If You Think You Might Have Breast Cancer, Read This

PJ Hamel Health Guide
  • If you’re reading this, you almost certainly fit one of two profiles: either you have breast cancer (or are a caregiver for someone who has it); or you’re afraid you have breast cancer. You guys with cancer, you’ve heard plenty from me over the years; continue to read if you like, but this post...

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Published On: June 22, 2008
57 Comments
  • sydneystomps
    Aug. 08, 2016
    Hi, I am 19 years old and have had many changes in my left breast. I have a doctors appointmet in a few days, I know it's most likely nothing because of my age, but I still am worried because of my symptoms. My left breast is noticeably bigger than my right, (just suddenly happened) my left breast feel heavier and the nipple is always hard or bigger than my...
    RHMLucky777
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    Hi, I am 19 years old and have had many changes in my left breast. I have a doctors appointmet in a few days, I know it's most likely nothing because of my age, but I still am worried because of my symptoms. My left breast is noticeably bigger than my right, (just suddenly happened) my left breast feel heavier and the nipple is always hard or bigger than my right. Right above my left breast, I guess in my left armpit area, is swollen, but it doesn't hurt. I have very lumpy breasts so it's hard to tell if there's a lump, although I did notice a pea sized lump at the top left side of my left breast, i can move it so I don't think it's anything to worry about. What could this be if it's not breast cancer? I've researched a lot and can't seem to find the answer
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Aug. 08, 2016
      It's good you're seeing a doctor — only a trained professional who's examined you can give you a specific diagnosis. That said, you could very well have a cyst that's suddenly become enlarged; cysts tend to become a bit larger and then a bit smaller as you go through the stages of your menstrual cycle, and this could cause this sudden change. Make sure to...
      RHMLucky777
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      It's good you're seeing a doctor — only a trained professional who's examined you can give you a specific diagnosis. That said, you could very well have a cyst that's suddenly become enlarged; cysts tend to become a bit larger and then a bit smaller as you go through the stages of your menstrual cycle, and this could cause this sudden change. Make sure to write down exactly when you first noticed the change, as well as any other information a doctor might find helpful; this will help both the doctor and you figure out what's going on. Good luck - PJH
  • LillyBelle
    Jan. 17, 2016
    Hi, I am 25 and have a 7 month old baby who I breastfeed. For about the last 4 months he has gradually gone from being fussy (preferring one breast to another) and not feeding well from the unfavoured side to completely rejecting it. I mentioned it to a doctor who said it was just my baby's preference....today I tried to research ways to coax my baby into breastfeeding...
    RHMLucky777
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    Hi, I am 25 and have a 7 month old baby who I breastfeed. For about the last 4 months he has gradually gone from being fussy (preferring one breast to another) and not feeding well from the unfavoured side to completely rejecting it. I mentioned it to a doctor who said it was just my baby's preference....today I tried to research ways to coax my baby into breastfeeding off the side he refuses to feed from and found a website which claims that one of the reasons a baby might refuse to feed off one particular breast is because of breast cancer. I have just researched breast cancer symptoms and I am now concerned. I have been treating my breast with thrush cream as I suspected I had thrush and that could have been why my baby was refusing the breast (slight red rash on the areola) I also assumed up until now the fact my nipple is pulled to the side is because I am breastfeeding my first baby and it's normal. I also have dimples under my breast but again, assumed they were breastfeeding related because I only noticed it a few weeks into feeding my baby. The supply in the breast my baby doesn't feed off has always been less than the other side (I know this from expressing) but yet again was under the impression that that is normal. What would you do?
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jan. 18, 2016
      If I were you, I'd take these symptoms seriously enough to see a doctor. If your regular doctor brushes you off, ask to see a breast specialist. It's most probable that these changes are all, indeed, the result of breastfeeding. But to be sure, you need to seek the advice of a specialist, someone who deals with breast issues regularly and is able to distinguish...
      RHMLucky777
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      If I were you, I'd take these symptoms seriously enough to see a doctor. If your regular doctor brushes you off, ask to see a breast specialist. It's most probable that these changes are all, indeed, the result of breastfeeding. But to be sure, you need to seek the advice of a specialist, someone who deals with breast issues regularly and is able to distinguish changes resulting from breastfeeding from other changes. While breast cancer at your age is extremely rare, it's a possibility; and better safe than sorry, right? Good luck - PJH
  • Lazybeth
    Jan. 14, 2016
    I am 20 years old, I read what you said, it is almost impossible.. but of course I am gonna think about it, 3 months ago I had pain in my left breast it was a small pain I thought it was mucus or something a cough a cold. It went away it is back and worse I feel it from the top of my arm pit to the mid-center of my chest and to the bottom of my left breast...
    RHMLucky777
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    I am 20 years old, I read what you said, it is almost impossible.. but of course I am gonna think about it, 3 months ago I had pain in my left breast it was a small pain I thought it was mucus or something a cough a cold. It went away it is back and worse I feel it from the top of my arm pit to the mid-center of my chest and to the bottom of my left breast I am not sure if I feel a lump but I hardly ever feel my boob's haha.. so, not sure if it always has been like that. Anyways what do you think?
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jan. 14, 2016
      Breast pain isn't a typical breast cancer symptom. However, since this is on your left side, you need to think about this being a possible heart issue. If I were you, I'd ask your doctor about this pain, OK? Good luck - PJH
  • Gitty
    Dec. 17, 2015
    Hi, I'm 35 years old and I'm very concerned with my right breast. For years I felt a slight pain, but wasn't really conserned. When I first checked it out I was 30. That time they found something in my left breast which was biopsied and ended being a calcification. After that my right breast was forgotten as they didn't see anything in there. Then when I was...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    Hi, I'm 35 years old and I'm very concerned with my right breast. For years I felt a slight pain, but wasn't really conserned. When I first checked it out I was 30. That time they found something in my left breast which was biopsied and ended being a calcification. After that my right breast was forgotten as they didn't see anything in there. Then when I was 7month pregnent with my 4th, I woke up from a nap with pain on the right side , which felt like a breast infection. US showed an active milk gland which was strange , cuz I wasn't nursing just pregnant, but they said its OK. At home i sqeezed to releive pressure and green puss like liquid came out, but days later breast felt better. After the baby was born he didn't like nursing on my right side, one time the milk was little bloody. Doc said if happens again I should come to check. It didn't happen, but baby wasn't nursing there. When baby was about 18 month I started feeling pain at the same spot, and even a numb , sensation in my back/ arm. Dr gave me antibiotic and antiinflammatory which helped for a short while. US didn't show anything, I couldn't do a mammogram because I was nursing on my left side. Now, 6 month later, it hurts again, I have thick milky substance when sqeezed and my arm hurts. Could this be cancer starting from a milk gland? Sorry for this very long story, but I'm really scared. Thank you for your time
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 17, 2015
