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Gecko
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Performing a monthly breast self-exam is the first step in detecting breast cancer.

How Often to you do a Breast Self-Exam?
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Votes accepted starting: 05/04/08 04:48 PM
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This is such an important topic. We all need to take the time to do this more often.




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Gecko
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I posted this question in the breast cancer forum, but since there doesn't seem to be activity there, thought I would post it here:

Six months ago, my mammo showed a suspicious spot. Follow up digital mammo and ultrasound looked benign, so they said have a 6 month follow-up.

Did that. The area looks bigger, but likely still okay. They'll be doing an u/s guided core needle biopsy in a week (first chance I could fit in between their schedule openings and my wacky schedule), to make sure there aren't any precancerous or cancerous cells hangin' out in there. Oh, goody -- a new life experience! ;-)

But my question is -- can the bit of enlargement in the cyst be due to being premenstrual? (And I've got the appetite to prove it, as well as the breast tenderness.) And if so, is it likely to reverse itself after my period starts -- which should be before the biopsy. I think it would be kind of funny, in a perverse way, if the growth since Oct. disappeared between now and the biopsy..

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Hi Ms A,

If the cyst is a fibrocystic lump (which is benign) then it will increase in size and be tender just before your period starts. Many times fibrocystic lumps will disappear during your period. Your doctor must not be convinced that the suspicious spot is fibrocystic and that's why he wants to do the needle biopsy.

I will keep you in my thoughts as you wait for the test day to get here and then for the results. Waiting for results can be absolutely grueling.

Please keep us posted!

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Gecko
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Thanks. The biopsy is tomorrow, the results in 2-4 days (and I suspect it will be on the 4 side, so I won't worry about it until then.)

I've already figured, what's the worst case? It's cancer and we treat it. The best case? Benign. And, of course, middling one, it is precancerous, and we treat that.

Heck, at least I won't have to deal with premenstrual breast tenderness during the biopsy!

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Ms. A,

Hope everything went smoothly today. Just wanted you to know you were in my thoughts. Keep us posted.


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Gecko
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Thanks -- the biopsy was a piece of cake. (Well, not literally...)
I've felt far worse going to the dentist.

The radiologist thinks it will come up benign, and I figure she sees this sort of thing day in and day out, so probably has a clue. They actually had a bit of a time finding the darned thing with the ultrasound, but they were more wily than the cyst, so found it.

I'll get the official results no later than Wednesday, but I'm expecting good news.

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Just got the results -- benign, fibroadenoma, which, according to my research, is one of the types not exhibiting any associating with breast cancer development. Yeah!

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Yea! What wonderful news!!! laugh

I'm so happy for you!

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I've read that up to 90% of breast changes caused by breast cancer are found by the woman herself during a breast self-exam. I don't know if that's an accurate figure, but regardless, this is one of the most important (and easiest) things we can do to lower our risk of breast cancer. Here's a good reference guide:

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Gail Armanini, Editor
Breast Cancer Site *** Breast Cancer Forum

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