Painful mammogram and now recall for suspicious lump

SundaysChildSundaysChild Member Posts: 11
edited March 16 in General discussion
Hi there, I'm not sure where to put this as I haven't as yet been diagnosed, but I'm terribly anxious and feeling very alone. I had a mammogram a week ago and still feeling very painful from it. Tingling in breasts and feeling hot in the chest. After I had it I did a bit more reading up and feel like I should have just done an ultrasound as it was a routine check and I'm 42. 

I called BreastScreen QLD to report it and kind of complain, but then they said oh, you are on our list to call back to check a lump. I had noted it before my scan. I had my first mammogram about 3 years ago with no effects, no pain and nothing suspicious.

The next appointment is on Wednesday and I just want to be armed with as much info as possible as I had concerns about the mammogram when I was there but really feel like I was pushed into it when I was there because I didn't have enough info about how painful it might be and the radiation (which I'm wondering whether it has caused the heat).

I keep trying to examine the lump and google all the different types, but it seems to change depending on the position I'm in. It definitely feels hard, but sometimes it feels like it's moveable, sometimes it even feels larger than just a few hours before, and I can't really tell the shape.

I've been reading up on different options they might take at the appointment, which is ultrasound, which I'm fine with, fine needle aspiration or core biopsy. They also said diagnostic mammogram which I definitely DO NOT want to do. 

I appreciate that there hasn't even been a diagnosis yet, and maybe this isn't the most appropriate forum, but I'm super anxious and just need to speak to people who understand. Can anyone share their experiences on the different diagnoses methods? Which is the safest option without radiation or drugs?

Thank you in advance.
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Comments

  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 3,627
    Okay @SundaysChild ; First things first.  Take a deep breath and try to relax a bit.  Other's have different stories of their recall but I will tell you mine.  The nursing staff did everything they could to put me at ease and they recognised my anxiety before I told them.  When I had the mammogram, she was extra gentle as she knew that I was scared, both of the results and of being hurt.  So, mammogram, ultrasound and then, because it was suspicious, a core biopsy which was done under local and involved 3 sections.  I found out the results a few days later at my appointment (a multidisciplinary team looks at the results first) and then went to my GP for referrals.  I should stress though, that while I was in the waiting room waiting for that appointment, there were another 3 women who were there for what was probably the same reason.  I only saw 2 of them come out, quite obviously relieved.

    Re: radiation from mammogram.  Don't get too worked up about it.  You probably get as much just walking around.  Do your best to stay away from Dr Google.  There's a lot of quackery out there and a lot of other stuff is based on pretty old stats.

    Good luck and try to distract yourself over the next few days.
  • SundaysChildSundaysChild Member Posts: 11
    Thank you @Sister - I really appreciate your response. Did they do the ultrasound and biopsy on the same day? Eg did the see it on the ultrasound and decide to do the biopsy at the same time and why did they opt for biopsy instead of fine needle aspiration? 

    The nurse did mention all those options but she didn't really say if they would all be done at the same time. But she did say allow for 5 hours and take a book. I'm worried they will push me into a decision on the spot and I'm not prepared for that. 

    The spot of the lump is getting quite painful but I think that's because I keep poking and prodding it trying to examine it. 

    It's an awful, lonely feeling this journey, and it's only been a couple of days. I have been dealing with some anxiety and sadness unrelated to this but this is just pushing me over the edge :-(
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,243
    @SundaysChild

    I think everyone I know says how damn uncomfortable a mammogram is!

    Deep breaths!  Take solace in that you will be in good hands.  A recall is to go back over the mammogram and do further tests if they feel it is needed.   Do you have someone that could go with you?   

