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A swollen and sore lymphnode - biopsy?

mommaz
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2002

I have fibrocystic breasts and I've had pain in them for years. I've been receiving mammograms since I was 35. They're so lumpy, even my doctor has trouble examining me. I have a lymphnode that showed up on my last mammogram. They told me it's been there awhile but that it changed the last time. I also have a pain there; sometimes it shoots up my armpit. I asked my doctor to refer me for a second opinion and she sent me to a surgeon. He said that the lymphnode on my left side is quite a bit larger than the one on the right, but that he thinks it's inflamed because of my fibrocystic condition. He put me on naprosin and vitamin and asked me to come back in 6 weeks. The medicine has helped but the pain is not completely gone.

My questions are, when I go back in 6 weeks, should I insist on him taking the lymphnode out? if it's now equal in size to the other side? if it isn't equal in size? What am I subjecting myself to if I insist and it isn't cancer? What am I risking if I don't?

I don't mean to overreact, but....this is scary. No one in my immediate family has had breast cancer, however, I've had an aunt and great-aunt who have. How much action should I take at this point?

Thanks to all who respond.

Karen

jmears
Posts: 270
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi Karen
The doctors usually have a lot of experience and can tell if it's going to be a problem BUT my motto is you have to feel good about the decision. If they can rationalize the treatment enough for you to feel comfortable ... go with it. If you want the lymphnode out I don't think it would be so bad. I had 9 removed with my lumpectomy and have not had any problems (2 years later). And I had no family history of breast cancer not even aunts (or uncles - hee hee) and I was diagnosed at age 42. Don't risk it ... do everything you can so if it is a problem the treatment will be less severe and recovery much quicker!!! Good luck. Let us hear from you. Jamie

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I am with Jamie you have to do what feels comfortable for you and if this isn't satisfactory for you to get on with your life tell them. Pain isn't good either must get it addressed to move on and beyond. Having lymphnodes out has some risks for neuropathy and lymphodema a swelling condition that should be considered before you have surgery. All of it is doable. I had 21 removed of which 11 were positive. I was 36 at dx. You are your best indicator and listen to your body that is all any of us can do.
Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
Be good to yourself first,
Tara24242

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Karen listen carefully: THE ONLY GOOD LUMP IS IN A JAR! Get the damn thing out. They 6 monthed me for 2 years. Don't go out without a biopsy date. It doesn't even hurt, I had a local and went out to lunch with my hubby. The breast has very few nerves. Go for it. Don't let them put you off. Hugs, Shirlann

hummingbyrd's picture
hummingbyrd
Posts: 965
Joined: Sep 2002

Not to scare you but I was diagnosed w/ breast cancer at 38. No fam history, didn't smoke, breast fed boys, under 40...I'd ask for a CAD mammo(computer aided detection)MD reads it first, then comp digitalizes it and points out microscopic areas MD needs to look at closer. Stats show it picks up 15-20% more tumors than radiologist alone. Also ask for an ultrasound and a new thing they call 'sentinel node biopsy' If I understand right they inj you w/ a dye then x-ray and if there is any malignancy it shows up on x-ray then they can go in and remove it. Regarding biopsy when I had my lumpectomy (no needle biopsy, I refused) I said cut it out WHOLE! Slice it, dice it put it in a blender after you get it out of my body, but don't nick it while its in me. Just my personal preference. Hope this helps. Hummingbyrd. By the way I'm NO advocate of waiting, if you got something abnormal let's do something about it today! It's your body tell them how you feel and what you want and why you are concerned, if they don't listen and respect you concerns you need another MD.
God bless and good luck. LOL

nancur
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2002

Karen, If I were you, I would definitely have the node biopsied. You are risking a lot if you don't and it is cancerous. All you are risking if it's not is a little pain. I urge you to go with your gut and have it tested. I had no family history, I had the pain in the armpit...so please don't think you are overreacting. Best of luck to you.

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