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Lump in breast/armpit area - recurrence or breast cancer?

Military wife
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2011

Has anyone heard of their cancer returning in the nodes in the breast/armpit area ? During my three month c/u I told my doc that I thought my port was bothering my side, and he found a lump I didn't feel during my self exams. I have a mammo and ultrasound on the 19th, but I'm scared. I've been in remission from stage three for a year now, and I'm worried it's in my lymph nodes in my armpit area now, or that it's breast cancer. Has anyone heard of two cancers like that either? Ugh! Thanks for any help. :-)

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2338
Joined: Jun 2010

Is it in your breast or underarm?

Yes, many of us have more than "heard" of two cancers like that and have had both breast and endometrial cancers. I've had both (diangosed only 4 days apart).

I hope your mammogram and ultrasound will put your mind at ease. There's nothing I can say to keep you from fretting about this I know, so I'll just send hugs and prayers to get you through this. Please let us know the results.

Suzanne

Military wife
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Suzanne, thanks for the reply. I'm sorry to hear you got hit by both ... Especially at the same time. To say that was overwhelming is, I'm sure, an absolute understatement.

My lump is in the side of the breast, a few inches below the armpit, although my soreness runs along the full contour of the breast where it meets the armpit and in the pit itself. When my doc was checking me and he hit the spot, I thought it was very painful. I heard cancer doesn't hurt, but lymph nodes do, so I've been nervous about a recurrence.

My docs are great here, I think. I'm nervous because I've only had one scan, and my docs won't do more because they said neither the scans or bloodwork are all that helpful with EC. My last mammogram was six months ago and it was clean, and I didn't have this pain at all. I've been super tired lately, and my joints (which have ached since chemo) are more achy than previously. I am trying to patiently and peacefully wait, but it's hard. The nights are really the time it hits ... Once the house is quiet and my daughter is in bed and my husband is already asleep. Silly, I know. I guess it's the only time I can't occupy my mind. Thanks again for your help and support. :-)

CindyGSD's picture
CindyGSD
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

It could be a fibroid. I had this problem several years ago...a lump and alot of pain on the outside of my breast radiating into my armpit. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Cindy

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2338
Joined: Jun 2010

until your mammogram and ultrasound. Be sure to ask for the results before you leave. I just went through this and the radiologist did give me the results (negative - whew) but I would have asked for them then and there if she hadn't. Otherwise, you'll be waiting for the radiologist to send the results to whoever orderd the tests and then you'll be sitting by the phone on pins and needles. I'm under the impression that once referred for the mammo and ultrasound, the radiologist will give you the results. Biopsy results, of course, take time for a pathologist to review.

Remember 80% (I think that's the number) of breast lumps are not cancer.

If your results are negative, which I hope they are, ask about a breast MRI. I asked the radiologist about this and she said it wasn't clinically indicated, but when I saw my pcp for followup a month later, she ordered one anyway. She said that she really think everything is ok with me (she can feel the lump, tho) but given my history, she would never forgive herself if she did not order an MRI. So she did and I'm happy she did.

So you go get your mammogram and ultrasound on the 19th and I'll get my breast MRI on the 20th and we'll both breathe a sigh of relief for the holidays. I'll be thinking about you.

Suzanne

Military wife
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2011

Well, Suzanne ... It looks like we've both got a countdown! I'll be praying for you too. I am so thankful to have met you on here. Our hospital here has a terrific breast center. And my doc has ordered that I be given the results on the spot, but I'd imagine if there's a lump they want to biopsy I'm sure I'll be waiting on that. How long have you been dealing with your cancers? Did you have both a hysterectomy and mastectomy at the same time?

That being so devastating, you have an amazing attitude. I have been trying to do the same. Especially as a I spend time with my daughter. She just turned 13, and I plan on watching her have kids one day so I just stay focused on that when I start to get too down. Cancer has sure turned my world around, but not all in bad ways.

I will be sending you lots of prayers, and please let me know about your results too. God bless!

Military wife
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks Cindy! I hope you are correct! I appreciate your support, and I am glad to hear your lump turned out to be non-cancerous ... Always scary to go through this. :-)

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2338
Joined: Jun 2010

Been watching for you to post on your mammogram and ultrasound, Military Wife. Did you get results?

Suzanne

Military wife
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2011

Well, my appointment was pushed, so sorry for the delay. I do appreciate the prayers! The mammogram and ultrasound show absolutely nothing. I asked if they could see my lymph nodes and he said yes, and they didn't seem swollen to him. As he pressed on them to show me with the ultra sound, I told him that was where my tenderness and pain was. He said it was probably nothing because they weren't swollen in his opinion.

Now, I'm relieved, but not sure about that lymph thing. I mean, if they hurt couldn't that be something? I have my radiation oncology follow up tomorrow so I'm gonna ask him. I guess this all makes me nervous because of how my cancer was discovered in the first place and the fact that everyone here seems to get PET scans and blood tests, but my doc does none. I mean, how do we know if it comes back somewhere other than the pelvic area without scans or blood to give us a heads up? My doc says there is no proof those tests help them catch recurrences, but it scares the snot out of me. I was already stage three by the time they agreed to give me a hysterectomy in the first place. From the age of 33 to 36, my primary doc referred me five times for the hysterectomy due to horrible periods or lack of any at all. I also have three generations of uterine cancer on my mom's side ... My mom had it at 20. It was discovered during my birth.

Maybe, I'm just reacting to my first guy docs failure to listen to me in Germany, but the military docs here don't seem much different. Should I be concerned that I'm not getting scans or bloodwork, and should I not worry about my lymph nodes?

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