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Topic: Lots of lumps and an indentation

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: Sep 15, 2020 12:32PM

WorriedmominNJ wrote:

Hi all!

I will start by saying I have my annual OB exam tomorrow morning where I will of course be discussing my concerns. I've been reading these forums for the past couple weeks now and everyone is so knowledgeable and friendly that I want to add my story here, as I'm sure come tomorrow I will have some questions for you all!

I am a few weeks shy of 39, 3 kids with my youngest being 2. With my last c-section I had a tubal ligation. None were breastfed.

The last few months I've noticed lots of lumpiness in both breasts. General Breast pain has been worse leading to my period. It hurts to even walk up the stairs if I don't have a bra on sometimes. All lumps I can feel seem squishy and movable. In my right breast is a definite very firm area on the upper outer part going up towards my armpit down to about my nipple. The area seems to be pretty similar to what I read about fibrocystic breasts. Ridgy, some lumps throughout, some spots are tender to touch, it flattens pretty much when I lay back, when I press on it it flattens etc. This specific spot softens a bit after my period comes but not fully. It seems close to the skin and I can feel every ridge.

About 6 weeks ago I noticed a dimple when I raise my arm or flex with hands on waist about an inch under this firm area. Strangely enough it seems the indent has maybe got a bit smaller since I first noticed it. But it also looks different depending on the lighting. It seems the more I dig into it looking to feel something it kind of stays sucked in. But then flattens out again. I feel like I sound crazy lol! I even gave myself what looked like a Hickey Because of all the digging. I do feel a very small but very movable round lump sort of under the dimple that seems attached to that fibrous part above it. Could something so small and movable cause tethering I wonder?

Regarding my left breast; it looks fuller than the right which isn't abnormal for me and I can also feel lots of lumps and ropiness but deeper down. In certain lights it seems I can have small dimples there too, but I can't be totally sure. I do get a breast exam every year but haven't been great at checking my own unfortunately.

So of course I'm very nervous. I have strong anxiety with it comes to health related things. I will definitely be discussing that with my family doctor soon. My husband made me laugh because the area of hard tissue was getting slightly red and I goteven more nervous. He's like well, you have been rubbing and poking and prodding that area multiple times a day for a month! And he's probably right because the less I touch it the less red it is.

I also want to add in the past year I've been under a tremendous amount of family stress. I lost 20 lbs really rapidly because of it and gained it all back (boo lol!) Within probably the last 6 months. I have read that stress can lead to fibrocystic changes and weight fluctuations can lead to dimpling.

So basically I'm all over the place. Again, I feel tomorrow they won't just send me on my way with a "all is great!" So I know I'll probably have questions for you ladies. I know my issues can be related to a ton of things, and it's nice to read the ladies here who have had dimpling with benign causes. Google is the worst!!! If anyone has a similar experience with fibrocystic changes or dimpling I'd love to hear!

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Sep 15, 2020 04:52PM Moderators wrote:

Hi WorriedmominNJ, and welcome.

We're so sorry you find yourself here and worrying. Please stay away from Dr. Google! You're sure to get some helpful responses from others here soon, but as you already know, your doctor will be the best person to discuss all of your symptoms, fears, and anxieties with. It's likely your doctor will make you feel better about what's going on and hopefully you can move on without continued worry.

Keep us posted with what you find out tomorrow. We're thinking of you!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Sep 15, 2020 06:57PM MinusTwo wrote:

worried - you got this. You've already pointed out a number of reasons for 'indentation' - weight gain & loss being prominent. You already know that breasts are never exactly the same. And your husband has done you a huge favor by telling you to stop touching, poking, prodding. And you are an age that lumpy, dense breasts are not unusual. Best of al - you know to stay away from Google.

Good luck tomorrow. Hope you questions are easily answered. Do post back & let us know.

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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Sep 15, 2020 08:01PM WorriedmominNJ wrote:

Thank you MinusTwo! Isn’t that funny how I am fully aware of all the things you and I mention yet my mind still wanders really far to the bad places. It’s definitely hard not to! I will update for sure!

