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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 Michelle Rowe, Community Member, asks

Q: Should I be concerned? Growing painless lump... Doctor keeps telling me not to worry but wont biopsy

Should I be concerned? Solid growing painless mass in armpit, been there 1 1/2 years. Only had an 2 ultrasounds that confirmed it's solid and growing but doc said not to worry and sent me home.  The Ultrasound tech said it's soild and has tripled in size in 1 year. 

It doesn't hurt but cancer runs in my family, but not breast cancer.  The tech comfirmed that it isn't water filled so it's not just a cyst and it is getting deeper.  Not sure if I should just trust the doctor and let it go, or insist on a biopy.



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Answers (1)
Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
7/15/09 3:47pm

Has your doctor given you an explanation about why you shouldn't worry?  Sometimes a doctor is pretty sure a lump is benign because of its shape or texture.  However, if I had a solid lump that had tripled in size in a year, I would want more information about it, and it seems like a fine needle biopsy could be a quick and comparatively easy way to find out for sure if the lump is benign.  Most lumps are benign, so you should not be in a panic about this.  However, please consider asking for a referral to a breast specialist for a second opinion about what to do about this lump.  You may need to be persistent and assertive, but that's OK.  It's important that you are convinced that everything possible has been done to diagnose what type of lump this is.

Michelle Rowe, Community Member
7/15/09 5:38pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question.


No,  the doctor hasn't told me anything except that he wants to see what it does over time and he doesn't think it's connected to my breast.  I am 35 years old and I know I have a milk gland right by this because i nursed all 4 of my children and I had a lump under my arm only when my milk was full.  My youngest is 6 and that lump is long gone.  This one is hard and the width of a marble but is getting deeper. 


I think your right.......It has tripled in size and I don't see why I should wait.  I think I am going to find another doctor and tell him I need answers. 


I just wish I knew why he is so sure it's not cancer.  He wouldn't give me any reason and just told me not to worry. I posted hear to see if it's anyone else would think I should get a biopsy before I demand one.  Thanks

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By Michelle Rowe, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/20/10, First Published: 07/15/09