      Hi - I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this. Thankfully, none of what you describe sounds like a typical breast cancer symptom. Only 10% of women experiencing breast pain are diagnosed with breast cancer, so it's unlikely the pain you feel is symptomatic. Ditto nipple discharge; it's seldom related to breast cancer. Also, once there's a symptom you...
      RHMLucky777
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      Hi - I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this. Thankfully, none of what you describe sounds like a typical breast cancer symptom. Only 10% of women experiencing breast pain are diagnosed with breast cancer, so it's unlikely the pain you feel is symptomatic. Ditto nipple discharge; it's seldom related to breast cancer. Also, once there's a symptom you can feel or see (pain, nipple discharge), it quickly develops into something more obviously serious, rather than giving you sporadic trouble over the course of months or years. My advice would be to see a breast specialist, a doctor who deals exclusively in breast issues; s/he would know what diagnostic tests to do to figure out what's causing all of these issues. Ask your GP for a recommendation and referral, OK? Good luck - PJH
    • Gitty
      Dec. 17, 2015
      Thank you for your input, I'll definitely find a specialist.
  • tacoslugger
    Nov. 28, 2015
    Hello, I am 16 years old and I am concerned about a lump in my breast. I had it once before in 8th grade but it went away for awhile but now it is back. It is hard, rounded and easy to move. I am really scared about it being cancer. Even though there is a low chance. I am to scared to tell my mom about it to get it checked out at the doctor. But after reading...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    Hello, I am 16 years old and I am concerned about a lump in my breast. I had it once before in 8th grade but it went away for awhile but now it is back. It is hard, rounded and easy to move. I am really scared about it being cancer. Even though there is a low chance. I am to scared to tell my mom about it to get it checked out at the doctor. But after reading this article I am set a little more at ease and hope that I can work up the courage to ask my mom about it.
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Nov. 29, 2015
      Hi - We're not doctors here, and can't diagnose what this lump might be; we can only offer advice based on our experience. And from my experience, I can tell you that at age 16, your chance of having breast cancer is nearly zero. In addition, breast cancer lumps aren't usually moveable; they're generally fixed in place. Seeing a doctor is probably just what...
      RHMLucky777
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      Hi - We're not doctors here, and can't diagnose what this lump might be; we can only offer advice based on our experience. And from my experience, I can tell you that at age 16, your chance of having breast cancer is nearly zero. In addition, breast cancer lumps aren't usually moveable; they're generally fixed in place. Seeing a doctor is probably just what you need to totally set your mind at ease. And please do share your concerns with your mom, OK? Take care - PJH
    • tacoslugger
      Nov. 29, 2015
      Thank you so much for the help and advice.
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Nov. 29, 2015
      So glad you found us - and we're always happy to help. Be well - PJh
  • Theharmsfamily2006
    Nov. 23, 2015
    Usually at night when sleeping I get sharp pain in my right breast, it usually only happens once in a wave of a pulsating wave lasting no longer then 30 seconds but it wakes me up and tonight my back hurts in the same place as the front my upper mid back ...I'm kinda scared as to what it could be? Any suggestions?
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Nov. 23, 2015
      We're not medically trained here, and can't diagnose; but from experience, I can say this doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom. I'd suggest you see your doctor to find out what might be causing the pain; breast pain is often "rebound" pain from somewhere else in your chest or trunk, so this could be originating from a variety of places. Only your...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      We're not medically trained here, and can't diagnose; but from experience, I can say this doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom. I'd suggest you see your doctor to find out what might be causing the pain; breast pain is often "rebound" pain from somewhere else in your chest or trunk, so this could be originating from a variety of places. Only your doctor will know what tests to do to nail down what's causing it. Good luck - I hope you get some relief soon! PJH
  • Belle1989
    Oct. 28, 2015
    Hey, my name is annabelle i am 26 years old i get sharp pains in my left breast that start at my armpit and move down to my breast it also aches as well. Also in the last few months my pores have become for enlarged on my left breast and also look more deep i guess you could say. Im not sure if i am over reacting or should get it all checked out. Thanks :)
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 28, 2015
      Belle, considering this is all happening on the left side, I'd suggest you get checked out, just to be safe. Left-side breast issues are sometimes cardiac issues in disguise. Thankfully, these don't sound like breast cancer symptoms, so please don't worry about that. But do see a doctor, OK? – PJH
    • Belle1989
      Oct. 29, 2015
      I will definitely get it checked out :) thankyou for the advice :)
  • Lilly_davies
    Oct. 27, 2015
    Hello! My name is Lilly and I'm frightened that I have breast cancer I don't know if these symptoms could be breast cancer or if my breasts are just developing normally. Here are my symptoms 1. My nipples have flattened I don't know if they were always like this or if they have recently done this 2. The area around my nipples is a bit red 3. My nipples are...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    Hello! My name is Lilly and I'm frightened that I have breast cancer I don't know if these symptoms could be breast cancer or if my breasts are just developing normally. Here are my symptoms 1. My nipples have flattened I don't know if they were always like this or if they have recently done this 2. The area around my nipples is a bit red 3. My nipples are peeling 4.there are lumps in both my breasts they seem hard and quite big they are more prominent in my right breast but they are DEFINITLY in my left as well they don't come and go tandom with my period 5. I always get pain in both my breasts sometimes they ache sometimes there's a shooting sharp pain in them 6. A couple months ago orange stuff came out my right nipple and stuck my nipple to my bra it really hurt when I tried to pull them apart. 7. There was a really big concerning change of shape in my right breast it got suddenly really big and my left didn't 8. My nipples always itch this drives me CRAZY My nanny had breast cancer I'm not sure if this would put me at a greater risk. I'm stressing a lot about this and it's making me so upset and stressed. I read online an article about a little girl of 10 that got breast cancer she had to have both breasts removed and she lost all her hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IM FREAKING OUT if she got it at the age of 10 why can't I get it at the age of 12!!!!!! Here are some other things that have been happening oil not sure if they are relivent or if they could be connected but I heard that breast cancer can spread to bones and what's been happening sound a lot like those symptoms 1. My lower and upper arms always ache and sometimes there's s shooting or sharp pain in them. 2. My arms and legs always click this had just been happening recently 3. I used to sleep Right through the night but recently I've been waking up in the middle of the night I read that this could be a sign of BC!!!! I'm not sure if these symptoms are all hormonal changes that are meant to occur and are normal or if they are not normal and should be looked at please help I'm worried sick!
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 27, 2015
      Hi Lilly - Thanks so much for connecting with us here. I know it's scary when you think something might be wrong, health-wise; so it's good to reach out for help. What you describe sounds like the normal "growing pains" a young woman like you goes through during puberty. There's nothing here that would make me suspect anything you describe is related to breast...
      RHMLucky777
