post ILC and mastectomy and chemo. I now have pain in my incision. Very painful to touch, clothing, etc. My insurance has denied an MRI for a while. I am finally going in a few days. I just know that I should not be in pain.

Dx 8/17/2004, ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/2014, ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2016, ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 4, 2013 11:46PM Lunalin wrote:

Last year I reported breast pain during my mammo. I was ultrasounded and my pain was exactly where they placed the marker. The radiologist, flippantly asked if my initial BC hurt. I could have smacked him. I said "no" but numerous biopsies failed to diagnose the ILC. Now I am again experiencing pain in my mastecomy incision,  MRI next week.

Dx 8/17/2004, ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/2014, ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2016, ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 8, 2013 09:45PM msphil wrote:

hello all, I did not have breast pain, just in the L armpit, and that,s the breast cancer was found in, I found my lump,God bless Us ALL> msphil(idc,stage2, 0/3  nodes, L mast, chemo and rads and 5 yrs on Tamoxifen) and now a 19 yr Survivor(Praise GOD)

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Jul 8, 2013 10:01PM edwards750 wrote:

I didnt have any pain. My BC was found on a mammogram - one breast was larger than the other. Talk about  your dead giveaway. I think we are unaninmous about drs not making statements like bc doesnt hurt or not....I have had people ask me the same thing. For some people it does and did and others like me it didnt. Maybe in a way it is a good thing it hurts because that makes us go check to see what is causing the pain. diane

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Jul 12, 2013 01:47PM LSU wrote:

I believe the pain although slight and unobtrusive led me to discovering the 6 cm lump of DCiS encompassing 3.5 cm of IDC, HER2+, grade 3. I found it while I was reading in bed. Some annoyance let me to check my left breast in April. I thought I could palpitate a lump, but dismissed it as I had had a mammogram 10 months before. In May there was no denying the lump although I had no pain that I was cognizant of. Waiting the two months to bilateral mastectomy, June 12, 2012 to August 15,2012, I could feel slight shooting pain and pinging in my breast as the the tumor grew. It was appreciably larger from discovery to mastectomy. I shared that pain with the breast surgeon and was given a blank look.

Dx 7/5/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Dx 7/20/2012, IDC, 4cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Surgery 8/15/2012 Mastectomy: Right Dx 8/23/2012, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 9/10/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/10/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 9/10/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jul 12, 2013 02:02PM Sinfullyd wrote:

I would like to add to this post although I have not been diagnosed. I have a palpable lump in my right breast and have pain radiating from it most of the time. I take prescription painkillers to help cope with the pain. I was refereed to the breast clinic and whilst describing my symptoms I mentioned how much pain I am in. The doc basically laughed at me! The fact that I'm only 30 and I have pain basically made his mind up for him. Nothing showed on the ultrasound (too young for mammogram) so he sent me home with the advice of taking paracetamol & ibuprofen, not my prescription painkillers I was prescribed for the pain! So here I am, in pain, with no answers.

For anyone who might read this and is experiencing pain from their lump I suggest keeping quiet about it when you get checked out! The docs just dismiss any pain in relation to breast lumps!

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Jul 12, 2013 02:12PM - edited Jul 12, 2013 02:59PM by ms0305

Sinfullyd Please get the mammogram's not that u can't have mammogram at this age...fine the breast is dense and they might not be able to see much but still it should be done especially if you have a painful lump...

I am 27 and I had my mammogram done [because of strong family history] and they found some microcalcifications on mammogram which was later diagnosed as IDC, stage 1...not trying to scare u...but please be careful...

Dx 6/27/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 7/31/2013 Lumpectomy: Left
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Jul 12, 2013 02:32PM Sinfullyd wrote:

Ms0305 thank you for answering. I had the ultrasound on Monday which was when he told me to go home it's nothing. I have been trying to decide whether to just get on with life and cope with the pain or go back and get a second opinion. I think I made my decision today and I will go back to docs on Monday. I just cannot accept that this pain is nothing and I should just deal with it. Also having a lump in my breast and not knowing what it is is quite disturbing.

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Jul 12, 2013 02:33PM lmcclure4477 wrote:

I also encourage you to get a mammogram. You are probably fine since 80% of lumps are benign. But I was 35 when diagnosed. I found a lump that hurt and I got an ultrasound. They saw the lump on the ultrasound and said it appeared to be normal and since I had pain it was not breast cancer. I asked what the lump was and they said probably a cyst. I didn't like that answer so I pushed to see a breast surgeon. Turns out I had breast cancer Triple Negative which is an aggressive form. I am glad I pushed to be seen!! Please I am begging you to get checked!! Most times the lump is benign but you need to make sure!

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Jul 12, 2013 02:55PM indenial wrote:

Sinfullyd, yes, please do get a second opinion. I would ask for a biopsy since that is the most definitive way to diagnose/rule out breast cancer. A mammogram may not show anything at this age. I'm the same age, 30, and my lump was painful, though not to the extent you describe... I didn't take pain killers. Primary care doc dismissed it as "nothing" but when it was still there 6 months later (and still hurting) I insisted on some kind of testing. I read on here about breast pain misleading doctors so when I went for the ultrasound I lied & said it wasn't painful. No one took me seriously until I started saying it didn't hurt. This was actually really hard for me because I just don't like to lie at all, but that lie saved my life.

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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Jul 12, 2013 04:43PM Lily55 wrote:

Is it on the outer quadrant of your breast?  If so I would insist on an MRI with contrast.....

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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