Dense breast tissue - but really painful

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Loujay
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Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 3/24/2017 4:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all. Just seeking some advice.
Mid last year, I noticed a lump behind a nipple. This nipple has always been inverted (whereas the other one has always been normal). This year, I decided to get it check out as it had grown and the nipple is now permanently stuck inverted because of the lump behind it. My doctor didn't do an exam but sent me for a mammogram +/- ultrasound, but because I'm a few months shy of 35, they said they would only do the ultrasound unless they saw a need to do a mammogram on the ultrasound. No problem.

The results were that it looks like normal dense breast tissue. She showed me on the screen, the lumpy breast compared to the non-lumpy, and she (and the radiologist) were satisfied it was all normal and no need to do a mammogram as there is no family history of breast cancer. I was happy with this.

Issue is that this lump behind my nipple hurts lately. In the shower just before I accidentally bumped it and the pain was unbearable. The nipple also gets itchy from time to time. Is this normal for dense breast tissue? The lump is a little smaller than a ping pong ball and is directly behind the nipple. This just doesn't feel normal, but at the same time the sonographer and radiologist were happy with the appearance and if anything, ultrasounds should show up any area of concern...right?!?

I'm 34, have no regular cycle as I have a Mirena IUD, and the other breast doesn't hurt at all, no tenderness. Appreciate any advice!

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 14831
   Posted 3/24/2017 7:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Loujay & welcome to Healing Well. If this were me I would get myself back to the dr. You indicate this has become somewhat worse since the mammo. I would get seen with whichever dr can see you the quickest. It is awesome the mammo & ultrasound checked out great. That is the kind of a report we all want. However, I would be seeing the dr again.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Loujay
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 3/27/2017 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks straydog, I have an appointment tomorrow morning.It definitely feels wrong. It may just be a cyst but I think the doctor needs to take a look, if for reassurance than anything else.

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 14831
   Posted 3/28/2017 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Loujay, so happy that you are seeing the dr. Please post back & let us know how the appt went.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Loujay
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 3/29/2017 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Susie, GP didn't do an exam because he felt it wouldn't add anything further but referred me straight to a breast surgeon. GP suspects duct ectasia. He gave me a script fo antibiotics just in case it suddenly gets worse, red, more swollen and painful - grateful to have that just in case rather than have to make an appt and go back for it! The surgeon appointment is in 3 weeks but they said they would call if they had any cancellations. I actually thought 3 weeks was pretty good! GP said he may do a biopsy or just remove the lump altogether.

Loujay
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/13/2017 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Some updates. I got in to see the surgeon earlier because he had a cancellation. He said the lump is unusual and he's not sure what it is. Referred me for another ultrasound and mammogram. The reports indicated that it may be thickened skin, but he's still not convinced - neither am I because the lump swells, shrinks, swells again, is tender. Doesn't seem normal for just skin and it has totally changed the appearance of the nipple which is now misshapen from what it was originally. He's booked me for an open biopsy in hospital in a couple of weeks, he didn't think a punch biopsy would be a sufficient enough sample.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 14831
   Posted 4/17/2017 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Loujay, just read your post. I am very happy to read you got an earlier appt with the surgeon. I am glad this dr is doing the biopsy so you can find out once & for all what is going on here.

Please keep us posted. Sending many healing thoughts & prayers your way. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Loujay
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/10/2017 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
The biopsy has been done a couple of days ago - they took an oval shaped piece with part of the thickened skin of the areola as well as some breast tissue. What they didn't expect to find in there when they made the incision was an infection, lots of pus. They cleaned it all out so there's no need for me to be on antibiotics and have left a soft drain poking out through the stitches. I was too scared to look the first day - I expected a hard tube! But it's nothing like that. The incision is about an inch long - so bigger than I expected but the pain has been surprisingly minimal - more of an occasional sting than actual pain. There has been a little bit of drainage. Doesn't hurt to touch. I go back next week for results and removal of the stitches (which were going to be dissolvable until the surgeon discovered the infection) and the drain. I was able to comfortably wear a bra yesterday which made me happy! I go back to work next week and I wanted to be able to wear a bra smile

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 14831
   Posted 5/11/2017 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Loujay, by chance did the dr say what would have caused the infection? If you can remember I would ask on your return visit. So very glad to read they were able to clean the area out well. Very good sign there is no pain when the area is touched.

Hopefully after you see the dr, this whole experience will be in your rear view mirror. Will be praying for the very best outcome for next week. Please come back & let us know how things go.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Loujay
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/11/2017 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Susie, my recollection is a little bit foggy, but I don't think they mentioned the cause of the infection. The lump is still there though so I'm not sure it will all resolve via the drain. I have had a little bit of pain above where the drain is so I'm not sure if something is draining from higher up. The funny thing is that I went through all this because of the lump under the areola, but there was areola thickening as well. Maybe because of the lump which caught my attention they will find the cause of the thickening.I don't have any other symptoms of Paget's besides that so I'm hopeful that it is not anything serious. I always tend to worry and think worse case scenario but not this time. I feel I don't know what I don't know and will just have to (patiently!) wait to find out a cause. Thank you for your reply smile

Loujay
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2016
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/17/2017 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
The results are in: plasma cell mastitis. Rare, incurable, untreatable. Benign and not a precursor to cancer so that is good. The only known option to relieve the abscess is surgically, but this is not a cure and it could constantly recur, as well as run the risk of developing fistulas. The biopsy and sample of the abscess they took did not grow bugs, so it's not an infection that can be treated with antibiotics. There is very little information about it.
The surgeon did say the wound may not heal, and could reopen. I am trying to keep it closed with butterfly strips. He will review the healing next week.
It was a bit of a rollercoaster of a day - relief it's not anything fatal yet despair at it being something that can't be cured. I just have to hope that it won't continue to cause problems.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 14831
   Posted 5/18/2017 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Loujay, so very glad to read not cancer but with that said I understand the feeling of despair. I am hoping the surgeon was giving you the worst case scenario. I will have to dig around & see what I can find on this. If I find something interesting I will let you know.

In the meantime we will pray that this heals up nicely & you don't have any more problems with this. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums
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