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      Hi Lilly - Thanks so much for connecting with us here. I know it's scary when you think something might be wrong, health-wise; so it's good to reach out for help. What you describe sounds like the normal "growing pains" a young woman like you goes through during puberty. There's nothing here that would make me suspect anything you describe is related to breast cancer. Since your gran had breast cancer, it's good you understand you have a family history. But at age 12, it's so rare that statisticians don't even track it. Please read our Teen Guide to Breast Development (link below); it'll help explain the lumps, nipple issues, and other things you're experiencing in the context of puberty. Also, any fears you have about your health should really be shared with your mom or another responsible adult who can help you work through them; I prescribe a good hug! Take care – PJH http://www.healthcentral.com/breast-cancer/c/9692/66967/develop
  • Poppy Miller
    Oct. 02, 2015
    I'm scared I'm 13 and I'm having so many symptoms of breast cancer and I cry myself to sleep at night I'm so scared. One day a couple months ago sticky orange discharge came out of one nipple and the nipple swallowed and the skin started peeling I went to bed that night and then in the morning it was back to normal. But in the last couple weeks I've been really...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I'm scared I'm 13 and I'm having so many symptoms of breast cancer and I cry myself to sleep at night I'm so scared. One day a couple months ago sticky orange discharge came out of one nipple and the nipple swallowed and the skin started peeling I went to bed that night and then in the morning it was back to normal. But in the last couple weeks I've been really worried because one of my breasts ha e gotten bigger and the other one hasn't this worries me greatly. Both of my nipples become itchy and.i often get pain in my breasts this terrifies me sometimes my nipples shallow in but if I touch them they always come back out again my grandma died from breast cancer and this is why I am so scared. I'm scared to talk to my mum Please reply I'm soooooooo scared X
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 03, 2015
      Oh, Poppy... I'm so sorry you're going through all of this stress. At age 13, the chance of you having breast cancer is so very, very tiny that statisticians don't even track it. You could have breast cancer, it's true. You could also become President of the United States. You could win the $350 million Powerball jackpot. You could set a new world record in...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Oh, Poppy... I'm so sorry you're going through all of this stress. At age 13, the chance of you having breast cancer is so very, very tiny that statisticians don't even track it. You could have breast cancer, it's true. You could also become President of the United States. You could win the $350 million Powerball jackpot. You could set a new world record in the women's pole vault. See where I'm heading here? There are so many, many possibilities in this world, and our job is to be reasonable about which ones we might either aspire to – or hope to avoid. I'm not medically trained, but I can tell you that nothing you describe is a typical breast cancer symptom. However, everything you describe is typical of puberty, a stage all girls your age go through while their breasts are growing. The size difference, discharge, itchiness – all are signs your hormones are working, and your breasts are changing. I'm really sorry your grandma died of cancer - but even that doesn't raise your own risk. Now, even though you're scared to talk to your mom - PLEASE DO. If you don't speak with someone – if not your mom, another responsible adult (an aunt, friend's mom, your school nurse) – you'll just continue to stress yourself and feel awful. An adult can help you decide what to do; maybe you need to see a doctor, in order to hear from someone with experience who can reassure you that nothing's wrong. But if you simply continue as you are – not sleeping, worrying yourself sick – nothing will change. And clearly, you don't want that! So please, take a deep breath and tell your mom you want to talk to her (in private of course). I'm sure she (or your other chosen adult) will be able to help you. Take care - PJH
    • Poppy Miller
      Oct. 05, 2015
      I'm having shortness of breathing and stabbing pains in my vagina isn't that a sign of breast cancer I'm soooooo scared that I'm going to die I still havnt told my my mum because I'm embarrassed and scared to talk to her we don't have the best relationship I'm worried that the cancer could have developed and spread to other places of my body I'm soooo scared...
      RHMLucky777
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      I'm having shortness of breathing and stabbing pains in my vagina isn't that a sign of breast cancer I'm soooooo scared that I'm going to die I still havnt told my my mum because I'm embarrassed and scared to talk to her we don't have the best relationship I'm worried that the cancer could have developed and spread to other places of my body I'm soooo scared
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 05, 2015
      Poppy, none of what you describe is a breast cancer symptom. You're obviously very stressed; you say so yourself. Can you please, please speak to your school nurse? You need to share your concerns with an adult, someone who can reassure you in person; as much as I can try to help, it's very hard to do this all online. So please find an adult you trust; take...
      RHMLucky777
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      Poppy, none of what you describe is a breast cancer symptom. You're obviously very stressed; you say so yourself. Can you please, please speak to your school nurse? You need to share your concerns with an adult, someone who can reassure you in person; as much as I can try to help, it's very hard to do this all online. So please find an adult you trust; take a deep breath for courage; and SHARE. Sharing your fears will make you feel much better, trust me - PJH
    • Poppy miller
      Oct. 19, 2015
      Hi I'm probably annoying you now 😂, but I have been feeling a whole lot better about the situation recently, but I've noticed that my boobs are really lumpy, this concerns me slightly also the inner parts of my legs ache and so do my arms and wrists but I did fall of my horse yesterday but it's never hurt like this before also I've noticed that when I'm...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Hi I'm probably annoying you now 😂, but I have been feeling a whole lot better about the situation recently, but I've noticed that my boobs are really lumpy, this concerns me slightly also the inner parts of my legs ache and so do my arms and wrists but I did fall of my horse yesterday but it's never hurt like this before also I've noticed that when I'm just sat there my nipples will shallow in but when I touch them they pop back out again also the surface of my nipple is cracked. Just wondering your opinion on the aches arms and legs there's also this small spot on my chest and when I touch it or poke it it hurts like hell I don't know what this is but it intimidates me a bit.
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 19, 2015
      Poppy, you're not annoying me at all - that's what we're here for, to answer your questions. Unfortunately, I can't be much help to you with your current concerns; this is a breast cancer site, and none of what you describe (aching arms/legs, etc.) is a breast cancer symptom. I can tell you that those lumps you feel are most probably breast buds, which signal...
      RHMLucky777
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      Poppy, you're not annoying me at all - that's what we're here for, to answer your questions. Unfortunately, I can't be much help to you with your current concerns; this is a breast cancer site, and none of what you describe (aching arms/legs, etc.) is a breast cancer symptom. I can tell you that those lumps you feel are most probably breast buds, which signal the fact that your breasts are growing; so please don't worry about them, OK? You sound like a healthy young lady going through puberty; make sure to exercise, eat right, and you should be fine. If you can find someone local to share your concerns with, that would be great, too; there's nothing like a good 1:1 personal conversation to help defuse your fears. Take care - PJH
  • cgdesilva
    Oct. 01, 2015
