FROM OUR EXPERTS
In 1988, I developed a lump in my right breast. I was in my mid twenties and while I pointed it out to my doctors -- no one was alarmed. Finally in 1991, I started to have some pain associated and I decided to take it more seriously and sought the consultation of a breast surgeon. At my behest, he took the lump out and the biopsy read "dense fibrous tissue". Many people have fiber cystic tissue, but the lumps in my breasts were different shapes, hard and many. Size would change depending on stress, menstrual cycle and caffeine consumption and sometimes they felt tender, but most of the time I didn't feel them! In the following years, my gynecologists referred me to breast oncologists for my check ups, because the lumps are too many and the tissue is so unclear, they did not want the liability. I started having mammograms when I was 34, and the comment was my “mammograms look like a snow storm!” I started to ask &q...
The title of a 2005 study from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, “From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition” sums up in a few simple words what many of us have known for years: once we’re done with active cancer treatment, it’s a confusing world out there. Not that cancer treatment itself can’t be a bit mystifying. The number of potential life-or-death decisions you, the patient, are called upon to make is daunting. The schedule of treatments is intense. And you need to learn a brand new medical vocabulary very quickly. But through all of that, you feel you have a couple of “go to” providers: your oncologist, and your surgeon. Feeling crummy after chemo? Call the oncology nurse. Wondering about that extra lump in your ribcage after reconstructive surgery? Ask to see your surgeon. During active treatment, there’s a clear chain of command. It’s after the oncologist and surgeon have done what they ...
Cancer and breast lumps
It is understandable thata newly discovered breast lump maycause fear andconcern, but the fact is that only a small percentage of lumpsturn out to be cancer. Many women have "lumpy breasts" or fibrocystic breast disease , a common and benign (harmless) condition.
If you have this condition, examining your breasts can be confusing and, at times, alarming. It is still very important to check your breasts at the same time each month and bring anything that feels new or different to your doctor's attention. It may be helpful to know that a cancerous lump tends to be hard and unmovable. See breast lump and fibroadenoma .
You should know
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