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Topic: Referred to breast specialist after negative tests?

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 13, 2019 01:38PM

Nvrachel19 wrote:

Hi! I have had a slightly painful lump in my left breast for years now. It hurts on and off (not matching with my cycle at all). One month it will hurt, then be fine for a few months, then hurt again. Anyway I had an ultrasound last year and it showed nothing. This year the doctor felt it and said it’s a large ridge and scheduled me for tests. I had my first mammogram (age 33) and a diagnostic ultrasound. Both tests were fine except dense tissue. The radiologists told me to have it checked again in a year. So then a week after my tests my doctor called with a referral to a breast specialist. They said it was completely up to me if I go. Of course I have been crazy worried so I am going next week. But I’m still confused as to why I would be referred if my tests are ok? Do they think the tests are wrong? Second opinion? Or just because it hurts they want me to see my options? The scheduler didn’t have any info and I’m going crazy with worry.

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Nov 13, 2019 03:38PM - edited Nov 16, 2019 01:00PM by Moderators

Dear Nvrachel19,

Welcome to the BCO community. We are sorry for what bring you here but glad that you reached out for support. Here is a link to a page for those who are not diagnosed with breast cancer but worried. It gives you links to other pages that address common imaging questions and symptom questions. We hope someone else will pop in with a shared experience.

The Mods

Edited to make link hot.

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Nov 13, 2019 03:54PM djmammo wrote:


If the lump you are currently evaluating is the same one you have had for "years", and imaging has shown no abnormality in that location, then that's very encouraging.

Perhaps allowing you the option to see someone to have that area evaluated clinically, is routine for that office. Personally I only made that kind of referral if the patient expressed any doubt in the answers they received during their imaging appointment, or if they felt their questions were not answered adequately.

Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.
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Nov 13, 2019 03:55PM MelissaDallas wrote:

I think they just don't see anything obvious that could be causing your pain so they are "kicking you up the ladder." Since they said it was totally up to you, that leads me to think that they don't believe there is anything serious going on, but want to help you get to the bottom of it..

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Nov 13, 2019 04:28PM Yogatyme wrote:

It also seems that maybe they felt the breast specialist might have benefit of expertise and focus of their practice being breast health.

Yogatyme Surgery 3/2/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/12/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Nov 13, 2019 04:45PM - edited Nov 13, 2019 04:55PM by Sara536

I'm so sorry you find yourself in this situation. Your doctor was wise to give you a referral. If it were me, and the decision was left up to me, then I would jump on it. The specialist will know a lot more about breasts than a primary care physician and may want to do a biopsy, or at least be able to give you a very good explanation of why not. A biopsy would look at the actual cells. I would want a definitive answer. How else can you make a decision on next steps? Your young age does not rule out cancer. You will feel so much better when you know for sure what is going on and hopefully you will get an “all clear" and will be able to stop worrying. Best of luck to you!


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Nov 13, 2019 09:31PM MamaAvery wrote:

I was referred to a surgeon for a Fibroadenoma that bothers me. They don’t always remove them, but I was given the option due to the pain which is a lot like what you have described. (And the surgeon said it’s a safe choice to evaluate for phyllodes since mine is bothering me so much)

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Nov 13, 2019 11:05PM rottie wrote:

What everyone else said and in my opinion,sounds like your physician is being proactive.

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