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Breast Cancer

Breast lump

08/10/2009

Question:

I am 45 years old and about a month ago felt a lump in the upper and towards the outer quadrant of my right breast. It is not a round lump but rather an irregular lenthwise oval shape, and I have no pain at all. It does not seem to move much and is about a half inch. It appeared out of the blue and has remain the same since first discovered. It seems more on the hard side and has more of a rough texture rather than smooth. This breast is slightly larger than the left and the nipple is pointed downward slightly and does not match the left.

My last mammogram was in June 2006. I cannot afford a doctor, et cetera, but can get a low-cost screening mammogram when my next payday rolls around.

Should I go for the mammogram? I would feel really silly if this is just a cyst.

Does this sound like more of a cyst or a fatty lump?

Thanks for your help and guidance.

Answer:

This absolutely needs to be evaluated. If you obtain a low cost screening mammogram, and it is negative (normal), this still needs to be evaluated by a physician that can do a needle biopsy. I would call your local American Cancer Society, or your local health department, or the local Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer organization and find what resources are available for low-income women in your community to evaluate breast concerns. Many, if not all, hospitals have programs that allow uninsured patients access with payment plans structured over time. Do not be shy about asking for this type of help. While this lump is likely to be benign, any mass in the breast such as you describe needs a full evaluation and even mammogram may not be enough. Breast cancer is most curable when diagnosed early, so delay for financial reasons becomes a real concern. I hope you can find some resources to help you out to get this resolved.

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Response by:

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