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Thursday, January 15, 2009 AusVic, Community Member, asks

Q: 18 yr old with breast lump. help?

I am only 18 yrs old and have felt quite a large lump on my breast over the past few months. i only have small breasts (A cup) but the lump is half the length and width of my breast. there is next to no change with my period. I had it examined by my doctor who said it was most likely a cyst but sent me for an ultrasound anyway. the lady that did the ultrasound looked quite puzzled looking at the screen and asked to look at the other breast. she then said that it was very odd because i have a palpable lump in my right breast but it looked similar to my left breast on the ultrasound. the ultrasound was sent off and then sent to my medical centre and read by a doctor who was not my doctor as she has since left. the new doctor was not the doctor who examined me so i was quite annoyed that he almost seemed happy to say i have your results, they're normal and thats it. i pressed him further and said i think i should make an appointment he then agreed that if the lump is still there (definitely is and doesnt seem to be going anywhere) after my next period i should then make an appointment. so i now have to wait over 2 weeks to get it checked. i should also mention that just after my ultrasound my right nipple was leaking a clear fluid. it has since stopped leaking but the clear fluid is still there if my nipple is squeezed. i know it is extremely rare for an 18 yr old to develop breast cancer but it can happen and i have been driving myself insane with worry since the lump was discovered and now i have to wait longer to find out what it is. i was in search of another doctor but as i have recently moved to a small town i have discovered that there is only this one medical centre. please if anyone has any information i would love to hear it.

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Answers (3)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/15/09 5:16pm

Hi - As you say, statistically, the chance of you having breast cancer, at your age, is 0%. Which doesn't mean it's impossible; just very improbable. It's most probably something hormonal, or it could be scar tissue from a trauma; sometimes young women have trauma (from a sudden stop in a car, with the seatbelt, for instance) they're not even aware of. Also, leaking clear fluid from your nipple isn't usually a breast cancer symptom; it's quite common.

 

At any rate, there's something there, it's bothering you a lot, and you need to get to the bottom of it. If I were you, I'd ask for a mammogram ASAP, as that's the test that will pretty much rule out cancer. You need to advocate for yourself; whatever it takes, get a mammogram. Tell them you need it for your emotional health, if nothing else.

 

In the meantime, please try to take deep breaths, and come down from the high intensity of worry you're experiencing. I know it's tough; perhaps reading our piece on fear will help you get through this. Best of luck to you - PJH

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Robin, Community Member
2/20/09 8:32pm

Caution with mammography in a young woman, as the error rate at ruling out breast cancer can be as high as thirty percent in young women due to their natural hormones clouding mammogram images and hiding cancers.A biopsy would be better a cancer detection.

 

Robin

 

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Robin, Community Member
2/20/09 8:33pm

Caution with mammography in a young woman, as the error rate at ruling out breast cancer can be as high as thirty percent in young women due to their natural hormones clouding mammogram images and hiding cancers.A biopsy would be better at cancer detection.

 

Robin

 

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By AusVic, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 01/15/09