Breast lump and underarm

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Hi I will be making an appt with my GP soon..but ive been too scared to confront what my lump is so far and found myself here. I am now 48 years old....It started off a pea sized breast lump on the left side about 12/14 years ago with a discharge from both nipples.. my GP then said lots of women get discharge its nothing to worry about..so I left it all this time.

The lump has grown and is now approx the size of a 50p piece hard and both nipples still have discharge if i express it...a muddyish colour id say and stickyish. sometimes lately the lump area has been stinging a bit, and im not sure how long ive had this, but i noticed a large soft lump in my left armpit. not painful, i noticed it first when i stretched to reach something and it tugged a bit in my armpit..i really have to feel around to feel it...its like a deflated balloon in my armpit...really soft..about the size of a walnut..from what i can feel.

ive put this off for years as GP wasnt interested inititally....but now its grown to this size im worried what it could be..or maybe its nothing to worry about seeing as ive had it so long? any advice or similar experieces would be appreciated. 

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  • Posted

    Hello Ann

    Bilateral galactorhoea - discharge from the nipples - can be caused by a raised prolactin level.  I think that it usually presents as a more milky sort of discharge - I have had this in the past.

    I really think that you should see your GP ASAP.

    Although that you have had the lump so long - it is important to have it properly assessed, and until you do, you won't be able to rest.

    It may be an endocrine problem, but even if it is, it still needs to be examined by an expert.

    I entirely undestand that you would feel reluctant to go to a GP, especially if you have been told that it is nothing, and that 'lots of women have breast discharges'.

    I do not think that that is true.

    I am not an expert, but I am a retired doctor, who anaesthetised patients for breast surgeons and a plastic reconstructive surgeon, so still remember a fair bit about it all.

    Also - I had two breast cancers last year (I was 52) - the first was picked up on my first routine mammogram, and the second from the tissue removed from the first cancer.  I had no symptoms at all at the time, apart from a feeling of uneasiness, that I couldn't account for.  It went away after the surgery - so although it isn't scientific, I would recommend that you listen to your body.

    It concerns me that you have a lump in your armpit.  It could be the result of infection (which would go with the tenderness and muddy sort of discharge that you describe), or it could be more sinister.

    I wish I could reassure you more, but it seems to me so imprtant that you see a breast surgeon as soon as you can summon the courage to go to your GP - you really MUST do this.

    Ther may be a 'walk-in' clinic in your area - have a look at the website of your local hospital. 

    I found the people at https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/ brilliant, both for advice, and for being able to let of a little steam.  The people who man the phones during office hours are super - almost all of them have suffered from breast cancer, or have a partner who has.  They have a huge level of knowledge, and I am sure that they will give you great advice.

    So, please bite the bullet, and see your GP.

    Also, please let me know how you get on - I shall be sending you positive thoughts, and sending all good wishes.

    Manda x

    PS - if the worst comes to the worst - the surgery for breast cancer is far less radical than it used to be, and the adjuvant therapies are finely tuned.  One thing is for sure - if it is somehing nasty, then the sooner it is treated, the better for you.

    Mx

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you Manda.  I really appreciate you replying. I will try and see a Dr next week and take it from there. Reading through your experience and the other personal stories I've read I know that I'm not alone in feeling scared at the unknown and I really am terrified of the thought of breast cancer and if I have it...have I left it too late. Only tests can give me the answers I know...and I will bite the bullet. Thank you again! 

      Ann x

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    • Posted

      Thank you as well from me also, I had read your post on another board a few days ago, about your career and cancer, I hope you are doing fine and cancer free today xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Astrid

      Thanks so much for your feeback - I try so hard to make my letters to poeple who are so very scared of this horrible disease up-beat, but also to make it clear that it isn't an illness to mess around with!

      I seem to be fine atm, and I hope that you will be, too!

      Please let me know?

      LOL

      Manda x

       

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  • Posted

    Ann

    I am no doctor, and I should practice what I preach, I started to get breast pain in my left boob 1st week in July and had it checked, a physical and the doctor said he really could not find anything, 2 months later pain still there, but I have been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency, and I have fibrocystic breats lumps......with all that said, I have now idea my dear lady how the heck you have lived with this for so many years, I would of had a nervouse breakdown by now with the worry, but you need to go and see a doctor immediately, the symptoms sound much like fibrocystic lumps, but you must get checked, at least to give you peace of mind, I have to wait another 17 days for my Ultrasound, and feel this is way to long to worry about, so all those years OMG!..........I would get a different doctor and request a Ultrasound not a mammogram, they do not show up some tumors or breast abnormalitys, plus if they do find something, and as you can already feel a lump, they are going to send you for a 2nd opinion ie a ultrasound regardless, so get it over with and chances are its Fibrocystic lumps.

    Please let is know how you get on and god bless xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comment Astrid,.  I do now have a new dr who I've never met yet.... I feel ridiculous going after all this time..but the lump seemed to get sore and bigger a week before my period then settle down once my  period started...and I know some women have lumps like that. Also during 10 years of this time I was agoraphobic and couldn't go anywhere. .I'm thru all that now and know my health was neglected..This being one of those things that I must now face. I should also practise what I preach..I'm better at telling others to get things checked than I am at doing it myself..

      I do hope all goes well at your ultrasound. That is what I'd like...I'd dread a mammogram whilst having such a large lump.

      Ann x

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    • Posted

      Ann

      It does sound like fibrocystic breasts, what with the lump getting bigger before a period.

      Like I said tell the doctor you want a ultrasound, not sure where you are in the world, I am in the US but from the UK and when I have enquired before my GP in England had offered a ultrasound in the past, just as a check up, at least that way no squashed boobs, and no cyst getting crushed in the darn machine....plus the ultrasound can see deeper into breast tissue a mammogram can miss up to 60% of early stage cancers, it can also tell the difference between, a cyst and a tumor.

      I hope all goes well for me also smile

      Let us know xx

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