    I don't fit into the questions you normally have as I my history is a bit different. I am going to get it checked out anyways but I thought I might share my symptoms. First off a little history, I had a hysterectomy at the age of 19 due to severe endometriosis and pre cancer cells. I have been having my right breast very lightly sore, not bad but enough to...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I don't fit into the questions you normally have as I my history is a bit different. I am going to get it checked out anyways but I thought I might share my symptoms. First off a little history, I had a hysterectomy at the age of 19 due to severe endometriosis and pre cancer cells. I have been having my right breast very lightly sore, not bad but enough to notice. No pain without touching it with a bit of force. It is swollen about 50% larger than the left and goes down but will come back a few days later. I also have tightness under my right armpit and on the right side of the right breast. I can't taste anything for a few days at a time after these events occur. This has been going on for a few months. I feel tightness across my shoulders and most of it honestly feels as though I had did a massive workout and everything is sore, however I have not been working out other than walking. I have lowered my sodium intake to attempt to see if it could be water retention. I guess the most logical next step is to get a mammogram, as I have never had one and I'm 30. I just want to thank you for all the time and work you put into putting us fellow ladies at ease. I can't lie I panic easily at the thought of getting and/or having cancer only because I had tested positive for pre cancer cells before.
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 01, 2015
      Totally understand your fear; once you hear the word "cancer" in regard to yourself, it's hard not to worry about it. Thankfully, what you describe doesn't sound like typical breast cancer symptoms. And the fact that you had pre-cancerous cells resulting in a hysterectomy also wouldn't raise your risk for breast cancer, so far as researchers have determined....
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Totally understand your fear; once you hear the word "cancer" in regard to yourself, it's hard not to worry about it. Thankfully, what you describe doesn't sound like typical breast cancer symptoms. And the fact that you had pre-cancerous cells resulting in a hysterectomy also wouldn't raise your risk for breast cancer, so far as researchers have determined. Sounds to me (and understand, I'm not a medical professional) like you have fairly severe fibrocystic change, which is the hormonal fluctuations that accompany your menstrual cycle. This would account for the pain and soreness, as well as the swelling. That said, I'm glad you're going to see a doctor; s/he can hopefully determine specifically what's causing all of these different symptoms, and help you deal with them. In the meantime, try cutting caffeine out of your diet; some women say that helps relieve their hormone-related breast pain and swelling. Best of luck to you - PJH
    • cgdesilva
      Oct. 01, 2015
      I think that is why I got so scared is I am not taking hormones and I had a complete hysterectomy, so no periods. Thanks for the advice, I am going to have it checked out. Again thanks for your input it does help.
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 01, 2015
      Oh, I'm sorry, you did say that - I'm spacing out! Well, even if you've had a hysterectomy, your body does still produce some level of female sex hormones. It's less likely, for sure, that they'd be the cause, though. As I said, glad you're seeing the doctor; and these symptoms still don't sound like typical breast cancer symptoms, so hope you can feel a bit...
      RHMLucky777
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      Oh, I'm sorry, you did say that - I'm spacing out! Well, even if you've had a hysterectomy, your body does still produce some level of female sex hormones. It's less likely, for sure, that they'd be the cause, though. As I said, glad you're seeing the doctor; and these symptoms still don't sound like typical breast cancer symptoms, so hope you can feel a bit positive as you head to your appointment. Take care - PJH
  • rachel1103
    Aug. 14, 2015
    Hi, I'm 15 and I know its highly unlikely and even more unlikely considering no one in my family has had Breast Cancer, but I have noticed that my breast are different shapes... They are tender between my armpit and my breast and I noticed a few weeks ago that there was some puckering on the surface of my breast... I don't know whether this is Breast Cancer...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    Hi, I'm 15 and I know its highly unlikely and even more unlikely considering no one in my family has had Breast Cancer, but I have noticed that my breast are different shapes... They are tender between my armpit and my breast and I noticed a few weeks ago that there was some puckering on the surface of my breast... I don't know whether this is Breast Cancer or just me growing...? Thanks, Rachel
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Aug. 14, 2015
      Rachel, you're right – it's highly unlikely that these breast changes you notice are breast cancer. Please read our message to teens about breast cancer - http://www.healthcentral.com/breast-cancer/c/78/83758/teenage-readers - for more information on just how unlikely. It's great that you've noticed these changes, though, and are being proactive about them....
      RHMLucky777
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      Rachel, you're right – it's highly unlikely that these breast changes you notice are breast cancer. Please read our message to teens about breast cancer - http://www.healthcentral.com/breast-cancer/c/78/83758/teenage-readers - for more information on just how unlikely. It's great that you've noticed these changes, though, and are being proactive about them. Later in life, this kind of responsibility about breast health is definitely something you'll want to have. I'd suspect that what you're experiencing is simply the effects of puberty and normal breast growth. Our teen guide to breast development offers lots of information about this: http://www.healthcentral.com/breast-cancer/c/9692/66967/development. Nonetheless, we're not doctors here, and can't offer you advice that should really be obtained from a medical professional. So I'd suggest you see your doctor, to verify that your pain, the shape difference, and the puckering are all, indeed, simply normal growth. A doctor is the best person to put your fears completely to rest, OK? Take care – PJH
    • rachel1103
      Aug. 14, 2015
      Thank you, I will check out those articles and visit my GP
  • amber
    Jan. 23, 2015
    Hey, im 22 and I am so scared I have BC. Please respond. Ive had a pain in my breast for a year or more now. Here recently, a bump came up under my arm and hasn't went away. Its been some months now. Then a small brown skin tag looking bump came up under the same left breast. Its also been there for some months. My left armpit itches so bad more than it should...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    Hey, im 22 and I am so scared I have BC. Please respond. Ive had a pain in my breast for a year or more now. Here recently, a bump came up under my arm and hasn't went away. Its been some months now. Then a small brown skin tag looking bump came up under the same left breast. Its also been there for some months. My left armpit itches so bad more than it should and ive thought about it and up under my left breast has been kinda itchy too. As ive been examining myself tonight, I found a brown raised spot on my left side way back on my breast. I am freaking out, I have two kids. I just had my baby girl dec 10. Im so scared. Please help!
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jan. 23, 2015
      Amber, clearly you're super-stressed over this. We're not doctors here, and can't assure you this is nothing to worry about; only a medically trained professional listening to your symptoms and giving you an exam can make a good diagnosis. Most of what you describe doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom, but you should get that lump checked out....
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Amber, clearly you're super-stressed over this. We're not doctors here, and can't assure you this is nothing to worry about; only a medically trained professional listening to your symptoms and giving you an exam can make a good diagnosis. Most of what you describe doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom, but you should get that lump checked out. Chances are, since you've just had a baby, it has something to do with the hormonal changes you've been going through, and/or breastfeeding. Still, if I were you, I'd see your doctor; that's the best way to lower your stress level. Write down everything that's been bothering you, and bring the list with you so that your visit can be as effective as possible. Best of luck - PJH
    • amber
      Jan. 23, 2015
      Thank you :) im at the Dr. Now. I am very stressed and hope they are able to tell me something. I made an appt. With a breast place too next week just to be sure.
  • Anonymous
    Elise
    Dec. 28, 2013

