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Breast pain - waiting

Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Scared1 on Jan 8, 2020 10:49 pm

First off I apologize in advance for posting here as I have not yet received a cancer diagnosis but I am so scared! Im 35 and have a 9 month old baby. I started having a burning pain in my right breast about a month ago. It is very high up the breast almost onto the chest and towards the Center of my chest. I saw my doctor Monday and she said it’s at “2 o’clock.” She felt for lumps and said my breasts are naturally lumpy and dense but she didn’t feel anything concerning. She recommended I go to a women’s clinic 5 hours away for an ultrasound and mammogram ASAP. I have an appt for 5 days from now. In the meantime the thought of a cancer diagnosis has consumed me. I rock my baby and google breast pain and cancer symptoms over and over again. Has anyone experienced something similar in regards to the burning sensation? 

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by MCoaster on Jan 9, 2020 5:45 am

Please do not apologize for coming to this site.   We have all been where you are and know the waiting, feeling scared.  Being the mother of a young baby too....   This is a good site and I am sure others will chip in soon but I am wondering why you have to travel so far.  Is there not a hospital or clinic with an ultrasound and mammogram nearer?   Be careful about Googling because there is a lot of misinformation there.  Might I suggest a phone call to The Canadian Cancer Society?  It was how I found this site but they also had lots of other suggestions which helped a lot.    The unknown is very scary.   Obviously I am not a doctor so can only speak from personal experience.    I can relate to your worry though and please know that the people on this site are here for you.
Hugs to you and your beautiful baby.


Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by MCoaster on Jan 9, 2020 6:57 am

I have been thinking about you and would like to add that I know how hard it is not to sometimes think the worst but remember that often does not happen.   There must be many reasons for your symptoms so perhaps ask your doctor if you can have the investigations done sooner and nearer to home.

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Essjay on Jan 9, 2020 8:01 am

Scared1‍ welcome to the site - let’s all hope you are just here for a visit :)

Your worries and thoughts are totally understandable, and many of us have experienced the same as we wait for scans, results, biopsies. Our system is set up to investigate lumps to eliminate cancer, and to ensure that women receive treatment it they need it. You are starting a journey that involves a well-oiled machine of processes and procedures to take care of you.

I am sure you have heard that most lumps are nothing to be concerned about (the stats are around 70% - very much in your favour). Hopefully they can see what the problem is in your mammogram, but if they can’t they will do an ultrasound. There are all kinds of lumps and bumps that can occur in the breast especially in young women having monthly cycles, cysts and benign lumps for example. They will be able to tell very easily if it is a cyst, and some other abnormalities they may want to watch to see what happens in the next few months.

And yes, you could have breast cancer. If your mammogram shows any suspicion of cancer you should expect a biopsy - some lumps just cannot be diagnosed by the mammogram or ultrasound, but most of these will be benign (again I think the number is 70%). The numbers are something like 30% of women presenting with lumps for mammogram will need a biopsy and about 30% of those will have a malignancy. Less than 20% of breast cancers occur in women under the age of 50. That means the statistics are in your favour - please take some comfort from that.

How did I get through this time? Firstly, I made up my mind that my lump wasn’t cancer, and secondly I kept really busy. In fact, to distract me from the anxiety of my biopsy and waiting for the results we renovated our kitchen which was super stressful but a great distraction.

Let us know how your appointment goes - I will be thinking of you. Best wishes Essjay xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by ashcon on Jan 9, 2020 8:27 am

Hi Scared1
I wish MORE people without cancer would visit this site, as there is a lot of insight, wisdom, and tips from the lens of "I wish I knew (xyx) before my diagnosis". 

With that said, a wise person once told me to operate as if all is ok, unless and until told otherwise. 
It does no good to worry and spoil a perfectly good day over a situation that may not exist. 

Side note and tip: neither you or your doctor can tell if you have dense breasts simply by touch or feel. Only a mammogram can identify your density. 
And breast density is an important factor - both as an independent risk for getting breast cancer, and also for "masking" a tumour, because both tumours and dense tissue show up as white on a mammogram. 
Which is why it's great to also have an ultrasound done. They can detect a tumour that a mammogram may have missed. 