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Sep 15, 2020 09:38PM MinusTwo wrote:

Yup - it's really hard not to worry. That's one of the best things about BCO - other people who understand that.

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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Sep 16, 2020 09:56AM WorriedmominNJ wrote:

update - exam was done bright and early. I explained my concerns before she even touched me and she said she wasn’t overly concerned. She definitely fel what I feel in my right breast and said it feels cystic but ordered a mammogram and ultrasound to be safe. She didn’t seem like it was a rush, she said just make sure it’s not around my period because it won’t be pleasant. She said she didn’t even see the dimples I’ve been obsessing over for a month. Maybe what I am seeing is not what they even look for as being concerning?

After she left the room, I checked in the mirror there and I barely see anything either now. I will say my right breast is the softest I’ve felt it in a while today; my period is just ending. I’ll try to get in for the scans next week before I ovulate!

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Sep 16, 2020 10:43AM Beesie wrote:

What you described in your opening post certainly sounds fibrocystic. So good news that your doctor was unconcerned, and good news that your breast is softer now that your period is ending.

At your age, you may be just entering peri-menopause. Our hormones start to fluctuate just like when we were teenagers, and our breasts react to that. Over 50% of women have fibrocystic breasts; for some of us, like me, that's evident from teenage years but many people don't even know they have fibrocystic breasts until they hit around age 40, when the lumpiness and cysts and pain kicks in. Sounds like that may be happening in your case.

"She said she didn't even see the dimples I've been obsessing over for a month. Maybe what I am seeing is not what they even look for as being concerning?" Yes, that's probably the case.

Good luck with the mammogram and ultrasound. Hopefully you get the 'all clear'. Let us know!


“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Sep 16, 2020 12:36PM WorriedmominNJ wrote:

Thank you Beesie! Hoping to get the scans next week and I’ll update for sure. In the meantime, I’m going to try to stop staring and poking and rubbing. Lol

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Sep 18, 2020 11:59AM - edited Sep 18, 2020 01:28PM by WorriedmominNJ

small update and thoughts - I can't get in to get my scans for another week, next Friday. My husband will come with me because I didn't realize they would actually give results then and there. My doctor ordered a mammogram and ultrasound, but the radiology place says the doctor there will determine if an ultrasound is needed after the mammogram. I'm already in the mindset to push for the US if the mammogram says “clear"

My mind is wandering again. Doctor said she's not “overly concerned" so it means she's somewhat concerned right?? Why didn't she see the indent I'm referring to? Why didn't I specifically say, this right here do you see this?? does this look ominous?? I should have asked more questions.

All those silly thoughts are going through my head. I felt much more at ease after my appt so I need get back to that space. Now that I can't remember the specific details or words from her My anxiety is kicking in.

I'm back to looking at my breasts multiple times a day. Trying not to touch too much. The original indent looks different everytime I look it seems like. Guess that means I'm looking too much lol! my daughter turned 12 yesterday and my husbands birthday is Monday and I need to just enjoy the moments. I can't help but think I'm going to get awful news just in time for my own birthday though. Just venting ....... *edited for typos

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Sep 18, 2020 01:12PM AliceBastable wrote:

Wow, you are really overthinking this. If nothing shows up on a mammogram, I don't think you can get an ultrasound because there is no area for them to aim for. Ultrasounds aren't fishing expeditions. Stop over-analyzing every freaking word or you'll wind up with an ulcer.

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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Sep 18, 2020 01:24PM - edited Sep 18, 2020 01:25PM by WorriedmominNJ

lol yes I'm really an overthinker!! Not denying that there. I've done well the past few days but making the scan appt sent me in a frenzy again. I typed all those silly thoughts out realizing how lame they sound.

Good to know about the ultrasound, I must have misunderstood what some of the ladies here have said about requesting one.

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Sep 18, 2020 07:06PM AliceBastable wrote:

Maybe some places will do U/S on request. I've had them on various body parts but always ordered by a doctor for a very specific area. Not sure insurance would cover one of it's not deemed medically necessary.

