May 12, 2022 02:50AM - edited May 14, 2022 12:25AM by wc3
The radiologist told me it was normal breast tissue and though I am typically one to question, I didn't that time, but what I should have done was request a biopsy or MRI...in my case, probably a biopsy would have been best because the lump was close to the surface and would have been easy to access.
Instead I went on my way and started birth control pills for bleeding issues, but thankfully I was only on them for about two or three months before a pharmacist recommended I switch to natural progesterone cream because the estrogen in the pill was counter productive to stopping bleeding. I can never know for sure, but that switch may very well have saved my life, because my cancer was highly estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor activation has a proliferative effect in breast cancer. Progesterone and breast cancer have a more complicated relationship and in some instances it helps and in others it hurts.
I was finally diagnosed nearly two years later. I had looked down in the shower one day and noticed a contour in my breasts that I hadn't recall previously being there. I forgot about it for a few weeks and my memory was then jogged by some disturbing photos of cancer the internet sent my way so I called and made an appointment to be re-examined.
I almost didn't go. It was an early morning appointment and I woke up tired having gone to bed late, and still thinking it was normal breast tissue and I was being a hypochondriac, but I figured I already had the appointment, it took a week or two to get, and I knew I would start worrying on a Friday evening when nothing could be done about it if I didn't go, so I jumped out of bed at literally the last minute and just barely caught the last bus that could get me there.
By that time, the lump had grown from 0.4cm when I initially found it, to about 2.5cm and was unmistakably cancer on the ultrasound. And not just any cancer but aggressive HER2 positive cancer. I started neoadjuvent chemotherapy about a month after the second mammogram and ultrasound, by which time it had grown to about 3cm.
Thankfully it responded extremely well to treatment and I currently have no evidence of disease.