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Topic: Male and Confused. Symptoms don't match Results

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: Nov 10, 2019 04:16PM

Superman17 wrote:

First I'm Male and to say I'm scared out of my wits would be an understatement. Anyways here we go. I have an elarged right breast and areola and tenderness in there. Diagnosed by ultrasound as having Gynecomastia via ER doctor. Fast forward 2 weeks later getting pain numbness and tingling starting at neck, shoulder blade, bicep,tricep,forearm,hand and into finger all on same side as supposed Gynecomastia. Went and saw a Dr at Comprehensive Breast Center. Did a digital mammogram and ultrasound and diagnosed me with Gynecomastia. Is there anyone with any insight? Do I believe this or continue further? I'm scared and idk what more to do. He seemed insistent it's Gynecomastia.

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Nov 10, 2019 06:17PM Lou10 wrote:

Sorry you're worried! I believe there's a forum on male breast cancer on this site (unfortunately I can't provide the link at the moment). You might want to post your questions about gynecomastia vs breast cancer there as well?

Diagnosis: 12/15/2010, IDC (plus DCIS & ILC), 2.5cm IDC, Stage IIb or III (unknown -- radiation to lymph nodes instead of ALND surgery), Grade 2, 2/2 nodes (sentinel and intramammary fully involved with extracapsular extension), ER+++/PR+++, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/13/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 9/14/2011 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 11/7/2011 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 8/22/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 7/12/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Nov 10, 2019 07:04PM Superman17 wrote:

Thanks I found the forum actually. Sadly it seems not many are there anymore. I just don't know what more to do as I'm told that I've taken the golden standard of testing for men. I've had 2 breast ultrasounds and a diagnostic mammogram which earned a diagnosis of Gynecomastia. Given everything idk how much I have left. I have a wife and 2 kids and right now I'm non existent and I'm not proud. I don't handle this type of thing well.

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Nov 10, 2019 07:39PM Hannah1962 wrote:

Did they have any explanation for the pain? Is the enlargement something new or recent? Was there any explanation for why it is one sided?


What kind of comprehensive breast center did you visit, such as, are they affiliated with a medical or research center?


I understand your concern. I received a diagnosis of breast cancer last year and had a lumpectomy in December, then radiation in the spring. However, there were two occasions in the years before my diagnosis when I went to (perhaps) the wrong place, and (perhaps) did not get the workup I should have received. For example, a couple years ago, I felt a lump before getting my routine mammogram (but within a month after my visit with a doctor who wrote the screening mammo prescription). The person who did my mammo ignored my concern about a lump, did not try to find it (which I protested at the time), did not mark it or anything, then when my mammogram came back looking normal, I was dismissed with comments about "anxiety" (hinting I was imagining the lump). Prior to that, something did appear on a screening mammogram, but they determined in a diagnostic mammo that it dispersed so was not a lump. As it turns out, my cancer, invasive lobular carcinoma, is one that does not show up on mammograms. Also, it grows in sheets and often fails to form a lump. It is a slow growing cancer. During those years I felt exhausted and unwell and saw plenty doctors. It all makes me wonder how long the cancer was there, and might it have been caught earlier? So don't be ashamed or afraid of questioning the doctors and persisting until you are confident you have the answers you need.


My recent BC surgery was at a famous cancer center in NYC, and I am confident had I been getting my mammograms there, any relevant earlier abnormality would have been less likely to be missed (I believe that earlier lump I felt would at least have been checked and probably biopsied).

I think male breast cancer is uncommon enough, if I were you I would want to make sure to be evaluated somewhere where they are really expert. Also, if you are having pain there, maybe you need an antibiotic? I don't know much about gynecomastia, but it does seem odd to me if it is one-sided.

If you don't mind spending some money on a second opinion, if all else fails, you could try an online second opinion somewhere like Cleveland Clinic, or maybe Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC (they might do them). Or if you are close to one of these places, you could try to be seen in person, which is actually better, and also more likely to be covered by insurance.


Good luck, and I hope you get answers soon.