I see you are in Alberta. 
In Alberta, after your mammogram, your healthcare provider (family doctor) receives a report that has a description of your density in words or letters, Category A, B, C or D.
Categories C and D are considered dense. 
You can ask your provider what your report says. Better yet get a copy of all the radiologists reports being done next week 
Alberta is working on formalizing direct breast density notification for all women. The mammogram report will eventually be included in personal health portals in the near future as well.  Currently, there are clinics in Alberta, such as Mayfair, Canada Diagnostics, EFW, Pureform Radiology and MIC Medical Imaging that offer screening ultrasound to women with dense breasts, paid for by Alberta Health Services.  It is your choice where to get screened.

I wish I got copies of the reports done when I found a lump in my right breast when I was 37.
It was benign at the time, but at 53, I got a breast cancer diagnosis in the same breast. My surgeon asked if I had copies of those tests done 16 years earlier. I regret not having them. 

So that's my "I wish I knew ..." that I'm passing onto you, along with my sincere wishes that this is nothing to worry about.

Enjoy your day, and your beautiful baby, and let us know what you find out, ok? 
Rooting for you here in Ontario! 

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by MedieaVal on Jan 9, 2020 1:30 pm

Hi! I remember well the scared feeling when I wasc back after a mammogram. It turned out to be nothing that time but it was scary. My kids were young too then. 
Do you live in a remote community that you have to travel so far? 5 days isn't that long but it feels long when you're waiting and worrying. Try to keep busy (I'm sure you are busy with a young family☺️).
I'm not going to tell you to stay off the internet but be aware that there is a lot of misinformation there as well as good information. Use reliable sites and realize that statistics are based in older data. 
This really might well be nothing serious but you are smart to get checked. You are your best advocate. I wish you well and pray it's not cancer but, if it is, there are good people here for support. 
Let us know how you make out, ok?
PS I live in Alberta too: Edmonton

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Kims1961 on Jan 9, 2020 9:36 pm

Scared1‍   Welcome - I hope you will encourage others to connect on here- so glad you did.

It is so "normal" to be scared/worried/think the worse.  Sometimes trying to "stop it" makes us focus on it all the more. You have some great advice here.  I would only add - it's ok to think the worse - just try not to stay there.  Cancer can feel like we have no control - so dwelling on info/thinking the worse can give us some sense of control.  We can start to plan or prepare ourselves for worst case scenario.

That being said - it sounds like you are in really good hands.  I"m glad you're doctor - who although is not that concerned - is still taking it seriously and sending you on for testing.  Knowledge is power.  If anything - it will also give you a baseline.  Too many women ( and men)  find lumps and can be discounted or minimized.

We are here for you.  I've also had to travel for my tests - although the distance sucks - it is nice to be able to go to a center that specializes in breast cancer imaging.

Please let us know how it goes.  Give your baby extra cuddles.  Watch some of those great mom videos!


PS - when i found my lump it was by "luck".  It didn't hurt at all - no burning sensation - nothing...very tricky to find.
Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Scared1 on Jan 9, 2020 10:06 pm

Thank you all so, so much for your kindness and taking the time to reply. It means so so much to me in this time when all I can do is worry and stress, I am really trying not to think the worst but it’s so hard. Today I ended up with a burning pain between my shoulder blades in my back as well. It has lasted almost all day. My husband is trying to say the burning area I call on my breast is actually above my breast like it’s on my chest bone. I think he’s trying to stop me from worrying. I feel prepared to get bad news but all I can think of is my son possibly growing up without his mom and all I can do is cry. 

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Wendy Tea on Jan 9, 2020 10:45 pm

Scared1‍ It has been my experience that cancer is not painful. By the time it gets painful usually your body is very sick. Only the doctor knows what is going on. There are many possibilities. Pulled muscles.  Chest infection.  So let the doctor find out what is really happening.  It is important to stay healthy and focused. Concentrate on today. Dont waste time worrying on something that may not be correct. We want to know what is happening too so please stay in touch because we are here to support you.
Best wishes 
Wendy Tea 

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by MCoaster on Jan 10, 2020 1:35 am

As Wendy Tea says the symptoms you are experiencing could have many causes.   It is not too long before your appointments so hang in there and try not to overthink but live in the moment and the joy and love you have in your family.  Watch every little expression on your baby’s face and enjoy all the beauty.   For example sing baby songs if you feel like crying because the baby will like that more.  Sorry if I sound like a Hallmark card but as a mother and grandmother I know of what I speak.   I also know how emotional and tiring time it is when you have a baby so take care of yourself and stay strong.

