General chatter - Is It Breast Cancer?




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Nadia
10-23-2007, 01:50 AM
I am scared. When I was showering today, I felt what may be a lump in my breast. I panicked a bit and read about how to detect lumps and such. It is there, and it is quite large (about a third of my total breast size). I am so scared. What if it is cancer? I just started a job (today), so I do not have any benefits or really any money to spend on a doctor's visit. I was looking for free screening options, but everything I can find is for 40+, and I am only 25. Has anyone else had this type of scare? Where do I go next? :sorry:


mandalinn82
10-23-2007, 02:16 AM
If you are concerned, you really need to speak to a doctor.

Have you checked for low cost or free screenings through the CDC?

http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/cancercontacts/nbccedp/contacts.asp

:hug: to you!

nicolen
10-23-2007, 02:26 AM
Seconding Amanda's advice about getting to a doctor. I don't know too much about the American health system other than it's completely different from ours - are there any free or low cost clinics that you can get to?

Wee bit of personal TMI here. I found a lump in my breast in January of last year. We do have a history of breast cancer in my family - a cousin died at 38 as a result of secondary cancer, so you can imagine how I felt. I went to my GP who told me that something like 90% of all lumps are not cancerous, but tend to be cysts or similar - mine thankfully was a cyst.

Do you have a family history of breast cancer? It can be genetic, but not always. You're also quite young to be diagnosed with breast cancer - it's quite rare for a woman of your age to develop breast cancer. In saying that, it's not unheard of, so please do get yourself to a doctor.

Take care :hug:


bargoo
10-23-2007, 10:48 AM
Make an appointment with a doctor immediately. You will drive yourself crazy if you don't find out for sure. I know what I am talking about because I am a breast cancer SURVIVOR.






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Nadia
10-23-2007, 10:49 AM
Thank you for the site, mandalin. Unfortunately in my area, they only do it for people over the age of forty. I will just have to go to a regular doctor and see if they can set up some sort of payment plan for me.

Thank you, Nicole, for your personal information. I will definitely get it checked out, but it is very relieving to know that a lot of lumps are not cancer.

Thank you, bargoo. I will look around. Is there a best "type" of doctor to go to for the first "step"? Just a family doctor, or a hospital, or. . .? I do not have a "regular" doctor and have not been to a doctor's office in about seven years.

bargoo
10-23-2007, 10:56 AM
You can go to a regular doctor, he will most likely order a mammogram, sometimes you can find a mammogram trailer.oftentimes clubs and organizations offer mammos. I wouldn't wait, though. I hope I am not scaring you just urging you to be prudent and remember I and many others have been through it and are still here to talk about it.

blondebritbrat17
10-23-2007, 11:20 AM
I would get yourself to a doctor despite having no money. There are free clinics all over and I would take Mandalinn's suggestion and look at that website. DO NOT WAIT! I had my first lump at 20 right before I got married. It was not cancerous but I insisted on it being removed due me being paranoid because my dad had died from cancer then lo and behold 6 months later my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. We had no history of breast cancer, just lots of non-cancerous lumps and fibroids and my mom is the first woman in our family to have it.

midwife
10-23-2007, 12:49 PM
Call. Now.

Is there a University Hospital nearby? They may have free or low cost care. Call your local WIC office and ask about low cost health clinics. Some WIC offices are in such clinics. Try calling your local Planned Parenthood and see if they have ideas for low cost or free medical care.

See a family practice or OB person now. You will probably need an ultrasound (sometimes breast tissue is too dense for a mammogram when a woman is younger) and the radiologist will make a decision whether to biopsy or not.

Do it. Call today.

(There is also a chance it is a benign cyst, but your description concerns me. You need to have it checked.)

