Newbie with questions

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Lumpycrohnie
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/22/2010 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Folks,
 
I'm 45 years old, and I found a lump in my breast 2 months ago. After a few weeks, I saw my family doctor as it didn't go away, and once she felt the lump, I was referred to our major hospital woman's breast center, where I saw the specialist 2 weeks ago. I just returned from the mammogram and ultrasound that  the doctor scheduled to confirm his diagnosis of fat necrosis. Apparently that is not the problem after all and I'm now scheduled for a biopsy. I'm keeping positive that it is most likely a benign mass, but I was wondering if there's a certain "feel" to tumours? This specialist was very certain it was fat necrosis and seemed rather surprised that it wasn't.
I have a high incidence of breast and ovarian cancer in my family including my mother (ovarian) and both my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother with breast cancer. My grandmother on my dad's side had ovarian cancer too. I've been curious if I should be requesting genetic testing, even if this lump hopefully turns out to be benign. I sort of wonder if it's better to know, or just worry every time something goes wrong with your breast if this is the time?? What are the opinions of others out there???
 
I've had previous simple cysts, a rash that was unexplained, previously investigated nipple discharge and so far (touch wood) I've been fortunate and have had non-cancerous reasons for my breast problems. My fingers and toes are crossed again, but any advise would be welcome.
 
Thanks,
 
Bev

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 6/24/2010 5:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Bev. I had posted a reply to your message, but it has disappeared. Hmmm... Anyway, I think keeping positive is a good choice. As our friend MK would say: No sense worrying until you know you have something to worry about.

As far as the genetic testing goes, there are a lot of advertisements out there encouraging women to be tested for BRCA, and I'm not sure why that is. A very low percentage of breast cancers are genetically linked to BRCA 1 or 2, and that is what they test for. Genetic counselors typically review your family history carefully before testing, and they decide who the most likely candidate in the family is to have tested. It is typically someone who has actually been diagnosed with breast cancer at an early age (before the age of 40). In my family, I was the best candidate for the testing. Despite the fact that they didn't know which side of my family was more suspicious, I was negative for either gene. That doesn't mean that other genetic links play into my breast cancer, but not BRCA 1 or 2.

My questions would be: Would you do anything differently if you knew you were positive? You are obviously proactive with your breast health care. Would you opt to have a prophylactic double mastectomy if you knew you were positive? Will your insurance cover your testing? It is a very pricey test, so money might be a deciding factor. And finally, who else might be impacted by a positive finding? I waited until my girls were old enough to decide whether or not they wanted to know. I didn't want to take them shopping for their first training bras knowing that their budding breasts were ticking time bombs! When they both said they would like for me to have the testing, I pursued it. For me, it was really a moot point by then.

Because of my family history of ovarian cancer, by the way, they did recommend that I consider a total hysterectomy, and that my girls consider it as soon as they have their families completed.

Hope this helps. When will your biopsy happen? Let us know and we'll send out the B-9 chant for you!

Hugs...
BEV
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz


Frayda
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 6/29/2010 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
It seems to me that you have enough family history to warrent some concern. Genetic testing is not something to fear; it provides valuble information. Being well informed helps us make important decisions. There will be many treatment options presented to you, even if this turns out to be benign. You are your best advocate. Now is the best time to learn as much as you can so you can make to right choices for you! I have a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer. 10 years ago I enrolled in a special breast surveillence program for high risk women at a major brest cancer center in NY. They found my cancer very  early on an MRI. It did not show up on either mammo  or ultasousnd. You might have similar options.  Good luck with your biopsy! Let us know how you make out.  We are here to help you through this!
Frayda

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/1/2010 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Frayda, that is really good input on the genetic testing. I agree, it is not really something to be afraid of, and good things can come out of it.
Hugs to you girl! And again, thanks for posting! I know people want to hear more than my opinion! Wish more would post!


BEV
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz

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