Dx 12/7/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 10, 2019 07:46PM Superman17 wrote:

Well I haven't had really any pain in the breast itself. I had 2 breast ultrasounds and the diagnostic mammogram and diagnosed gynocastemia. No lump has been found at all. I don't feel any lumps under armpit either. That's why it's so strange. Yes in makes they say it can be dual sided or one sided in reference to Gynevomastia. It's crazy. I went to a Comphrensive Breast Center that specializes in this and has their own in house Oncologist sugeon. Dr. Forsberg the Radiologist was certain. He said this is absolutely benign Gynecomastia. Idk I'm so lost because I dont have any evidence of lumps at all. Just the enlarged right breast and areola. He said the what seems like a pinched nerve in neck is unrelated. It's just the timing of it all. Does this make sense? It just seems if it was Breast Cancer causing this it would've been revealed somehow? Idk I'm just in a world of doubt.

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Nov 10, 2019 08:58PM Traveltext wrote:

Superman17, sorry about your plight. I’m a guy treated five years ago for breast cancer and I’ve helped many men here over the years who have come with gynecomastia who have posted here with their worries.

After carefully reading through your report of the tests you’ve had to date, I’d be confident to say that you don’t have breast cancer. Let me know if you have further worries, but try to stay calm in the knowledge that you have good medical people taking care of you.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Nov 10, 2019 09:02PM Superman17 wrote:

Ive read thru most of your posts. You seem like a terrific man. I'm hopeful I don't I just you know don't know what to think. The timing and unknowing of it all. You have really helped my confidence level. I'm happy you're in good health at least I hope you're. I'm trying to trust in them and Jesus also. I pray for you and all who brave this fight both make and female. Im confident and hopeful and take it a day at a time. Is there anything I should do or just trust them? Thank you so very much

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Nov 10, 2019 11:26PM Traveltext wrote:

I’m well, thanks. I really am confident that you are on the case. Worry is a natural part of the process of getting the right diagnosis. Post here any time you like and I’ll help in any way I can.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Nov 11, 2019 01:51PM Superman17 wrote:

Can you help me. What I'm concerned about is the lymph nodes being responsible for all this even though mammogram and ultrasound showed nothing. I can't feel lymph nodes at least as far as I can tell. I'm really confused as to if a mammogram normally shows these and how it works. Idk what to do?

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Nov 11, 2019 03:12PM MinusTwo wrote:

Superman - I don't think a Mammo will, but likely an ULS will. However someone else will likely know more.

Attached is a link to a diagram of the lymph system. I was able to feel my swollen lymph node, as was my doctor. I believe that an ULS might show general lymph swelling & prompt more testing, but if cancer has moved to the lymph nodes I believe an MRI is the definitive test.

https://www.sasklymph.ca/lymph_diagram_wide.php



2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 11, 2019 05:14PM Superman17 wrote:

Yes I've been reading on it. I can't feel lymph nodes and nither did doctor and have had a diagnostic mammogram and 2 ultrasounds as well s multiple physical exams showing nothing but gynecomastia. Does this in principle put me safe of BC? I'm sorry just so confused and dazed

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Nov 11, 2019 06:43PM MinusTwo wrote:

sorry Superman, I don't know any more. I expect TravelText will be along later.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 12, 2019 07:58AM djmammo wrote:

Superman17

The majority of cases of gynecomastia are due to medications the patient is taking, including prescription drugs, some health food store "supplements", recreational drugs, and those used by body builders. Part of the problem is not all are legal and no one wants to admit this to their docs. Look up the side effects of each and search gynecomastia. Also gynecomastia has a fairly unique appearance on mammography and can be tender.

In men under 20 after puberty is already well underway if intense weight training is started I have seen this happen without supplements/steroids.


Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.
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Nov 12, 2019 08:01AM Superman17 wrote:

Thank you for getting back to me. I'm 36 scared and idk what to do. I've had a diagnostic mammogram and 2 ultrasounds and doctor insists it's one sided Gynecomastia even though I don't do any drugs or anything. I am obese. So I guess what I'm wandering is could they have missed breast cancer that has spread and is causing nerve issues? I'm sorry idk what to do

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Nov 12, 2019 08:12AM djmammo wrote:

Superman17

The scenario you are suggesting would be very unusual. I am not sure I have ever seen metastatic breast cancer without the primary cancer being visible on imaging or palpable as a discrete mass on physical exam.