ANOther
10-23-2007, 02:48 PM
As the daughter of a 1-y breast cancer survivor :cheer2:, I second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth etc etc everything that's been said. There should be free or low-cost clinics available. Check it out, if it's benign you can breathe easier. :goodvibes

StillTryin
10-23-2007, 03:00 PM
PRAYING for you!!!!! I hope you are ok

almostheaven
10-23-2007, 03:03 PM
There are free and reduced income clinics and you don't have to be 40 in order to qualify for an exam if you have current issues. If you cannot locate these clinics in your phone book (in my state they are run by the county so try the county listings first), contact DHHS. They should at least be able to tell you who to call.

FrouFrou
10-23-2007, 05:37 PM
My DD just went thru a scare a few months ago and as I told her and as hard as it is...try not to panic. I know it is easier said than done because I too had a scare and of course thought the worst. I think it's hard not to. They found a lump in DD's breast and it turned out to be nothing. But for sure get to the doctor! Most docs will take payments so don't let something like money stand in the way of being checked. Lots of hugs to you and please keep us posted! :hug: :hug: :hug:

bargoo
10-23-2007, 07:44 PM
Have you made an appointment? Do it now and let us know.

Nadia
10-24-2007, 02:40 AM
Thank you all for responding. What is DHHS? I called Planned Parenthood which turns out to be less than a mile from my new job, so it would be really hard for me to come up with an excuse to avoid going. The after hours girl there said that she would have someone get back to me tomorrow morning. I hope that everything will be okay.

ANOther
10-24-2007, 02:17 PM
What is DHHS?

Department of Health and Human Services. But if Planned Parenthood can help, more power to them too. Good luck!

Nadia
10-24-2007, 03:51 PM
I got back to calling Planned Parenthood today, but the lady who answered was sort of umm, well she kind of acted like I was being rude or such. I said that I would like an appointment for a breast exam and she said why here? and I said that it was near my work and such and she said, "Don't you have a doctor?" and I said no. Then she said, "Do you have _ANY_ insurance at all?" in an odd tone. Then she told me that "All we will do is just refer you somewhere else". I felt like I was being a huge hassle or such. Maybe I am looking too much into it. Anyway, I have an appointment on Monday.

almostheaven
10-24-2007, 04:18 PM
I don't think PP does much in the way of breast exams, which is why they'd likely refer you elsewhere. They probably cannot do mammagrams or x-rays or anything there, just a manual exam like you did for yourself. If you do get referred for further testing, try going to a local hospital for testing and ask for their financial aid dept. They can work with you on the bill if you're lower income or make payment arrangements with you even if you don't meet the aid requirements.

Clydegirl
10-24-2007, 04:43 PM
This is breast cancer awareness month so there may be something being offered in your area for people without insurance.

Good luck I hope you get to see a doctor soon.

midwife
10-24-2007, 05:18 PM
Wow. That's too bad they were rude. I was hoping they would have some ideas for low cost clinics (our PP tends to be very helpful), but at least this way you'll get a breast exam by someone who should (hopefully!) have a clue.

I'm glad you called someone. It is a good place to start.

PS What you need is a referral to radiology or a breast specialist anyway....

Nadia
10-25-2007, 02:20 AM
Wow. That's too bad they were rude. I was hoping they would have some ideas for low cost clinics (our PP tends to be very helpful), but at least this way you'll get a breast exam by someone who should (hopefully!) have a clue.

I'm glad you called someone. It is a good place to start.

PS What you need is a referral to radiology or a breast specialist anyway....

Well, I would not call her rude, exactly, but I had just hoped for someone a bit more umm nice, I guess. I realize that once I go, they will feel the same thing and refer me elsewhere, but I need that referral and as uncomfortable as I am with having the exam (I have not been to a doctor since I was a teen) would like for someone else to "agree" that something is there before just going blindly to a mammogram or such, especially because it seems a lot are very particular about people under 40. I hope that the person that exams me can be a bit informative with options of where to go next and stuff. I really appreciate you girls encouraging me to get it done and such. I have a miniscule support system offline, so it is always comforting to find strangers that are caring. :)

midwife
10-25-2007, 09:55 AM
I'm glad you're going. Let us know what happens.

