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    Those Old "They Found a Lump" Blues

    "We Found A Lump..."
    We are running, walking, biking and even skydiving to raise awareness and fund research for breast cancer. We are all familiar with the topic, but are any of us prepared for the words, “We found a lump…” from our doctor?  I know I wasn't.  I have since found out that a lump does not have to be a cause of major panic. I wish I had know that then.

    A Positive Mammogram
    I went for a routine mammogram. When the results came back, there were some irregular areas and I needed an ultrasound exam. The doctor assured me that it was probably nothing, but she wanted to be sure.  The sonogram results came back two weeks later. There were two lumps about two centimeters each and I would need to see a surgeon. My best friend had just finished radiation and chemo for breast cancer. I called her and cried.

    Finding A Surgeon
    I have no family history of breast cancer, but 75% of women diagnosed have no known genetic link to the disease. 80% of the lumps that are found in routine exams are benign. That meant 20% of the lumps were cancerous. The search for the surgeon did not make me feel any better. The first two receptionists I talked to told me it would be six to eight weeks before I could make an appointment. I wanted to scream! I had been told that I needed to see a surgeon about a lump in my breast and they were too busy to fit me into their schedules? On the third try I reached a lifeline. This receptionist was calm and sympathetic. She assured me that most of the patients in my situation were found to have noncancerous growths and she gave me an appointment for the following week. I don't remember anything else from that afternoon.

    No News May Not Be Good News
    At the office, the doctor reviewed the films with me and examined my prize lumps. We talked about my options and decided that a core needle biopsy would be the best course of action. It took three weeks to get the biopsy. I was a wreck. The worst part of the ordeal was that I was convinced that I had nothing to worry about. Everyone, including me, was confident that the results would show fibroadenomas. That meant no cancer. So why was I having trouble sleeping and finding it impossible to concentrate on anything? The more I stressed out, the more I berated myself for not being able to cope with a routine procedure.

    The Biopsy
    The biopsy was easy compared to the weeks of worry and waiting. The results showed no cancerous cells. The lumps are still there and I will need to have a checkup every six months to make sure that everything is ok. My daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on the day that my biopsy was scheduled. I will be able to watch her grow and enjoy being a grandmother. I am one of the lucky ones. Even if the lumps had turned out to be cancer, they were small enough to give me a good chance for surviving. I am back in control of my life and my emotions. I know that if I had been diagnosed with cancer, I would have been able to get through it. My life is full of people who love and support me. I am grateful for the chance to appreciate how fortunate I am.

    So That's Why This Site Exists!
    In the time that I waited for my biopsy, I tore through the Internet, the library and bookstores searching for information about what was happening to me. There was plenty of information, but it was scattered and hard to follow. This site is a result of that experience. I did find out that the most important steps that we can take to protect ourselves from breast cancer are breast self examination and getting mammograms on a regular basis. If breast cancer is diagnosed early the cure rate is over 90%. If a lump is found - it's normal to be afraid. If a cancerous lump is found, work with your doctor to make yourself a survivor!

    Last updated April 21, 2017


     

     

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