    Thank you for writing this, it has made me feel a little better. Earlier today I noticed pain in my right armpit that almost feels like a lump. Ever since I noticed it I can't stop worrying about it. I've had pain in my armpits before once or twice but I can't remember if it felt like a lump like this or not. My breasts are normal besides...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Thank you for writing this, it has made me feel a little better. Earlier today I noticed pain in my right armpit that almost feels like a lump. Ever since I noticed it I can't stop worrying about it. I've had pain in my armpits before once or twice but I can't remember if it felt like a lump like this or not. My breasts are normal besides one being bigger than the other. Could this just be a cyst or pain from an ingrown hair from shaving? If it's nothing I don't want to bother my mom because I am a bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to stuff like this and have gone to the doctors countless times for stuff that turned out to be nothing. I'm only 15 and I know that it's not likely for women in their 20's or under to get breast cancer but it still happens right? No one in my family that I know of besides a great aunt on my dads side has or has had breast cancer so it doesn't run in the family but I don't know. Thank you for reading this and I hope to hear back from you soon.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 28, 2013

      Elise, please don't worry about breast cancer - at your age, the chance of you having it is far less than 1 in a million. Please read our message to teens for more about those statistics, and why it would be so super-unlikely for you to be diagnosed.

       

      The pain could be due to a lot of different issues; if it's kind of an ache, without you being able to...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Elise, please don't worry about breast cancer - at your age, the chance of you having it is far less than 1 in a million. Please read our message to teens for more about those statistics, and why it would be so super-unlikely for you to be diagnosed.