Hugs....

dixied
10-26-2007, 12:21 PM
Nadia - :hug: I know what you're going thru and it's scary, but it's important to get to a Doctor and get an exam.

I found a large lump in my right breast in March 2006, and in April 2007 I had a ping pong ball sized tumor removed. It was a benign Phyllodes Tumor, which is a fast growing tumor that is considered cancerous whether or not it's malignent. Here's the general breakdown of how the process worked for me:

3/21 - Found tumor
3/22 - Call Dr. for appointment
3/22 - Saw Dr. (lucky they could see me right away). Dr. confirmed the lump was there, referred me for a mammogram. I actually saw the PA not the Dr. She advised that the lump was movable, not fixed, therefore probably not cancerous but a fibroid.
3/29ish - Had the mammogram about a week after initial Dr. appt. Mammo tech freaked the heck out when looking at the films from the mammogram. You could clearly see the tumor, it was a large white spot about the size of a half dollar. Also had an ultrasound. These were sent to Dr. who refered them to a surgeon.
Early April - Saw the surgeon, scheduled surgery for 4/21, exactly month after finding the lump.
4/21 - Outpatient surgery on a Friday, was back to work on Monday.
Early May - Followup and recovery

The absolute worst part is the waiting and not knowing. Go see a Dr., depending on the size of the lump and the mammogram you might not need to do anything else and have nothing to worry about. The surgeon told me if I had waited, because my tumor was fast growing, it would have eventually killed me. Before I was lackidasical about my healthcare, now I take things a lot more seriously. PM me if you have any questions about the procedures or if there's anything I can do.

cbmare
10-26-2007, 03:00 PM
I'm so glad you are going. I found a lump and my dr did the dip stick thing on it. Mammogram had been done a few months before. Turns out it is one of those jelly sacs we all have in our bodies. I just merrily wanders around my body.

Clydegirl is right. This is the month. There should be somewhere you can go. Where are you? Maybe someone on here will know something in your area.

Nadia
10-26-2007, 09:54 PM
I'm so glad you are going. I found a lump and my dr did the dip stick thing on it. Mammogram had been done a few months before. Turns out it is one of those jelly sacs we all have in our bodies. I just merrily wanders around my body.

Clydegirl is right. This is the month. There should be somewhere you can go. Where are you? Maybe someone on here will know something in your area.

I have a feeling that I am really going to regret asking this. . .but what exactly is the "dip stick thing"? :o

cbmare
10-28-2007, 01:16 AM
I have a feeling that I am really going to regret asking this. . .but what exactly is the "dip stick thing"? :o

I don't know the medical term for it. He took this big long needle and drew out some fluid from the cyst. I only hurt when the needle pierced the skin. I'm serious, it wasn't really painful. The needle was thin. However, by the same token, I have to say I didn't watch. I have this awful fear of needles and pass out when they take blood. But he drew out clear liquid. He was pretty convinced that it was nothing. I was getting ready to go to FLA to visit my mom and made an appt to go back after my return. It was just as he suspected - nothing. Just to be sure, I had an ultrasound as well. Again, nothing. Except that I learned the ultrasound tech. was sitting on the toilet during our 89 quake.

Nadia
10-30-2007, 01:00 AM
Thank you all so much for posting. It is funny how a few seconds and a thought can change so much. I went to Planned Parenthood today and was so nervous and scared. The doctor(?) did the exam and was very careful to make sure she understood what I meant and such, but in the end told me that I was clear and that it was just part of my "support system" that I was feeling-in one of my breasts it is particularly more solid and larger than the other. But she said there is nothing to worry about.

:) I am so relieved.

nicolen
10-30-2007, 02:46 AM
That's great to hear, Nadia! :hug:

The needle thing is called a fine needle biopsy. I had that done on my lump.