Question about breast lump
Last week I found a small grape size lump in my right breast. I had my last mammogram less than a year ago and it was fine. I normally have lumpy breasts, but this
was definately a roundish feeling lump and not the usual all over lumpy feeling.
Now, a week later, the lump feels alot smaller. I am still in perimenopause at age 54 and wonder if that has something to do with it. Is it normal to have a lump that will swell and shrink at certain times of the month? I am supposed to see my doctor about the lump on Wednesday, but now I'm wondering if that is necessary.
I am thinking about cancelling the appointment because my regular check-up is in December, and that's only 4 weeks away. Has anybody had any experience with growing and shrinking lumps? What causes it? Thanks!
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- 10 Comments
- Hormones. I do get growing and shrinking lumps (I'm 46), but I've also had four biopsies because the doctors don't want to take chances. I have dense breasts with fibroadenomas, always benign, but I would still always have them checked.
If you have a lump that feels differently than you've ever felt, you should get it checked ASAP. Chances are really good it's nothing, but if it is something, you don't want to wait 2 months to get treatment.
One of my best friends died from breast cancer after putting off having a lump checked because her grandmother had died and she was in charge of the funeral and estate. She put herself last. I cry just thinking about it. Please get checked.#1; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:10:00 GMT
- Thanks SRMom for your answer. I am keeping my appointment for next week, instead of waiting until December. If my doctor does think I should get the lump checked out, what is the next step? Is the biopsy an office procedure? Do they normally do another mammogram or an ultrasound? Have you ever had a cyst aspirated with a needle? I'd rather know what the possibilities are, so there are no surprises!#2; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:11:00 GMT
- It could be hormonal, a cyst or anything, only a doctor can check these things out and reassure you.
I had a fine needle aspiration done on a lump last year, the procedure although uncomfortable isnt too bad. It turn out to be a harmless cyst that eventually went away.
If anything shows up on a mammo/ultrasound most surgeons would opt for a F.N.A.
Please get this checked#3; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:11:00 GMT
- I had the lump in my breast checked out last Wednesday. My primary care provided said "we" were going to be aggressive in checking it out. She wanted a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound ASAP. She also had me make an appointment with a surgeon, and she wanted all appointments done in a two week time period. Is it usual to make an appointment with a surgeon before any test results? She said the lump was firm, about 4-5 centimeters. It can be moved, it's not fixed in the breast, and she said that could be a good sign. I'd like to hear from anybody that's had an experience with this, and why see a surgeon before there are any results?#4; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:13:00 GMT
- Im presuming your not in england? Here (well, under our local health authority) we have whats known as a 2 week rule. Basically any breast lump found MUST be assessed by a surgeon within a 2 week period.
I was 1 1/2 weeks from finding a lump, to having an u/sound scan and a fine needle aspiration, all under the care of a surgeon. Its common practice.
It sounds like you in good hands.
Try not to worry to much (easier said than done, i know), but my lump, like yours wasnt fixed to the breast and turned out to be harmless.
Good luck, you'll be in my prayers.
Linds.#5; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:14:00 GMT
- The reason for the appointment with the surgeon is so they can remove the lump for biopsy. Surgical removal is the best to be sure of the diagnosis. I've had two benign fibroadenomas removed from my left breast. The first one was done with a needle localization and the second without. The lump could be felt both times (pretty large...larger than a golfball), but I think he didn't do a needle loc. the second time because it was the same exact place the first one was. You can read about needle localization on the internet if you are told this is what you will need. It's basically a needle inserted into the cyst under the guidance of an ultrasound, then they inject some dye into the specific area, and then you go to surgery and the surgeon knows the exact location to make the incision and what tissue to remove. My incision scar is about 2.5 inches wide.
Please try not to worry...it is probably just a fibroid type cyst.#6; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:15:00 GMT
- Thank you both for your responses. I think the worst part is waiting to see what type of biopsy they plan on doing. The thought of needle aspiration...or needle anything, turns my stomach. I hate being such a wimp.
What determines the type of biopsy they'll do? Will the ultrasound show whether its fluid or solid? Is a biopsy painful? How long does it take? Any first-hand information is appreciated.#7; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:16:00 GMT
- Hi again:
I'm a pretty big wimp too, don't feel bad about that. It's important to be honest about how you are feeling emotionally and physically. If you are in pain...they can give you extra medication for example, but if they don't know because you are trying to be tough...you'll have unnecessary pain.
The ultrasound will show how large the lump is and if it is fluid or fibrous, etc. A fine needle aspiration biopsy isn't too painful. It's kind of like getting a flu shot. A needle core biopsy is a little more painful, so they give a local anesthetic. The needle localization I told you about is done under a local anesthetic, but then you go to surgery and you are asleep for the biopsy. Since this is surgery, you will be given prescription pain medication to take at home while you recover. The needle biopsies don't take much time at all and usually can be done at the office. The surgical biopsy is also pretty quick, but if they do a needle localization...that takes a little longer. Either way, it is outpatient and you are home in a few hours.
The lump you have sounds large and I bet they'll want to cut it out. Since I'm a wimp too, I'll tell you I almost prefer this to the needle, because they give you medication and keep you comfortable. The recovery is longer, but the lump will be gone and they'll get a better diagnosis. Your breast will be sore for a few days. It's not that bad though...even I can handle it :)
I will warn you that if you have the needle localization, if you have to wait in the pre-op too long, your local anesthetic might wear off and you could feel the needle in your breast. Be sure to speak up if this happens to one of the nurses, and discuss this possibility ahead of time with your doctor. They might be able to give you something for the pain, or give you a tranquilzer if you have to wait.#8; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:17:00 GMT
- Thanks SR Mom, just knowing what could happen is some relief! I wouldn't think they would have to search for the lump, it's right on the surface. In fact, if I raise my arm and the skin is pulled tight, you can see the outline of the lump. You know, I agree with you...I would rather be asleep. I can deal with pain just fine if I'm at home, and people just leave me alone! Does the surgeon do all the procedures you mentioned, (like needle aspiration) or just the excisional biopsy? I bet this is going to be one of those things where I worry myself sick, then when it's over I wonder why the heck I was worried in the first place.#9; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:18:00 GMT
- I've had four biopsies...a fine needle, a needle core, and two excisional. I was really worried a couple of times. They all turned out to be fine.
I only had a surgeon for my two excisional biopsies. The fine needle biopsy was done in a doctor's office, and the core was done on a table in the ultrasound lab of a hospital. I suppose it will depend on your doctor/insurance, etc. how they will proceed with yours. If it is so visible, you probably won't need the needle loc. You said it was movable so I don't know if that would make you more likely, or not, to need a needle loc., but don't sweat it if you do...it's not that bad.
Just so you know, 90% of breast lumps are benign and usually are fibroadenomas. Because yours is large and movable, that is even a better indication that it is not a cancer. The odds are tremendous that you are going to be just fine. I hope you can just put this worry on the back burner. If you look up fibroadenoma on the internet, I think you will feel a lot better. Good luck...keep us posted :)#10; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 12:19:00 GMT