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Monday, April 27, 2009 SHIRLEY E, Community Member, asks

Q: Lump appeared after auto accident

After 2008 auto accident, a lump appeared in the left breast 6 o'clock.  Injury from seat belt and air bags caused breast tissue damage, rippling and breaking of muscle tissue that hold the breasts -up.   Local mammogram and sonnogram screening showed NO changes from my 2005 mammogram...Would tissue changes show on these tests? Can the accident contribute to the increased cause of cancer later on?  No previous history

(and no family history) of lumps or cysts.

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
4/27/09 5:13pm

Shirley, an accident won't cause breast cancer. And a mammogram/sonogram would show changes in breast tissue, if they were something to be concerned about. I'm thinking you're probably feeling scar tissue. So long as you've had the diagnostic tests and they show nothing, then breast cancer shouldn't be a worry... PJH

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Jereline A, Community Member
6/ 4/11 8:36pm

I don't know the answer, but I am battling the same question.  I am so afraid.  I have no family history, but in 2008, I had a MVA and the seat belt injured my breasts, mainly the right one has not been the same.  I had hematomas from with high doses of antibiotics, and needle aspiration.   I am also experiencing shoot stabbing pain for no reason (meaning not moving at the time, pain just comes from no-where) then there is itching, tingling and crawling inside my breast feeling.  With just a small amount of stimuli, the tingling starts first.  Did you have any of this happening to you?  I suppose to have Mammograms ever 3 to 6 months.  There were some nasty brown and tan infections coming out of my breast.   I always feel my right breast now.  I feel lopped sided.   My right breast feels heavy or something all the time, I know I have breast, but I was not aware of them all the time. It is an unnerving bad feeling.  

 

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/ 4/11 9:52pm

Jereline, have you discussed any of these symptoms with your doctor? A dark discharge could indicte an infection, or the remnants of that hematoma. The itching/tingling/crawling feeling, if it's recent, is also something to keep your eye on; if it's just started, and lasts longer than a month, then you should see a doctor. You say you're supposed to be having regular mammograms - are you actually having them? A mammogram would be a good baseline for you, going forward; it would detet any early changes that could indicate a possible problem. So, speak to your doctor; and if you aren't having regular mammograms - and are supposed to - get yourself on a schedule, OK? Take care- PJH

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Jereline, Community Member
6/ 5/11 8:14pm

JPH,  Yes, my breast was discolored and very bruised, but I was so upset and preoccupied by the pain in my neck and back and the numbness in my legs, until I ignored the breast until about 6 months later when one hematoma busted as I lifted up my breast to look at it in the mirror.   The pressure from the site, caused the infection to hit the mirror and the sink, and the ER doctor found 3 three other were located deep inside my breast.  I was given 5 rounds of antibiotics by mouth and by IV. As this infection cleared up 3 months later, I started feeling this tingling, itching, crawling sensations in my breast. Your advice is helpful and I will continue with the mammograms as ordered and suggested by my doctors.  No I have not been getting them.  I have lost count, and I am tired.  This hurts every time, and I have also had 3 breast aspirations.  I never had this problem and out of 18 breasts in my immediate family no-one else has ever had this experience, not until after that seat belt racked across by breasts.   But I will try to stay on schedule with the mammograms.  Thank you for your suggestions.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/ 5/11 10:48pm

I think that gradually, Jereline, your breasts will get back to normal. Time heals, it really does; but it's so very hard to wait it out, to be patient... I hope that you'll be on the mend for good soon- PJH

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
6/ 5/11 8:05am

Jereline, 

If you have had the same level of pain and tingling since the accident, then I'd suggest you talk to the doctor about it at your next regular appointment and see if there is anything that could help the problem.

If this is a recent increase in symptoms, then it may or may not be related to the auto accident.  Your description of what you are feeling sounds exactly like my early symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).  IBC is often mistaken for mastitis, an infection in the breast, which often does not show up on a mammogram.  Inflammatory breast cancer is caused by breast cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast.  Sometimes patients who have had breast surgery have the same symptoms because scar tissue blocks the lymph vessels.  

It seems logical that damage from an accident could have the same effect.  However, I would think that damage from the accident should gradually get better.  So if you are getting worse, please see the doctor right away.

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Jereline, Community Member
6/ 5/11 8:16pm

phyllis,  

Yes, my breast was discolored and very bruised, but I was so upset and preoccupied by the pain in my neck and back and the numbness in my legs, until I ignored the breast until about 6 months later when one hematoma busted as I lifted up my breast to look at it in the mirror.   The pressure from the site, caused the infection to hit the mirror and the sink, and the ER doctor found 3 three other were located deep inside my breast.  I was given 5 rounds of antibiotics by mouth and by IV. As this infection cleared up 3 months later, I started feeling this tingling, itching, crawling sensations in my breast. Your advice is helpful and I will continue with the mammograms as ordered and suggested by my doctors.  No I have not been getting them.  I have lost count, and I am tired.  This hurts every time, and I have also had 3 breast aspirations.  I never had this problem and out of 18 breasts in my immediate family no-one else has ever had this experience, not until after that seat belt racked across by breasts.   But I will try to stay on schedule with the mammograms.  Thank you for your suggestions.

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
6/ 5/11 8:31pm

I'm sure it must be very discouraging to still be having symptoms three years after your accident.  Please do stay in touch with the doctor to make sure that you don't have a repeat of the infection.

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By SHIRLEY E, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/05/11, First Published: 04/27/09