Topic: Dense Breasts, Lump & Second Opinion from Breast Surgeon

Forum: Not Diagnosed But Worried — For those who are experiencing symptoms or received concerning test results, but haven't been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Posted on: May 21, 2022 12:05PM

Posted on: May 21, 2022 12:05PM

dbworrywart wrote:


I have BI-RADS Category C heterogeneously dense breasts. In the past, I got called back twice after screening mammograms & both times turned out to be false alarms.

I am in my early 50's. I found a movable lump in my breast that comes & goes. My GYN told me not to worry, but gave me a diagnostic mammogram order. After 5 images of 3D Tomosynthesis & Ultrasound, I was told it's negative, no suspicion found. I was relieved.

However, shortly after, I had an annual well-woman visit with my GYN. He told me if I was comfortable with the diagnostic finding. If not, he could refer me to a Breast Surgeon for the second opinion. Being a worrywart, I opted for the second opinion.

Now I am very nervous. I'd like to know if anyone here has dense breasts & could share any insight on what a Breast Surgeon's second opinion would be like in the office visit.

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May 22, 2022 05:11PM k-gobby wrote:

I need to add a bit. Since I was 2 have surgery May 31st, a mammogram was scheduled. My last ever. No breasts only US and MRI's left for regular tests. My BS scheduled an US after reviewing what she thought was noting in the images. The rad team thought a 2nd look was needed. So US. Likely benign is the final result. Adding Brca2 as well.

I will keep my MO and this breast surgeon. I only have 2 breasts to remove, but she is young and any work ever she will be there.

Chemotherapy 8/14/2021 Other Surgery 2/1/2022 Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Skin Sparing; Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander Targeted Therapy 2/1/2022 Talzenna (talazoparib) Targeted Therapy 2/1/2022 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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May 23, 2022 08:20AM dbworrywart wrote:

Hi k-gobby:

Thank you for the update. I will keep you in my thoughts. Take care.

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May 23, 2022 11:31PM ssc110907 wrote:


I'm in a similar situation. Waiting dor my second opinion on 6/8. After my local clinic did an mammo and ultrasound and sent me on my way with out further investigation of the palpable lump on my upper chest. (It was too high for the mammo, and the ultrasound showed nothing. I also have dense breasts.) My PCP told me to trust the imaging, and check back in a year.

After that I had an appointment with an ortho. For shoulder pain I've had for 2+ years, and he was very concerned that the lump was actually the cause of the shoulder pain, and couldn't believe they didn't do more testing on it. So he has ordered an mri for me.

So...waiting, just like you. Waiting is the hardest.

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May 24, 2022 08:28AM dbworrywart wrote:

Hi ssc110907:

Thank you for taking your time to share your experience. I am waiting for my Breast Surgeon appointment on 06/09. Meanwhile, my moveable lump of concern seems to disappear. However, I know how tricky these lumps can get.

I am glad to hear that you took up on the Orthopedic Doctor's advice to get further testing. I think it's a wise decision.

When my GYN asked what my comfort level was in regard to the negative 3D image & ultrasound finding, I sort of wanted to be done with it - playing ignorance is bliss.

However, he stressed that if I felt ANY doubt regarding the negative finding, he'd be glad to refer me to the Breast Surgeon for a second opinion. I panicked & opted for the referral. I thank my GYN for pushing me; otherwise, I'd be too timid to go for a second opinion.

You're correct in saying that waiting is the hardest. However, it's essential & important to follow up on any tiny bit of doubt. I try to tell myself that it's better to be safe than sorry, no matter how anxious I feel.

I am also counting my blessings because I have access to decent healthcare insurance & top-notch healthcare providers. Sadly, this is not something everyone is privy to.

Please keep us posted. You, along with everyone in this forum, are in my thoughts.

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May 24, 2022 12:09PM dutchiegirl wrote:

I had dense breasts - my mammogram report came back with Extreme Dense Breasts. My mammo was in April and I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in early November of the same year. If I had known then what I know now, I would have insisted on an MRI. I wasn't presenting with a lump though, just abnormal weight loss. I found the lump in October and the rest is history. I think the medical community needs to recognize that mammos don't work as well for us dense tissue gals and offer MRIs instead.

Lori-Anne Dx 11/7/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 11/7/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 1/13/2019 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic mastectomy; Prophylactic mastectomy (Right) Chemotherapy 3/3/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 7/28/2019 Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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May 24, 2022 12:38PM dbworrywart wrote:

Hi Dutchiegirl,

Thank you for sharing your story.

I am fortunate to live in the state where radiologists are required to send a letter of caution to women with Dense Breasts - BI-RADS Category C or D (I have Category C). In the letter, it states negative mammography results (2D or 3D) are not 100% guaranteed* & to discuss with doctors, if risks warrant supplemental testing. In the past, my risk was not assessed as high, so there's no additional testing performed.

That said, any supplemental testing accompanying regular annual screening mammogram for BI-RADS Category C or D is NOT covered in my state. Currently, only few states require that.

I hope that you are recovering well. I believe there should be more Dense Breasts awareness in Public Health campaigns. Very few people are educated regarding this topic.

*Even for BI-RAIDS Category A or B, the negative finding is still not 100% guaranteed. Therefore, monthly self exams are still vital.

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Jun 10, 2022 11:48AM dbworrywart wrote:

Original Poster Follow up:

On 06/09/2022, I had a consult with my breast surgeon. At the time of the visit, the lump on my upper left breast was no longer palpable about 1 ½ weeks ago.

I really appreciate the breast surgeon for her thorough patient in-take, review of my diagnostic Tomosynthesis & ultrasound, as well as her physical exam on both of my breasts and lymph nodes.

Since I have BI-RADS Category C heterogeneously dense breasts, I asked my breast surgeon to see if any supplemental screening is needed. She stated that my annual Tomosynthesis mammography is still easy to see, so there's no need. However, if I notice any more breast change, she will order an ultrasound.

I am in my early 50's and a fitness enthusiast with high lean body mass. I lift heavy weights & do pull-ups. Possibly, this might explain my frequent breast change.

Thank you for the ladies that responded to my thread. I still remain vigilant. I truly believe as a patient, I need to be more proactive in my health.

My thoughts are with ladies going through the similar life stage as I am as well as ladies currently going through treatment, including my friend, who just got diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer.

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