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shellie562 02-25-2012 11:02 AM

My breast cancer WAS PAINFUL thus delaying diagnosis!!
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:( Sitting here this a.m....thinking about the events that have played out in my life in the past week I decided to share a portion of my own exp. in an effort to hopefully help others. So here goes....
I am 40 yrs. old & have had "tender" breasts most of my life. Due to my age & probably genetics as well, I have very dense breast tissue therefore mammograms have proven a waste of time EVERYtime...
A wk. prior to Valentine's Day I noticed an occasional ache in my left breast...later I noticed that when holding my Grandson, my breast was sore...soon after I began to notice that crossing my arms made my breast hurt...the pain wasn't constant & honestly my self diagnosis was a breast cyst which I had exp'ed 8 yrs. previous...Self exam didn't reveal any changes or lumps...My mind kept reverting back to all that I have read & also been told by Dr.'s...."Breast Cancer is almost never painful...." Still my instinct whispered that something wasn't right...Just for good measure & precaution, I sched'ed an appt. w/ my Family Dr...The 1st thing out of my Dr.'s mouth was that breast cancer is rarely painful & that was the point that he returned to many times during this & the next 3 visits. "....Painful...No palpable family history....You're young age...You have dense breasts...You have fibrocystic breasts....."---were all points that he (Dr.) made repeatedly of the course of the next month. A mammogram resulted in the usual "inconclusive" & an ultrasound was ordered to follow....I got dressed following the ultrasound & the tech came in to tell me I was being sent to a Women's Cancer Center that SAME DAY. When the oncologist reviewed my ultrasound he did a core biopsy & skin punch biopsy w/in the hr. My biopsies have now proven to me that Cancer isn't always painless & Dr.'s are often too eager to dismiss a pt. presenting w/ pain....
Just wanted to share my own experience. Listen to YOUR whisper. If you feel that something isn't right, it generally isn't!
Thanks for allowing me the platform to share:) Shellie

uptownJ 04-07-2012 08:38 PM

Re: My breast cancer WAS PAINFUL thus delaying diagnosis!!
Shellie, thank you for sharing your story... I am new to this board but have had breast cancer. My breast cancer was also missed by my yearly mammogram and I found a lump 7 months after my "clear" outcome. I was being checked in a breast diagnostic center in a large city but my breasts were also dense so I am sure the cancer had been missed by a year or two. Your story and mine are not that uncommon. Mammograms are not infallable. My advise to any woman who has dense breast tissue and has any kind of pain or something out of the ordinary needs to demand an MRI or some other diagnostic tool. When I finally had an MRI, the cancer showed up like a light bulb. I was diagnosed with Stage 2B IDC 1 node positive. ER+ PR+ Her2-. Mastectomy, 4 rounds of AC chemo, and 5 years of hormone blocking Femara. You and I did what we were supposed to do and the medical community failed us. I have found.... and I know you have too, you have to be your own best advocate. We are far from alone in this. I know another woman on another board who was also mis-diagnosed and she is going through treatment for her Stage 3C breast cancer.
Shellie, I am sure we have many "sisters" out there who could add to the stories. I hope there comes a time when an MRI is a standard for women with dense breast tissue.
Thanks again for bringing up your story. It allowed me to "vent" my frustration.
How are you doing now? I am coming up on my 5 year anniversary and will complete the hormone blocking therapy in January. Take care, Sharon

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