       

      The pain could be due to a lot of different issues; if it's kind of an ache, without you being able to see anything or feel a lump, then it's possible you have some kind of infection that's settled into one of the lymph nodes under your arm. Since this is the case, you'd want to mention it to your mom. Keep your eye on it; if it fades and goes away, then clearly it's taken care of itself. If it gets worse, then you might want to have it checked out. 

       

      This could also simply be part of your regularly monthly cycle; women often get sore breasts just before their period, and since your breast tissue extends up and into the area under your arms, this could be pre-menstrual soreness.

       

      Bottom line: if the pain continues for more than a month, then see a doctor; there's no reason for you to be in pain needlessly. But in the meantime, please don't worry about cancer, OK? As I mentioned - the odds are totally on your side. Take care - PJH

    • Anonymous
      Elise
      Dec. 29, 2013

      Wow thank you so much :) you have made me feel so much better. I will definitely take your advice. Take care!

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 29, 2013

      We're always here for you, Elise - have a great rest-of-the-weekend! PJH

  • Anonymous
    Kimber, J.
    Dec. 11, 2013

    Hello Ms. Hamel, :) 

     

    I hope you can answer a few questions for me or give me some advice in this situation. I turned 26 this year and a few months ago (the last week in September i think) I briefly felt one morning a sharp shooting pain in my underarm. It was strange because that morning I had an older friend from church who was going in to get...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello Ms. Hamel, :) 

     

    I hope you can answer a few questions for me or give me some advice in this situation. I turned 26 this year and a few months ago (the last week in September i think) I briefly felt one morning a sharp shooting pain in my underarm. It was strange because that morning I had an older friend from church who was going in to get a mammogram which later turned out to be a bad breast infection) The pain was not severe at all, just sudden and quick.  It would only happen a few times a day at most. In the next few days I did for the first time examine my breasts (which are on the very small side) and noticed that my left breast is lumpier and bigger than my right. I'm not sure if it has always been like that or recently changed. It seems that there are similar lumps on my right breast but the ones in my left are defnitely bigger and more defined. Also, I have a rib bone (i think) that runs along right below my left breast but not my right. I can tell it's bone because it runs along under my breast towards my side/back. 

     

    Strangely, I cannot feel the lumps very well when I have my arm lifted above my head (which is part of a self-breast exam I think). But it's definitely there in my left breast. Before I felt the pain in my underarm for the first time I actually had been going through some personal issues that caused quite a bit of stress in my life. Getting better until all of this started. :)  So once I found the differences in my breasts, I started to fight anxiety and worry... i couldn't leave my left breast and underarm alone--checking them over and over again. I noticed a small lymph node in my underarm and thought it was swollen. I'm still not sure if it is. It hasn't grown and it's pretty small so I'm surprised I even noticed it. In my right underarm I can feel some nodes as well so I hope it's just normal for me... 

     

    Later on in October, I started to notice that my breast would get warm at times. Not consistently, but enough that it caused me some concern. Along with that, when I examined the skin around my right breast it had turned slightly red/pink. (I showed my mom and she thought it was because I had irritated the skin) It's still there. The warm feeling is almost like what I used to get years ago--i had a  lot of inflammation in my legs and joints. It was definitely stress-induced. I don't have it anymore though. 

     

    In November for 2 weeks or so all of this went away. I had been determined to stop thinking about it which helped i think. Seems like once I started thinking about it again it all just came back. Earlier in all of this I had a day or two where my neck pain (which I get when I'm really stressed) came around. Starting a few days ago, I started to feel some aching in my left arm. When I lift it up to use it (i'm right handed by the way) it gets tired and slightly sore. 

     

    That about sums up my list of symptoms. I apologize for the novel! I hope it didn't take up too much of your time. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on any of this. 

     

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 11, 2013

      Hi - I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this; sounds very stressful. We're not doctors here, and can't diagnose; but I can suggest you read our post on fibrocystic change, a condition that mirrors some of your symptoms. It's a harmless (though sometimes painful) condition a lot of women your age experience.

       

      I think the stress you're undergoing,...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi - I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this; sounds very stressful. We're not doctors here, and can't diagnose; but I can suggest you read our post on fibrocystic change, a condition that mirrors some of your symptoms. It's a harmless (though sometimes painful) condition a lot of women your age experience.

       

      I think the stress you're undergoing, as a result of these symptoms, is probably making the situation worse. Your best bet will be to get past this stress – and to me, that means going to a doctor; getting a referral to a breast specialist; and hopefully getting some reassurance from the specialist that your breasts are normal, and you can stop worrying.

