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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Fibrocystic breasts?

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Author Topic: Fibrocystic breasts?
NoName
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Hello. I posted a couple of months ago about a scare I had with a large breast lump. I am only 23, yet, I was terrified and I actually went and got a breast ultrasound and mammogram. They were not able to find anything alarming on either of them. The radiologist showed my images to me and said that I am not even feeling cysts, or anything really, but that it was simply swollen tissue, probably due to a "bad cycle." The lump came up on my right breast, which is a bit larger than my left and he said that he could tell that the tissue was "asymmetrical." Meaning, I guess, that the right breast developed more than the left, and he said this is probably why I had the lump on that side..that is may have a tendency to hold more fluid than the left side. As far as I know, that is the only time I have ever had a lump (worth nothing though that I never checked for them so much until happened so it is just as likely that I have had many small lumps that I just never noticed.) Basically, I waited for my period to come, and sure enough, it came right on time (confirming that the lump came up right at ovulation time) and the lump literally shrunk 3 times over night, which I assumed it was a cycle related lump, just as the radiologist and my doctor had told me. It hasn't happened again since October...but I noticed today, that I feel a lump in my left breast and my right, they are smaller than the first time, and in a different spot (not to mention on BOTH breasts this time). My breasts are a little achy as well, which normally happens about a week after ovulation all the way up to my period.

I am trying not to worry about this because I have been thoroughly checked out less than 3 months ago, and was told "not to come back until I am 40 because it is unnecessary). I am hoping that these are cycle related, like last time, but honestly, this is really freaking me out, even though all signs point to nothing. I realize that at this point, another mammogram would be useless, nor could I afford it (had to pay 300 out of pocket!). I was wondering if you can give me some insight on this. Is what I am experiencing fibrocystic? I am confused because he told me that I didn't even have cysts, or any abnormality at all (ultrasound didn't show anything but normal tissue)...but yet, my supposedly "swollen tissue" sure feels like lumps. Can your breasts feel "lumpy" normally without the presence of cysts, and if so, what is it in the breast that can give this tactile feeling when swollen? Also, is it normal to not have issues like this throughout 12 years of having a menstrual cycle and then all of a sudden start having it? Is it hormonal changes as you age?

If it helps, I am NOT on any birth control, not pregnant, and have no other health issues or recent changes that would factor into this. Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me!

Posts: 172 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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First of all, hurrah to you for doing breast self-exams. It's pretty scary when we find changes in our breasts because we hear so much about breast cancer, but breast changes are pretty normal.

To put your mind at ease, could you go to your doctor and just have the doctor examine your breasts? This wouldn't necessitate having all the tests again, just going in, having your doctor take a look, and talking about your concerns.

Here's a Scarleteen article on breasts and breast health that will answer a lot of your questions:
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/abreast_the_basics_of_boobies

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Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NoName
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Thanks for the link. I have to go to the doctor in a couple of weeks to get a medication refilled, so I figure that by that time, my period would have come and I will see if the lumps go away then. If not, I will have the doctor look at them. This is really scary and I wish this hadn't started happening to me but I guess it is just one of those fun things about aging huh? I guess from the article that swollen "lobules" could cause a lumpy feeling, correct? Maybe that is what I am feeling. I remember the radiologist saying something about fibrocystic being a blanket term for any breast changes...but that doesn't seem sound if you you don't actually have cysts.
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Robin Lee
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Sounds like a good plan to bring it up with your doctor when you see them in a couple of weeks.

The funny thing about words is that they are sometimes misleading. Fibrocystic breast changes doesn't necessarily have to mean that there are cysts in the breasts. It's an umbrella term for different tissue changes.

Here's an article specifically on fibrocystic breast changes from www.webmd.com:
http://women.webmd.com/guide/fibrocystic-breast-changes-symptoms-treatments-causes

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Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NoName
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Thanks for the help Robin. I see that you are new here and I've read some of your replies to others, and so far, you are doing an excellent job! The volunteers on this site are always so supportive and helpful and I appreciate it bunches!
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Robin Lee
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I'm very glad that was helpful. Yes, I'm new to the boards though I've been hanging around Scarleteen for a while doing some other work behind the scenes.

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Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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