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Topic: Anyone with dense breasts - lump on upper outer quadrant

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried —

Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time. PLEASE DO NOT POST PICTURES OF YOUR SYMPTOMS. Comparing notes, symptoms, or characteristics is not helpful here, as only medical professionals can accurately evaluate and assess your individual situation.

Posted on: Jan 19, 2010 08:37PM

brady0819 wrote:

Hi Girls:

In September I went for my initial mammo (age 37) because of a painful lump that I felt on my left breast. It is on the upper outer quadrant.  It really only hurts when I touch it.  It almost feels like a bruise...more tender than painful. I had a mammo and ultrasound and they saw nothing concerning on that left breast (however, I had to have 2 biopsies for an unpalpable lump on my right breast...total shock.  Luckily both biopsies showed normal breast tissue...I am having a follow up mammo in Feb...scared out of my mind).

I saw my OBG about this lump on my left breast and he seems to think it is purely hormonal as it pops up 2 weeks before my period (right around ovulation time).  He did state that I have very very dense fibrocystic breasts.  There is the same lump on my right breast in the same general area (not as big though) and this one does not cause me pain.  The pain does seem to go away during my period, but then pops up about 10 days later.

Of course I keep touching this area constantly (which my doc told me not to do as I exacerbate the problem). 

Just wondering if anyone else experiences this and if in fact, it is just fibrocystic disease. I am not too concerned about this as my mammo and ultrasound showed nothing, but it is rather annoying.  I am very worried about my follow up mammo though.  Even after having an ultrasound core needle and stereotactic biopsies on the unpalpable area that showed nothing I feel like I am obsessing over touching my breasts and trying to feel for lumps. It is very hard to detect lumps wtih such dense breasts.  Any advice????


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Jan 19, 2010 09:42PM laydibug wrote:

Hi Brady

Out stories are so similar.  I too have pain to the left upper outer quadrant of my breast.  I'm 42 yrs old and have had this pain since I was 16.  It becomes painful when I ovulate and goes away once I get my period.  I have had the area investigated numersous times and it always comes back as nothing.  I too have dense breasts and didn't really know what that ment until I had a routine mamo done back in December.  I was called back for a repeat magnified mamo because the radiologist was concerned with a spot to the lower left aspect of my breast.  I then follow through with an u/s and it turned out to be shadowing.  This whole process took 10 days and I didn't find out that everything was ok until December 23rd.  I too was very worried and can certainly appreciate how you feel right now.  Try to take a deep breath and hold on to the fact that everything to date has been ok.

Sending good thoughts your way and I hope all goes well in february....keep us posted.

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Jan 21, 2010 09:48PM brady0819 wrote:

Thanks ladybug... The big concern on my mammo and ultrasound was the shadowing (specific posterior acoustic shadowing).  Did you have the same?  Was your radiologist concerned about this?  Just wondering how long I will be going for 6 month scans. Will I ever get through the fear of the possibility of BC?

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Jan 22, 2010 01:51PM laydibug wrote:

Hi Brady

 Yes mine was the same but with the u/s they did find 6 tiny cyst.  During my mammogram and u/s I was also on the birth control pill and just short of my mentral cycle.  The pill made my breast ginormous (sp?) and I did retain alot of fluid as well, hence the cysts.  I too will be having a f/u scan at the 6 month mark (since stopped the pill)and still continue to worry.  I wish I had the answers to how to shut off the worries but I try to  look at the positive and that is right now all is good.  I think we hear so much about it, we are being educated but we are also somehow indirectly affected by it whether it be friends, relatives or acquintances being afflicted by BC.    I think about it everyday but make myself be optimistic, life is good and I'm/we are being proactive by being on this  site educating ourselves but mostly we are paying attention to our own bodies. 

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Jan 22, 2010 04:33PM bestrong wrote:

Hello.  I had a similiar experience with my first mammogram.  I went to the screening with a concern of dimpling, puckering in left breast.  I told the tech. but she did not really see it.  I then was called back for irregular density on the opposite breast.  I ended up having the stereo-tactic as well, with benign results.  Great news, but come back in 3 months for a follow-up.  Well in those 3 months I must done several BSE a DAY.  I became obsessed about having cancer.  It is especially hard for me, considering my mother died one year ago of cancer. (not breast)  I am also adpoted so I do not know my medical history at all.  After going back to the follow-up they said everything was fine.  I have now decided that I will keep doing what I am supposed to do and not worry about this everyday.  I need to focus on things that are positive.  There are so many others here with similiar circumstances that did not get same results.  Take care and hopefully your worry will lessen.

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Jan 22, 2010 05:34PM brady0819 wrote:

Thank you so much, ladies. You are all such a wonder of support. I am grateful for you ALL.

I think I am starting to go crazy over this BC scare. I know that I should be happy that I got benign results from both my core needle and stereotactic biopsies, but now am questioning whether I should have just done the excisional biopsy as well.  I keep wondering if there is possibility of getting 2 false negative results. Crazy, huh???? Just tell me that those odds are very low.

I have pushed my 6 month follow up to Feb 1st (making it now a 5 month follow-up) just so I can get it over with and move on...whether good or bad.  I tired of constantly feeling around my breasts for possible lumps.  i just don't want to be scared anymore.  I feel that this is consuming me.

And then I feel terrible because so many wonderful, beautiful, courageous women received unexptected, not-so-good results and are being so much stronger than I am. Thank you all for your support

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Jan 24, 2010 12:18PM misskitty10 wrote:

My right breast has been sore the last few days on the upper outer quadrant and today it feel like a lump but I also have dense tissue so hard to know for sure. Not really a lump but a mass thats sore and the more I press to feel the more sore it is. After ready your story and the other replys I feel better. I missed my annual ck up due to no insurance for the past year so now I need to see what I can do to get it check out. Perhaps it has more to do with hormonal changes since I'm almost 53. I'm glad this site is here.

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Jan 24, 2010 08:54PM CoolBreeze wrote:

Yes, I had this, and it happened my entire adult life.  It led me to ignore my real cancer because I was just so used to having lumps that came and went that I figured this cancer was just the same thing. 

When it didn't go away after a couple periods I got it checked out, but it was months.  

My cancer felt different then the other lumps, and the pain was different, which stupidly I attributed to my age. (Perimenopausal)  So, my advice to you is to get to know your lumpy, bumpy breasts and keep up with your mammograms.  I didn't - it'd been years since I had one just because of all the lumps. They hurt, so I avoided the mammograms.  Silly.  A few minutes of discomfort might have saved my breast.

Don't worry that the biopsy results are wrong because that is extremely unlikely.  Just use this as the scare you need to keep up with your breast health.  I can't emphasize enough getting to know what your normal lumps look and feel like so when something different happens you'll know to check it out.

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+

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