       

      So, pick up the phone and get the process started, OK? I think being proactive will help you start to feel better. Take care - PJH

       

  • Anonymous
    concerned
    Sep. 06, 2013

    Hello, 

    I am a 40 yr old woman with no history of breast lumps. I have never had any children & I had a total hysterectomy at 30 yrs of age, due to a large fibroid that had wrapped around my uterus. Although my ovaries were not removed, I began having symptoms of menopause immediately post-op: severe hot flashes, profuse sweating, night sweats, &...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello, 

    I am a 40 yr old woman with no history of breast lumps. I have never had any children & I had a total hysterectomy at 30 yrs of age, due to a large fibroid that had wrapped around my uterus. Although my ovaries were not removed, I began having symptoms of menopause immediately post-op: severe hot flashes, profuse sweating, night sweats, & weight gain. A few months before I turned 40, I found a lump in my left breast & given my risk factors, I had a mammogram & U/S. A breast specialist told me that it was normal for a woman my age & that my lump shouldn't concern me, as he could tell by looking that the lump was benign. Now a few months later, I have several more lumps in that breast & now havea couple in my right one. With my medical history & never having had a lump before now...is this rapid growth of lumps normal?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Sep. 07, 2013

      I'm sorry, we're not doctors here, simply well-read breast cancer survivors, so we can't really diagnose what might be going on. That said, multiple lumps involving both breasts doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom; it sounds more like fibrocystic change which, since you still have your ovaries, is a possibility.

       

      I'm surprised yoru...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I'm sorry, we're not doctors here, simply well-read breast cancer survivors, so we can't really diagnose what might be going on. That said, multiple lumps involving both breasts doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom; it sounds more like fibrocystic change which, since you still have your ovaries, is a possibility.

       

      I'm surprised yoru doctor says he can tell the initial lump is benign, without positively identifying it as a cyst; it's actually not possible to be certain a solid lump is bening without doing a biopsy. If I were you, I'd move beyond your GP to a breast specialist, especially since a specialist can address all the possible causes for what you've described. So ask your GP for a referral to a specialist, OK? And if s/he balks, at least request a mammogram in order to get a clearer picture of that initial lump. Best of luck to you - PJH

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Sep. 07, 2013
      The doctor who told you the initial lump isn't cancer might have been basing his conclusion on the ultrasound image. He would have been able to tell whether it was a harmless fluid-filled cyst or a solid lump from the ultrasound. As PJ says there is no way to know for certain about a solid lump without a biopsy. Assuming the first lump is not dangerous, you...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      The doctor who told you the initial lump isn't cancer might have been basing his conclusion on the ultrasound image. He would have been able to tell whether it was a harmless fluid-filled cyst or a solid lump from the ultrasound. As PJ says there is no way to know for certain about a solid lump without a biopsy. Assuming the first lump is not dangerous, you will still need to go back to the doctor to have each new lump evaluated. I know that's a hassle, but when I was having numerous cysts, my doctor told me that the only dangerous thing about them was that they might lead me to ignore a lump that turned out to be cancer. So let the doctor know about the new lumps and make sure it is confirmed by ultrasound that they are just cysts.
  • Anonymous
    danielle
    May. 16, 2013

    hi my names danielle

     

    this is about my sister i am worried about her, she has lumps in both breasts sometimes they will go under her arm pit. if her breast get pushed on or hit it sometimes gives her a shooting pain and makes her crouch over it puts her in tears or nearly does she tells me they get itchy, feels like they swell, discomfort, skin peels...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    hi my names danielle

     

    this is about my sister i am worried about her, she has lumps in both breasts sometimes they will go under her arm pit. if her breast get pushed on or hit it sometimes gives her a shooting pain and makes her crouch over it puts her in tears or nearly does she tells me they get itchy, feels like they swell, discomfort, skin peels off her nipples, she has been to several doctors and one referred her to a specialist all they said is it would be hormone disfuction except the lumps are there constantly they dont come and go, the specialist refused to investigate because of her age. this has been happening for five years now and it just keeps getting worse. she is 20 i understand that because of her age it is very unlikely she does have breast cancer but it is still possible rare but possible, and nobody will actually get down to the bottom of it because of her age. just need to know what you think and what she should do next?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 16, 2013

      Danielle, it sounds like the doctors are right; numerous lumps in both breasts, lumps that are painful, sounds like fibrocystic change – which can be severe, but isn't life-threatening. 

       

      Breast cancer is possible at age 20; and yes, it's possible one of these lumps might be a tumor. But it's so rare; and the symptoms, at this point, don't...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Danielle, it sounds like the doctors are right; numerous lumps in both breasts, lumps that are painful, sounds like fibrocystic change – which can be severe, but isn't life-threatening. 

       

      Breast cancer is possible at age 20; and yes, it's possible one of these lumps might be a tumor. But it's so rare; and the symptoms, at this point, don't suggest breast cancer, so I'm not surprised no one is pushing for further testing. Since she's been to a breast specialist (right?), and s/he isn't worried about breast cancer – then there's really nothing more you guys can do, beyond get a second opinion from another specialist; and ask one of her doctors how to deal with fibrocystic change. Some women find relief by staying away from caffeine; and there may be other things she can try, but that would be for a doctor (again, a breast specialist) to recommend. Good luck - I hope she finds some relief soon. PJH

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      May. 16, 2013

      Danielle, the doctors should have done an imaging test called an ultrasound to make sure those lumps are cysts.  If they did that, they can be very sure the lumps are not cancer.  If these lumps are large, the doctor can drain the fluid out of them to reduce the pain.  It is a simple procedure done in the office of either the radiologist or surgeon....

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Danielle, the doctors should have done an imaging test called an ultrasound to make sure those lumps are cysts.  If they did that, they can be very sure the lumps are not cancer.  If these lumps are large, the doctor can drain the fluid out of them to reduce the pain.  It is a simple procedure done in the office of either the radiologist or surgeon.  The fact that these lumps are painful suggests that they are not cancer.  Yes, it is unlikely that a 20 year old would have breast cancer, but the doctors should be giving other reasons besides her age for believing these lumps aren't cancer.  They should be able to say that the shape and/or or texture don't feel like breast cancer lumps and the ultrasound shows that they are harmless fluid-filled cysts.

