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Breast Cancer

Lump but ultrasound showed nothing

09/19/2007

Question:

I found a small lump in my right breast. The doctor performed an ultrasound but could not find anything on it. She said it was probably something about a change in my diet. Well, the area grew larger for about six months then seemed to go away for a couple months. It is back, bigger than ever. It grows larger during my menstrual cycle (also very painful) then decreases but there is still a mass there. Do I stick with the original diagnosis? Does it sound like a cyst maybe?

Answer:

Most lumps in the breast deserve further work-up. Cysts can get larger and smaller, varying with the menstrual cycle, and can be painful. If it is a cyst, and can be felt, an ultrasound should show that. If the lump can be felt but not seen by imaging, a needle can be placed in the area to be sure it is not cancerous. I would recommend you see a breast surgeon for a second opinion to see if the area should be sampled with a needle or a biopsy.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University