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Thursday, February 12, 2009 michelle6519, Community Member, asks

Q: palpable lump, ultrasound doesn't show, doctors seem unconcerned

2 yrs. ago, when i was 22, I noticed an area right above my right breast that felt thicker than my other side. I went to the doc, had an ultrasound which looked normal, and was told to come back when i was 40. a month ago, i noticed a palpable, rubbery, and firm lump right above this thick spot, and it feels like itc connected to it. as if the thickening is the tree trunk and the lump is the top of the "tree". i had 2 ultrasounds and saw to breast surgeons/specilaists, and they didn't seem concerened. they said to wait and see. no biospy or anything. i am having extreme anxiety about this and its causing problems between my husband and me. why aren't the docs concerned? and also, are there any benign conditions that would fail to show up on the ultrasound? the radiologist just saw normal breast tissue when he placed the wand over the palpable lump. thanks!

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Answers (3)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
2/13/09 6:36am

Michelle, you may have a condition called dense breasts, which means your breasts have more breast tissue than fat; this makes them feel "lumpy," and would explain why nothing shows on an ultrasound. If two breast specialists have told you not to worry, then I'd say you don't have breast cancer; at your age, your chance of having breast cancer, statistically speaking, is way below 10%.


Nevertheless, you're clearly stressed about this. I'd go back to the doctor, explain that you're really having some emotional difficulties, and ask for a mammogram to rule out breast cancer. Then you can go from there, as far as figuring out just what it is causing this lump/thickening you feel. OK? Good luck - PJH






Danelle, Community Member
2/13/09 4:42pm

Michelle- Tell your Doctor you want a Biopsy. Dont take no for an answer. My sisters mamogram and ultra sound said no cancer but her Dr. (a good Doctor, and yes hard to find) said becuase it was a palpable lump better to be safe and do a biopsy. They did find cancer by doing the biopsy  (even though a mamogram and ultra sound said she was fine) she had 2 surgeries and radiation and is fine now.  One thing to ALWAYS remember is Doctors DO NOT know everything they are truely "Practicing" medicine.

michelle6519, Community Member
2/13/09 10:35pm

Thanks for your responses!


Just a few more questions: does anyone know of anything benign that may not show on an ultrasound?


And with dense breasts, is it uncommon to feel a distinct isolated lump, and have that be just fibrocystic changes?


Thanks again!

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By michelle6519, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/01/10, First Published: 02/12/09