  • spree21
    Dec. 17, 2012

    my name is spree. i have a bad feeling that tomorrow i am going to get the news hat i have bc. my symptoms are: a lump i have had for a few years has started to get bigger in these last few months, my nipple has flattened, and where the lump is has recently started to itch, also my breast has been getting bigger and more firm in one area. i am kind of freaking...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    my name is spree. i have a bad feeling that tomorrow i am going to get the news hat i have bc. my symptoms are: a lump i have had for a few years has started to get bigger in these last few months, my nipple has flattened, and where the lump is has recently started to itch, also my breast has been getting bigger and more firm in one area. i am kind of freaking out. i am 21 years old btw.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 17, 2012

      Spree, a lump that you've felt for a few years is probably not breast cancer; once you can feel a cancerous lump, it's likely to cause additional symptoms much more quickly than you describe. Women your age very seldom get breast cancer; however, they frequently experience fibrocystic change resulting in cysts, which can change size more readily than a...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Spree, a lump that you've felt for a few years is probably not breast cancer; once you can feel a cancerous lump, it's likely to cause additional symptoms much more quickly than you describe. Women your age very seldom get breast cancer; however, they frequently experience fibrocystic change resulting in cysts, which can change size more readily than a tumor, and which could probably flatten out your nipple and produce itchiness due to their growth. I'm glad you're getting this looked at; and I hope it's not breast cancer. But if by some rare chance it is, please come back here; we can help you. Take care - PJH 

       

       

       

       

       

  • Anonymous
    Anika marie padua
    Oct. 27, 2012

    good day! uhmm... I'm 20 y/o and I noticed that my nipple on my left breast is inverted when I wear a bra.... could it be a possibility that I have Breast CA??? 

     

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 27, 2012

      It's possible, Anika - but very improbable. If your nipple is only inverted when you wear a bra, and "pops" right out once you've had your bra off for awhile, I'd suspect your bra might simply be too confining/tight. If your nipple stays inverted permanently; and if this is a change from normal, then you'd want to see a doctor to find out what's causing this,...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      It's possible, Anika - but very improbable. If your nipple is only inverted when you wear a bra, and "pops" right out once you've had your bra off for awhile, I'd suspect your bra might simply be too confining/tight. If your nipple stays inverted permanently; and if this is a change from normal, then you'd want to see a doctor to find out what's causing this, OK. Take care - PJH

  • Susan Walsh
    Aug. 06, 2012

    Hi, My name is Susan. Breast cancer runs in my family. My breast has been hurting for 2 weeks now and there is nothing that bothers me more. I haven't been able to lay on my belly at night and they hurt all the time. I have been wearing a bra to see if it helps but without failure. They hurt more with one on. I can't touch them at all and my left one hurts...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi, My name is Susan. Breast cancer runs in my family. My breast has been hurting for 2 weeks now and there is nothing that bothers me more. I haven't been able to lay on my belly at night and they hurt all the time. I have been wearing a bra to see if it helps but without failure. They hurt more with one on. I can't touch them at all and my left one hurts more then the right one. I have felt something in the lower side of it and it does feel like a lump. What should I do? I have a mammagram on Friday so do I just wait until them to see whats going.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Aug. 06, 2012

      Susan, with breast pain in both breasts, it's highly unlikely that the pain is related to breast cancer, whose symptoms are usually painless. Pain such as you describe is usually the result of hormonal issues, such as fibrocystic change. A lump might be a fibroadenoma or cyst; some cysts can become very painful indeed, and need to be drained. At any rate, I'm...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Susan, with breast pain in both breasts, it's highly unlikely that the pain is related to breast cancer, whose symptoms are usually painless. Pain such as you describe is usually the result of hormonal issues, such as fibrocystic change. A lump might be a fibroadenoma or cyst; some cysts can become very painful indeed, and need to be drained. At any rate, I'm glad you're seeking treatment for this. If I were you, I'd call the radiology department ahead of time, and ask about getting a mammogram while you're in a fair amount of pain; they may advise you to take some ibuprofen ahead of time. Best of luck - I hope you get to the bottom of this soon. PJH

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Aug. 06, 2012
      Susan, it is probably perfectly safe to wait until Friday. As PJ says, pain in both breasts is not likely to be breast cancer. A mammogram now might give better information while you have the pain. We have all had the experience of finally seeing the doctor only to be describing how the problem felt last week. A call to move up the appointment might help pinpoint...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Susan, it is probably perfectly safe to wait until Friday. As PJ says, pain in both breasts is not likely to be breast cancer. A mammogram now might give better information while you have the pain. We have all had the experience of finally seeing the doctor only to be describing how the problem felt last week. A call to move up the appointment might help pinpoint the problem and solution faster, but don't worry about a delay until Friday being dangerous.
  • Anonymous
    lucie
    Jun. 24, 2008

    Thank you so much for this post... Breast cancer runs in my family so obviously I follow this very closely and tend to be rather hypochondriac when it comes to any sort of pain or soreness in my breasts...  It's refreshing to read something like this post to put everything in perspective again... Not that I will stop getting checked regularly, but mentally,...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Thank you so much for this post... Breast cancer runs in my family so obviously I follow this very closely and tend to be rather hypochondriac when it comes to any sort of pain or soreness in my breasts...  It's refreshing to read something like this post to put everything in perspective again... Not that I will stop getting checked regularly, but mentally, this is exactly what I need to read more often!  Thanks!

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jun. 24, 2008

      Lucie - that's exactly the reaction I hoped readers would have. Ever-vigilant - but NOT ever-stressed! Thanks - PJH