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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » Possible Breast Cysts

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Author Topic: Possible Breast Cysts
Bun Bun
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So for a couple of months now I've been experiencing breast pain. At first I thought it was from guitar, because the breast that hurts is pushed up against the edge of it. But I noticed that even when I didn't play that it still hurt. I've done self exams, but I wasn't sure. Today I went to my yearly physical/gyn appointment and I asked her to check my breasts. Lo and behold, she felt what is probably cysts. She's sending me for an ultrasound, and possibly a mammogram if they deem it's necessary.

To be honest, I'm a little scared. I've never dealt with something like this. I know it's not incredibly serious- my doctor didn't seem INCREDIBLY concerned. And one of the first things she told me is that it doesn't feel like cancer, and since there's no history of breast cancer in my family it's incredibly unlikely. Huge sigh of relief there. But I'm still upset. I feel like my breasts are a HUGE part of my sexuality and my confidence. I very much love being a woman, and my breasts are so much a part of that. Having something wrong with them just feels so... Horrible.

In the meantime, my doctor has suggested that I try taking my Nuvaring continuously. So I have enough prescription to do that until the next time to go in. I don't think I'm going to though... I really don't like skipping periods. I did it once while I was on the pill and I felt sick all month. It just wasn't a good experience. I also like the reassurance that I'm not pregnant [Razz]

I'm thinking though- and my doctor suggested this too- that the cysts could have been caused by Nuvaring and that I should try another form of birth control. I've been on Nuvaring since school started, and before I was on it I never noticed any breast pain. So perhaps it's the culprit?

Anyways, I'm posting in Support Groups because I would love some support from others who have had cysts, or people who know more about them than me. I feel like even though I've read so much on the internet I'm still in the dark about whether they can be cured, how to manage the symptoms, what treatments can be done, etc!

Also, I'd love an e-hug. Between this, having a cold all winter break and the stress of next semester which starts Monday... I just feel like I've been hit with a truck.

[ 01-06-2011, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: Bun Bun ]

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Heather
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E-hugs it is! [Smile]

Your doctor probably already told you this, but you should also know that people with breast cancer don't usually experience breast pain: lumps which are about cancer usually go undetected because no one feels them at all.

I don't think it's sound to leap to worries about losing your breasts, okay? I totally get that it's scary for you, and I hear your feelings about it. But -- and hopefully this doesn't make you panic more, the goal here is less -- we're all way more likely to get into a car accident where we have serious injury to, say, our breasts, than to need a mastectomy.

Cystic or fibrous breasts are incredibly common: around half of all women have them at some point in our lives. They're nothing to "cure" at all, because they're benign. They can even be caused by something as minor as drinking coffee. Since tenderness is usually the only issue, treatment is usually just a matter of taking an analgesic if they hurt at all. In the case pain becomes really severe, a provider can drain the cysts with a very fine needle.

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Bun Bun
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Thanks Heather. Yeah, I've calmed down a LOT since earlier. You're right, I don't need to worry about needing a mastectomy. Sometimes my brain goes a bit crazy; I tend to think the absolute WORST.

The more I read about cystic breasts, the more I feel better about it. Most of the sources I've read though say that it's most common in women in their 30s. Being only 20, I guess I'm just lucky :/

I also feel a lot better now because my mom came home and gave me lots of hugs and we talked. I'm planning to make my ultrasound appointment tomorrow (they were closed by the time I got home today).

Really, thanks again. It helps to have a rational voice when things like this come up [Smile]

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Heather
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If it makes you feel any better, I've always had them, and know full well it's because I mainline coffee. [Smile]

My mother did have breast cancer (and survived it), so I get the worry about that, for sure, but even after that happened, I knew that my fibrous breasts weren't any indication of that, they just make looking for lumps a little trickier.

If you want some help making sure you're doing breast exams properly with fibrous breasts so you can stay relaxed about this, be sure to ask your doctor to help with that. Some have models of what cancerous lumps feel like so you can feel the difference, which you can then feel clearly is very different indeed.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Bun Bun
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Hmmm... I'm wondering if it might be slightly connected to the amount of tea I've started drinking since I've started university. Though, the tea I drink has about half the caffeine content of coffee.

Yay for your mom being a survivor! And that's a great idea to ask my doctor for help regarding breast exams. I've always known HOW to do them, but interpreting them is a completely different story. They had those models back in health class when I was in highschool, but that was 4 years ago so I definitely don't remember what I'm looking for.

I'll probably be going in for a checkup after I get the ultrasound done so I'll make a note to ask then.

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Heather
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Estrogen is also often part of the picture, so the fact that you use a hormonal method of birth control could also be part of your why, too.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Bun Bun
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Well I have been on hormonal birth control for... 3 years now? However, I just switched to Nuvaring about 5-6 months ago. Before that, I wasn't really noticing any breast pain.
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Heather
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Even if it IS your why, though, doesn't mean you have to stop using it. Again, fibrocystic breasts aren't an illness, just something that happens. A variation, if you will.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Bun Bun
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Is there anything other than taking an analgesic that can reduce the pain then? It's not very painful, more of an annoyance than anything. Especially when I'm playing guitar. And while the pain isn't bad, it's pretty consistent.

I guess these are questions I should be asking my doctor. Unfortunately I have a great mix of being impatient, and, being a biology student, I want to know everything [Razz]

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Heather
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You can try wearing a very supportive sports bra: the kind that actually bind pretty tightly. That can help a lot.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Bun Bun
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I think I might try that. I need a good supportive sports bra anyways. I'm a 32, sometimes 34D and finding good bras is so hard!
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CoatRack
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Frog bra is great.

I mean, granted, your breasts won't move.

Ever.

But you want support...

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Hey folks, my name is Andrew and I was a mod here for awhile a couple years ago. I'll be here for a couple weeks while Heather is out and the site is even more short-staffed than usual

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