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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Sep 18, 2020 07:29PM WorriedmominNJ wrote:

thanks Alice! My doctor ordered a mammogram and ultrasound, both bilateral. But maybe just put both down if needed. I’ve never had any scans like this so I’m clueless when it comes to how they’re done. So it did strike me funny that even though my own doctor requested both, that another doctor might override that request? Guess we’ll see next week!

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Sep 18, 2020 08:28PM MinusTwo wrote:

Worried - as you know... don't look. don't touch. Just pretend you don't have any breasts for the next week. If that means you never take off you bra for a week, well worse things have happened.

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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Sep 18, 2020 08:47PM WorriedmominNJ wrote:

not a bad idea, MinusTwo! :)

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9 hours ago WorriedmominNJ wrote:

hi ladies. I had a mammogram and ultrasound this morning and the radiology dr (who had zero bedside manner) says he’s suspicious of cancer and I need a needle core biopsy. 4 “solid masses” close together in my upper outer quadrant. He said one is fairly large, but I don’t know what that means. I don’t have a report yet. I know biopsies come back negative a lot but I’m not counting on that. Not really sure what to think right now... I really had high hopes for a better outcome today but I guess the dimpling and redness mean more than I relaised

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9 hours ago WorriedmominNJ wrote:

he also said the lymph nodes look good so “that’s good news” according to him. I know cells can be found still in the lymph nodes, do they biopsy those wleo

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7 hours ago MelissaDallas wrote:

Well, at this point, since anything greater than what is deemed to be a greater than 2% chance of cancer is deemed “suspicious“ enough to biopsy, along with the fact you have always had “busy” breasts, I would try to not worry too much about it in the meantime. Most breast biopsies turn out to be benign.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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6 hours ago quinnie wrote:

worriedmominnj: So sorry you are going through this. THis time of the journey is the most stressful. Not knowing what is really going on. Please try to relax, enjoy your family, have a glass of wine or whatever you like and hope for the best. Its especially hard at your age when having painful lumpy breasts can be common. I am glad you persisted and got the mammo and u/s. There is still a good chance that all is negative. Please let us know so we can support you through this journey.

Dx 11/30/2007, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER-/PR- Dx 2/26/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 5/13/2020 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/24/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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4 hours ago WorriedmominNJ wrote:

thank you ladies! I do still hold out hope that maybe this is something mimicking malignancy. The fact that there are 4 makes me nervous. They’re close by At 9:00,10;00 and 2 at 11:00. I do think I can feel them all. Again, the doctor was stone cold and didn’t seem to want to answer any questions, even though I was flustering to think of some. I asked about the size and he wouldnt even give me an answer. Probably because he literally didn’t even remember the actual sizes. What does fairly large even mean?? I didnt get a report, is that normal? It hasn’t been posted to the online portal yet.

I’m still curious about what this fibrous feeling is below the lumps. The US tech said the two can be totally unrelated. Maybe something will be on the report. The doctor left the room so fast he wasn’t there to even answer that.

I called to make the biopsy appt and had to leave a message and didn’t get a call back. I’ll try again tomorrow. I called to speak to my OB and she’s out today. Grr! I did speak to a very nice nurse though.

Funny thing was, when I asked her about some details on the report she let me know their location. Then I asked size and she said 10cm, 8cm, 7cm and 5! I almost hit the floor. How did things THAT large grow and I didn’t catch them????? I couldn’t even find anything online about a mass 10cm!!! Well, after some searching (And measuring lol) I realized she was giving me the distance from the nipple. And I do recall the US tech typing “10 CMFM” not knowing at the time what it meant. So that mistake made laugh a little and feel more at ease that maybe I’m not breaking some record :(

Regarding the lymph nodes that the doctor said was a “good thing” (the only spark of positivity he showed!) does cancer usually show up on an ultrasound if it’s in the nodes? Do the nodes automatically get bigger if they contain cancer? Do they get biopsied too?

Thanks for reading :)

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