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Tuesday, August 19, 2008 Jeanie, Community Member, asks

Q: Nodule found on left breast

I just went in for a breast sonogram because my mammogram was difficult to read due to dense breast tissue.  A nodule was found on my left breast.  Doctor said it is too small to feel by hand but it does come up on the sonogram.  He suggested that I either could wait six months and then get another sonogram to see if it has grown or I could get a biopsy.  He doubts it's cancer because I'm 38 and have no history of breast cancer in my family.  What does this mean and what should I do? Wait the six months or go ahead and get the biopsy?

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
8/19/08 9:32pm

Hi Jeanie - How do YOU feel about waiting? 85% of lumps that are biopsied are benign. But that leaves 15% that are cancerous. Are you comfortable waiting to find out which group you fall in? Or would you rather undergo the inconvenience (and some pain) of a biopsy, and find out right away? This is a very personal decision. Mine might be to wait... but yours might be to get it done and find out now. Both decisions would be equally valid. Tough choice, huh? If you want my advice, I'd go for the biopsy and either set my mind at rest, or get started with treatment. But don't kick yourself if you'd rather wait. There's no "should" here... Best of luck to you - PJH

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
8/19/08 9:40pm

P.S. Not to scare you, but just wanted to let you know that the great majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors at all, family history or otherwise. And while 38 is younger than average for breast cancer, there are certainly many women in their 30s who have it. So please don't let either of those two factors influence your decision.  - PJH

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By Jeanie, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/19/13, First Published: 08/19/08