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Saturday, November 21, 2009 scaredinnj, Community Member, asks

Q: Lumps on Both Breasts

I am a 41 year old.  Had my first child at 30, no Mom or Sister with breast cancer.  I used to have 2 glasses of wine a day, but now am scared out of my  mind, so not drinking at all. 


I never check my breasts because I have dense cyctic breasts and have been scared to death over this before.  I checked my breasts because my neighbor was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts recently and I got scared.  I feel a large lump at the same place on both half even with or a little above nipple and going towards the arm.  As a matter of face, both sides seem to follow this lump into my underarm area with another lump closer to my armpit.  I went to the gyn and he felt the first two lumps (the only ones I noticed when I went there) and sent me for an ultrasound/mammo (I have been getting ultrasounds/mammo's since I was about 35 because of the dense breast issue and cysts).  They came back showing nothing in either of these areas.  Two cysts that were there when I had my regular mammo/ultrasound in March.  He wanted me to wait two months and come see him so he could re-evaluate and send me to a surgeon if he felt it still.  I told him I was already crying for two weeks and almost throwing up and making my kids upset, so I could not wait.  So, I have made an appointment to see a surgeon on Tuesday.  I'm literally paralyzed with fear.  I was reading horror stories on the internet of all these women who's mammo/ultrasounds were clear, but when biopsied they had cancer.  I don't know what the chances of both sides having the same lumps in the same areas are of it being cancer.  I heard of a rare cancer that doesn't show up on mammo/ultrasound that can sometimes be in both breasts...but that cancer was like 5% of all breast cancers and only 30% of those were in both breasts.


If anyone can offer any thoughts.  I can't eat or sleep and I'm starting to actually make myself sick here.  I fear if I have to have a biopsy and wait for that appt and those results, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be ruined for me, and more importantly, my kids and Husband.  Help!



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Answers (1)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
11/21/09 12:07pm

Hi - I'm sorry you're going through this. To me - and I'm not a doctor, only an informed survivor – this doesn't sound like breast cancer. It sounds like fibrocystic breasts, which you're aware that you have. You had a mammogram and ultrasound, so you did the right thing; and they don't show anything. YOu're following your doctors suggestion, waiting to see if there's any change. Clearly, this is hard, as your mind immediately jumps to the worst conclusions. So really, your issue here seems to be devastating fear, based on emotion rather than reality.


First, please read our post on fear; it may give you some coping strategies to deal with this. Then, you might ask your doctor for a referral to a counselor, who could really assist you in dealing with this. You know how awful you feel; as you say, you don't want to put your family through this; and even more, YOU shouldn't have to go through this. That's what mental health professionals are for - to help us deal with our fears, to defuse them.


I'm sorry I can't tell you you don't have cancer. No one can tell you that, at this point. All I can say is, not everything you read online is true; you tend to read the very worst case scenarios at many sites; and statistically speaking, given the screening you've had thus far and its results, chances would seem to be quite small that you have cancer.


I hope you're able to take some action and deal with this soon. And remember, if you start to feel totally overwhelmed, call your doctor or hospital, and ask for emergency help. Drugs are always an option, and they've helped, many, many, MANY of us through some rough times. Good luck - PJH

scaredinnj, Community Member
11/21/09 12:12pm

Thank you SO MUCH for getting back to me so quickly.  I have an appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday and I'm hoping he can quickly tell me if this is Cancer or not without having to wait too much longer.  I certainly hope you are right, but you just never know.  If it's NOT Cancer, I'm throwing a huge party for Christmas, I can tell you THAT much! 

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By scaredinnj, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 11/21/09