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Old 03-06-2006, 12:09 PM   #1
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Question Regarding Cysts

I'm a 47 year old, pre-menopausal women. My yearly mammogram showed a "density" which they needed to investigate further.

I had an ultrasound done today on my right breast. Consensus on results was that it is "most likely" a cyst, very small and it kept moving as they passed the wand around the breast (which a tumor wouldn't do). They suggested a followup mammo and ultrasound in 6 months.

I'm pretty much ok with that, I'm well educated about these things, however, there is a small nagging voice in my head.

The reason for the voice is my mom died from breast cancer and it was very aggressive. From diagnosis until her demise, if I remember correctly it was less than 2 years. And she originally was given a very good prognosis but apparently this thing went haywire, which they had not expected.

I know that cysts pretty much NEVER turn into cancer however, since the doctor at the facility did not say "definitly" a cyst, I'm wondering if I should have some kind of other follow-up on the matter.

I never felt a lump, nor did my GYN (I had my yearly only a few months back). The "density" is buried quite deeply in my breast, they had a difficult time finding it w/the ultrasound. I imagine even if a breast surgeon wanted to aspirate it as a precaution, it might be a difficult thing to reach. But of course, I'm no expert

Anyway, has anyone been through this or know the correct protocal to follow? I already called my doctor to discuss this further with her (after all she knows my family history better than the diagnostic center).

Thanks!
Laurie

 
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:09 PM   #2
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Re: Question Regarding Cysts

I'm 54 and also peri-menopausal. (STILL!) Three months ago I found a lump in my right breast. My breasts are very dense and lumpy, but on self examination this one felt different. I saw my primary doctor and she had me make appointments for a diagnostic mammo, ultrasound, and referred me to a breast surgeon. I talked to the radiologist after the exams and he said the area where I felt the lump was thickening of the breast. The ultrasound
showed another very small lump, probably a cyst. On my left breast they took several xrays because they found a spot of calcifications. He said everything was probably benign and I should be re-examined in 6 months. Sound familiar?
Both he and my primary doctor encouraged me to keep the appointment with the breast surgeon because they thought she would be a better judge, being she was used to seeing patients with breast lumps. She did another ultrasound on the right breast and measured the lump, and looked at what was probably a cyst and measured that. She wanted to see me in three months, (not 6) which turns out to be this Wednesday. In the meantime a pea-sized lump has turned up on my left breast.....luckily she has an ultrasound in her office and will be able to look at that, so I don't have to wait forever. I know the radiologist is perfectly competent, but I feel more secure having the surgeon take care of things because it's more of a one on one approach. My mother also had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and lived for 5+ years cancer free. Unfortunately, she then developed lung, brain and liver cancer and did not survive. Her doctors say the cancer was not related, but I question that....she never had radiation or chemo after the breast surgery. Because you have a family history, you might want to consult with a breast surgeon. Your primary care doctor can give you a referral. I felt better after the appointment.....mostly because if I do have to have a biopsy, or lump removed, I'm familiar with the doctor.
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:05 AM   #3
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Re: Question Regarding Cysts

Thank you so much for your lengthy response. I think you are doing the right thing for sure. I called my doctor's office late yesterday, spoke to the nurse for a while and she's having my doctor call me today to discuss this further. I have already decided that I'd like to see a breast surgeon, better to put this in the hands of an expert.

BTW, my mom's cancer also matastized, to her bones, everywhere. That was what eventually killed her. She did have radiation however, and had been in remission for less than a year when she started having severe hip pains. That's when they discovered the cancer had spread and was eating away at her bones.

Thanks again and best of luck to you! Keep us posted!
Laurie

 
Old 03-07-2006, 10:38 AM   #4
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Re: Question Regarding Cysts

Hello I am 41 and going through the same thing. A cyst appeared 2 years ago, small movable. My ob/gyn aspirated it 3 times since then, sent out to lab, all ok but it still comes back! I made them aware of it for my mammogram last year, as a precaution, I have to go every 3 months for ultrasound of it. Now 6 months since there is no change. I too worry, I have my checkup in 1 month see what the doctor wants to do. I am told it is harmless cyst, very frustrating it keeps coming back. I would keep on top of it with the doctor & if they say keep getting it checked do so, it is a nuisance but better safe than sorry. I understand your worry with having a family history.

 
Old 03-16-2006, 06:48 PM   #5
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Re: Question Regarding Cysts

Well I am a 32 and I quit nursing my daughter in September...About Late December I noticed my left breast would sink in if I lifted my arm....I contacted my doctor and she did an exam and told me to return in 1 month....Went back for my check up, she felt no obvious lumps but sent me for a diagnostic bilat anyways, I had that done on 2/6...Than I had to have an ultrasound..The results are as follows: The tissue of both breasts is heterogeneously dense. This may lower the sensitivity of mammography. There are multiple benign appearing scattered densities in both breasts. No other significant masses, calcifications, ot other findings are seen in either breast...That is the mammo report...This is the ultrasound report: There is a 7mm oval mass with a circumscribed margin in the right breast at 8 o'clock in the middle depth. This oval mass is hypoechoic with posterior acoustic enhancement. Ultrasound impression: BENIGN

The 7mm oval mass in the right breast at 8 o'clock in the middle depth is consistent with a complicated cyst and appears benign. They told me I would not have to return until 40 years of age when I left the ultrasound, than they send me a letter telling me to have a follow up in 6months.....I am confused at what to think.....No family DX of breast cancer....I just wanted to see if anyone else has had this kind of thing? Thanks, Ralinda

 
Old 03-28-2006, 04:08 PM   #6
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Re: Question Regarding Cysts

I have gone thru similar experiences with both calcifications and cysts. I am followed by a breast surgeon at a highly recognized womans hospital. The last visit the surgeon said that its the radiologists that recommend to biopsy or not. He said it in a matter fact, its ironic but its not the dr that does the proceedure that recommends if it needs to be done.

 
Old 03-29-2006, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: Question Regarding Cysts

I had the same thing happen to me. Matter of fact that was last week. However the diff is that the Radiologist said he wants to do a Biopsy because my mom had Breast Cancer too. Better safe then sorry.
So I am playing the waiting game.

 
Old 02-05-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: Question Regarding Cysts

I think women need to be push for better imaging diagnostics. Computers are strong enough now that we should have powerful pattern recognition software that reduces the need for so many biopsies.

Cystic breast changes are a normal condition for women, moreso when we are middle-aged. Too many of us are losing large amounts of money, time, and emotional well-being because of excessive use of biopsies. We need better tools to tell when they are actually needed. The diagnostics right now are at the level of not being able to tell a freckle from a melanoma. Can you imagine if we kept getting surgery for freckles?

Be well, speak out, connect,
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