Here is an excerpt from this article: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/mens-health/what-is-gynaecomastia/ Perhaps some blood work for hormone levels is in order. See below.

Obesity

"Being very overweight (obese) is a common cause of gynecomastia – this is because being overweight can increase levels of estrogen, which can cause breast tissue to grow. If you're overweight you're also more likely to have excess fat that can enlarge the breast tissue. For some people losing weight or doing more exercise can help but this may not always improve the condition."

Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.
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Nov 12, 2019 08:15AM Superman17 wrote:

Ok so basically it doesn't sound all that possible then? So my doctor is right in the diagnosis you would believe? You've never heard of this? I want to thank you for talking to me. He just dismissed it as Gynecomastia or even when I told him what was going on

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Nov 12, 2019 08:21AM djmammo wrote:

Superman17

You should have all those non-breast related symptoms looked into just in case there is something else going on.

Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.
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Nov 12, 2019 08:23AM Superman17 wrote:

Ok so it seems they are unrelated to you as well then just based on all the testing I've had done? What I'm asking I guess is the testing I've had done definitive? Idk the standard

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Nov 12, 2019 08:51AM djmammo wrote:

Superman17

The rest is outside of my field of expertise. These are good questions for your doctor(s).

Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.
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Nov 12, 2019 09:05AM Superman17 wrote:

Ok. So

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Nov 12, 2019 03:18PM Superman17 wrote:

So I just saw my PC who again checked all my lymph nodes again no swelling. As far as breast cancer involvement in nodes causing symptoms certainly they'd find something?

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Nov 12, 2019 08:16PM AliceBastable wrote:

I'm sorry, but I don't understand. You've been told pretty definitely that it's gynecomastia and not cancer, but you seem ... disappointed? Maybe you have health anxiety issues that you need to address.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 12, 2019 09:11PM Superman17 wrote:

I do anxiety yes but no it's not that. It's based around an unexplained set of symptoms that occasionally from what I've read can connect depending on circumstances. Dr. Google frightens us all. So I'm doing my best to deal with the situation. I figured folks here might have some advice on how to figure out testing and steps to take to ensure I know what is happening. Being underdiagnosed isn't something I want to face . Sorry to have offended you

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Nov 12, 2019 09:12PM Superman17 wrote:

I want to thank you for your kindness to me. Hard to find kindness these days and I appreciate it when I see it. Thank you sir

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Nov 12, 2019 09:58PM MinusTwo wrote:

Superman - we're not offended so please keep posting if you need to. I think Alice's point is it would be healthy if you stop going & Google and searching & try to figure out the best way forward from here. I expect most of us are unfamiliar with your diagnosis, but if your doc isn't giving you the steps to take & the advice you need, maybe it's time for a new doc.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Nov 12, 2019 10:00PM Superman17 wrote:

Oh of course I figured. I just didn't want offend or be rude to anyone. I suppose I must accept the diagnosis I don't believe they would leas me stray. You'll been awesome.

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Nov 12, 2019 10:23PM AliceBastable wrote:

You haven't offended anyone! I'm just worried that you seem to have more faith in whatever you find on the internet over the highly educated and experienced medical professionals who have actually examined you.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 13, 2019 12:06AM Traveltext wrote:

Superman17. You’ve had a lot of people here doubting your self-diagnosed breast cancer and I think you can relax for now. Of course, remain vigilant, keep seeing your docs, but don’t assume the worst meanwhile.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Nov 14, 2019 04:12PM Superman17 wrote:

Thank you very much for your kind words. I guess what I'm worried about is the effectiveness of the tests I've had done and their reliability

I've had a diagnostic mammogram and 2 breast ultrasounds all negative except finding unilateral right side only Gynecomastia. Then tired in the same sided other issues. Idk I guess I'm lost and confused

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Nov 14, 2019 04:14PM Superman17 wrote:

You're right. It's just odd that everything seems to line one way but the testing shows different. It's confusing for someone especially like me who doesn't handle health issues well at all

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Nov 14, 2019 04:16PM Superman17 wrote:

The uniltateral part is what scares me. The doctor said he sees unilateral Gynecomastia alot. So idk many folks say I should worry many say no because testing I've had done is pretty definitive. Idk what to think honestly

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