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Topic: sore area on breast dismissed/turn out to be cancer

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Mar 20, 2019 09:32PM

beep7bop wrote:

I went to see breast doctor about sore area on breast 5 years ago they didn't find anything, Now same area is IDC. Anyone else out there?

Dx 3/11/2019, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Mar 21, 2019 07:03AM PurpleCat wrote:

Possibly. I had breast pain on and off for years starting in my mid thirties. Sometimes it seemed cyclical, other times it didn't. On a couple of occasions I found lumps in the painful spots, which biopsy proved to be fibroadenomas or cysts. The last lump I found was six years before my cancer diagnosis. It came back as benign, and they left a biopsy marker in there. When the non-palpable calcifications on my mammogram warranted a biopsy that found cancer, I realized afterwards that the needle had entered my skin in almost the same spot as it had six years earlier. No one at any time during my cancer treatment ever said anything about the cancer being close to a previously biopsied area, and I never think to ask about it when I have the opportunity. I don't think it was the exact same spot as before, but likely nearby, and was one of the areas where I'd been experiencing pain.

Based on what I know of cancer growth rates, it's likely that the cancer WAS already there six years ago, but far too small to detect by the mammograms and ultrasound I had at the time. It's possible that some of the pain I experienced over the years WAS related to cancer developing. But some of it was also definitely related to fibrocystic stuff. I still trust that the needle biopsy six years ago was accurate. I don't think there's any test available that can find cancer when it's the size of a grain of sand. If the old needle biopsy had just HAPPENED to scoop up the malignant grain of sand on the way to taking samples from the fibroadenoma, I suppose it would have been diagnosed and treated and I'd be done by now. But it's certainly no one's fault that it didn't happen this way. Until there's a test that can detect cancer at the one-cell stage, all we can do is stay on top of our screenings.

My take on all of this is still forming, but it's turning into something like this: By the time we learn we have breast cancer, we've had it for years. But until it becomes detectable either by feel or by imaging, we have no solid reason to believe that we're not perfectly healthy, so we might as well live as though we are. Breast pain CAN be a sign that cancer is brewing, but it is so often a sign of other perfectly benign yet annoying processes that if you get it checked out and all appears to be well, you might as well just breathe a sign of relief and go back to living your life. If it IS cancer starting to brew, it WILL become detectable at some point, and if you stay on top of your screenings, you're very likely to catch it at an early treatable stage.

I've spent many hours of my life worrying about getting breast cancer. Then I actually got breast cancer. Now I wish I hadn't wasted so many of my pre-cancer time in worry. Now I'm determined (and not always succeeding) to live the rest of my life NOT worrying about recurrence. I'm doing all I can to prevent it, and to detect it early if it happens, and there's no reason I need to think about it all the time. It's hard, because worry is a longstanding habit of mine and because now I really DO have reason to suspect any little weird pain might be cancer. But until they can find it and tell me I have it ... I don't.

Beep7bop, I'm sorry that got so long and probably off topic from your original question! You touched on something I've been thinking about and gave me an opportunity to put it into words. I hope for smooth sailing for you as you go through treatments. This forum is great for support of all kinds.

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy
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Mar 21, 2019 08:08AM - edited Mar 21, 2019 08:10AM by edwards750

I can relate Purplecat. I had several mammograms where they found a suspicious lump. One time the doctor aspirated it and I remember the nurse saying if that didn't work it was probably cancer. She was so sweet talking to me through the process and saying at the end - see just a cyst.

I panicked for years too mainly because my mother had BC. I paced and paced right before the radiologist called me back to her office. There was a time when I saw this X-ray posted on their machine from the hallway and was positive it was mine. They had circled this area. Lo and behold it was mine but still okay. The radiologist in her southern drawl said - honey you are okay but I wish I could say the same for other ladies waiting. One lady had received a telegram from the hospital advising her to come in for a retest. That was many years ago but most hospitals are diligent about “encouraging" you to come in and get an area checked out again and reminding you that your mammogram is due.

Now that we are officially DX - mine was in 2011 the fear factor at least for me has intensified. I am a worrier by nature so all this does is exacerbate the anxiety. My next mammogram is in June.

I know a lot of us look back pre-DX and realize some of the symptoms we were experiencing were signs. Mine was weight loss. I thought it was because I had stopped eating sugary things.

All we can do is move forward and be as optimistic as possible that the longer we are out from our DX the better our chances are we won't have a recurrence.


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Mar 21, 2019 08:39PM beep7bop wrote:

 After I am threw with all my treatment and surgery, I too will have the thought in the back of my mind of a new cancer. But I have so many things in life to still be around to witness. Such as graduations of grandsons from college and high school, wedding, great grandbabies. I plan on looking forward!!

Dx 3/11/2019, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Mar 22, 2019 03:35AM DATNY wrote:

Same here. Pain started 5 years prior diagnosis, same place as IDC, and of course, same breast. Was followed up by mammo for 2 years, because they found benign calcification in the breast. I skipped the last mammo and went for my annual an year later. There were 1-2 cm lumps in four spots. I think they were there to begin with, but much smaller and because of scattered tissue not distinguishable yet.

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Apr 5, 2019 09:23PM Britspeech wrote:

Just wanted to say purplecat that was my exact story! in fact I had to check to make sure I hadn't written this. Same place as Fibrodenoma 6 years ago. Even Onco thought it was strange! At detection last August it was DCIS/IDC stage 1a grade 2 8mm and oncoscore 8. I do believe , as do my docs, that it was there but too tiny to detect and mammograms are not particularly effective for those of us with dense breasts. I too worried constantly but got cancer anyway. I too have decided at this time to live my best life and not sweat the small stuff! God Bless

Dx 8/3/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 11/13/2018 Hormonal Therapy
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Jul 23, 2019 04:11PM - edited Jul 23, 2019 04:14PM by beep7bop

Well I had my mastectomy, healing, had PET/CT they found hypermetabolic foci same area as original cancer so now I might not get my reconstruction in September. Which doesn't make me happy. You thing OK just take them off everything will be good. Apparently not

Shocked oh yes had my shingles shot yesterday that was fun.

Dx 3/11/2019, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jul 23, 2019 05:25PM msphil wrote:

hello all I felt sore around my nipple and then pain under arm neither excruitiating but then was told by PCP to start getting a mammogram I was only 42 no history of breast cancer in family. Planning our 2nd marriages when I got the call after needle biopsy that it was indeed cancer. I had my cry sleepless nights fiance at time would just hold me as I cried telling me ill get thru this God Bless him now husband . My faith got me to the Hope I needed to get thru and Positive thinking that I Will get pass this. Today Praise God I am now a 25yr Survivor. I went to sleep saying cancer you have to leave my body. Hope. msphil idc stage2 0/3 nodes 3mo chemo before and after L mast. then got married and 7wks rads and 5yrs on Tamoxifen.

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