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Charper on Jan 10, 2020 10:25 am

Dear Scared1‍ I am sorry that you find yourself here but you will find that there are truly amazing people on this site. All the feelings you are feeling are completely justified and waiting for appointments is painful but you can make it.  Try not to use Dr Google I found it made things worse...keep busy with your baby and take time for yourself...have a bath or a really long shower.  When I found myself here a few months ago I had a burning pain in between my shoulders and in my arm...stress and anxiety have a weird way of appearing in your body...get a magic bag or heat pad, it helped for me. Keep sharing on this site and remember you are a strong, amazing, beautiful woman...stay strong, sending hugs and love

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Ten_minutes on Jan 11, 2020 11:17 am

I am sorry you are spending time worrying about cancer. It is a hard thing to wrap your mind around. Waiting for tests and results are very difficult. You mentioned you had dense breasts, please make inquiries into an MRI for diagnosis. I had dense breasts and my 2018 mammogram did not show my breast cancer - just a little shadow that they ignored. Then in 2019 I found a lump and the mammogram was exactly the same as my 2018 test. But, because I could feel a lump they gave me an ultrasound. The ultrasound still didn’t show the cancer, I had to actually take the doctor’s hand and guide the ultrasound wand over the lump. If you have dense breasts sometimes you need an MRI to show the cancer. However, if it is something that is not seen on the mammogram/ultrasound it usually should be a very small treatable mass. Maybe even not cancer.  I hope you will keep us updated after your tests. I will send you good thoughts that it is just a sore breast/chest/back. In the meantime, enjoy the cuddles from your sweet 9 month old. They grow up so fast.
Take care
Trish (Ten_minutes)

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Scared1 on Jan 13, 2020 1:49 pm

Ladies I just wanted to update you. Had mammogram and ultrasound today and all came back clear. I needed cpr during labour (fentynal in epidural went to my brain and I coded.) I had cpr and they believe the pain I’m feeling is related to a fractured sternum I suffered. I’m so relieved and so thankful. Thank you all for being so kind. I wish you all the best in your journeys <3

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by MCoaster on Jan 14, 2020 7:04 am

What amazing news.   I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from every one here.

With best wishes and hugs to you and your family.



Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Essjay on Jan 14, 2020 7:26 am

Scared1‍ thats the best news - so pleased your scan is clear. I can hear the smile on your face.

Best wishes to you for many more clear mammograms and In the nicest possible way, I say let’s hope we don’t see you on here again eh 😉
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by ashcon on Jan 14, 2020 8:49 am

This is great news, Scared1‍ .
Your presence here has been a gift, and your story an education in self advocacy but, as Essjay‍ says, I hope we don't see you here again! 

Take care. 

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by MedieaVal on Jan 14, 2020 8:59 am

Scared1‍  I'm very happy for you although a fractured sternum isn't easy either. Wishing you a speedy recovery! 

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Wendy Tea on Jan 14, 2020 9:33 am

Scared1‍  What a blessing in disguise! Too bad it had to be such a scary experience. Thanks for the update! 

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Treepeo on Jan 14, 2020 10:45 am

Hi Scared1‍,

I am so happy to hear that you do not have cancer!  I am sorry you are in pain, and I hope they can do something to help you with that.  But at least you don't have to deal with this dreadful disease.  Whew!

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Jan 14, 2020 1:07 pm


Thank you so much for circling back to give us such great news. As you can tell, had the news been different you would have been surrounded by so many supporting members. But now I want to tell you to log off and go enjoy your beautiful little one.
Wishing you well while you heal from the sternum injury

Take care

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Ten_minutes on Jan 17, 2020 12:04 pm

That is wonderful news that it is not cancer. I hope you are able to relax and enjoy the cuddles and dreams of the future.

Re: Breast pain - waiting

Posted by Charper on Jan 19, 2020 11:00 am

So happy to hear Scared1‍ What a relief. Heal well and enjoy very day. Take care.