33 With Left Breast Pain And Enlarged Breast Compared To Right Breast.

Question

Asked by slswilliams

33 With Left Breast Pain And Enlarged Breast Compared To Right Breast.

I am 33 years old and have had left breast pain for 5 years now. My gyn told me it was most likely fibroids and to avoid caffeine. Since then I have drank only water or caffeine free drinks. In the past year or so I have found myself constantly rubbing my left breast on the side near my armpit. The pain is a daily thing that I have built myself up to believe is only fibroids. I recently had an annual physical with my general practitioner and mentioned the increased frequency in pain. She suggested going ahead and have a mammogram due to family history and the fore mentioned change in pain (my mother had breast cancer and both mother and grandmother have had ovarian cancer). I have also noticed a definite size difference between my left and right breast. I went for the mammogram three days ago, where the tech told me not to be surprised if I were called back for further scans.I was as ease first but as the days have gone by I have become more anxious about the outcome of the mammogram. It didn't help that I could see the scans on the screen as they were taken. Seeing as least one large spot and other questionable areas has left me with the "what ifs". What should I expect as a next step? In your opinion what is the likelyhood that at my age this could be cancer?

Answer

All of the information you give here points to your pain and perhaps swelling being caused by solid tissue fibroadenomas (benign cysts), or perhaps fluid-filled cysts. Breast pain is seldom a sign of breast cancer, especially since it's been going on for 5 years. In addition, as you mention, breast cancer at your young age would be quite rare. Finally, in most cases, if the radiologist sees something suspicious on your mamogram, you get called back right away; it may be a good sign that it's been 3 days and you haven't heard anything (though I'd definitely call them tomorrow and ask when you'll hear the results).

That said, since you have somewhat of a family history (especially if your mom was diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50), it's good that you're pursuing this. Don't worry about what you could see on the scans; it's impossible for a lay person to interpret a mammogram, as most women's mammograms are filled with all kinds of blotches, spots, and other opaque areas, which can be glandular tissue, scar tissue, connective tissue... it takes a radiologist to read and interpret a mammogram.

What are the chances of this being cancer? Statistically speaking (as well as from your description of symptoms), slim. So try not to stress, but do pursue the diagnostic screening; you don't want to just let this drop without some resolution, OK? Good luck - I hope you get the all-clear soon. PJH

Answered by PJ Hamel