    It was obvious to us what my recall was about as we were put with a Counsellor, we meaning hubby and I, the minute we arrived.  It was 8.30am and the place was buzzing, it was a terribly busy day with lots of women called back for recall, room full with at least 30 women.  As I sat to take my place, topless with a robe on and a basket with my things in and head down, this voice opposite said to me, "What are you doing here?" To my horror there was someone I knew from home along with others, 5 in all.  This is private and I wasn't wanting to share at this early stage with others from home.  Of the 5 of us from home 2 of us were there at the end, it was 2.00pm when we left.  It was interesting to watch as each individual was called up others would say, good luck!  The support had already started even though none of us really understood we may need it.

    My recall was mammogram, ultrasound, consult with Breast Surgeon and then biopsy. The Counsellor was there for each test that I had.  The Breast Surgeon was certain of my result prior to biopsy but biopsy was to confirm and wait a few days for a return appointment when pathology results were back and Surgeon wanting to operate the next day.  After ultrasound I asked that I sit with hubby only and not the other women.  He was out in the car making work phone calls and luckily I was able to catch him so he was with me for the consult with the Breast Surgeon.

    Keep away from Dr Google as it is doing your head in!  You don't know for sure, you are assuming this that and the other and as a result you are in quite a tizz!   Easier said than done but try not to keep poking and prodding.

    Take care and try and keep distracted  


  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,243

  • JulieVT11JulieVT11 Chermside, BrisbaneMember Posts: 28
    edited March 15
    @SundaysChild I was recalled after routine mammogram and was told that I would have repeat mammogram and if necessary ultrasound, fine needle aspiration and core biopsy and ended up having all of the above.  The nurses and doctors were just so caring and explained every procedure in detail so that I knew exactly what was going to happen.  It did take a quite a few hours so do go prepared with a book, snack & water.  As the other ladies above have said stay away from Dr Google as it just messes with your head and you don’t know yet what the lump maybe.  Good luck, the first few weeks of waiting for results are very hard and I kept myself busy at work to distract myself.


  • SundaysChildSundaysChild Member Posts: 11
    Thanks @iserbrown - this is really helping listening to other people's stories. Can I clarify, when you had your recall, did you do a second mammogram? In addition to the ultrasound and biopsy? I really don't want to do a second mammogram - I really think the first one has done some permanent damage. 

    What type of surgery did you need to have?

    Thanks again for sharing your story with me.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,766
    I had a recall for quite a large benign cyst years ago. It was definitely all set up ready to go with good support people. Mine was benign  and I asked them to explain how they could tell this. If it had looked differently they would do a biopsy.

    I found a lump years later and went straight to ultrasound  and biopsy.

    When we worry about physical health our focus can  be on just that. We can suddenly be acutely aware of pain, heat and tingling as we are focussed on that. Also constant feeling, squeezing etc might actually be causing some inflammation and hense the  heat...you might even have bruising  appear. So my advise...no more touching. Try to get out and get distracted. Keep your mind busy in something other than the what ifs. 
    Wednesday would feel a long way off but you will have answers soon. We all know how unbearably long the wait is. Take care. Kath x

  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 3,627
    Sorry @sundayschild I had to end abruptly as I was running late to pick up my daughter.

    With the recall, everything was done in one afternoon - physical examination by a doctor, followed by a mammogram, ultrasound and core biopsy - then a consultation with the nurse to discuss what would happen from there and to make the appointment for the results.

    Please try to take someone supportive with you to both appointments - partner, parent, sister, good friend...  It helps with the anxiety and also to have someone else to hear what is said and ask any questions.  I also found that I was too shaky and distracted to be safe behind the wheel.
  • SundaysChildSundaysChild Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for sharing @JulieVT11 - can I ask - did they give you the option of NOT having the second mammogram? It really did my head in for a good week afterwards (still is given I'm still in pain). Why did they do a Fine Needle Aspiration and a Core biopsy and was it on the same lump? I can actually feel two lumps now. It's funny how you don't notice things and when this is a possibility, every symptom is magnified! I have had a sore lower back for a few days and pins and needles in my bottom that comes and goes and now I'm wondering if it's related.

    Did anyone get a second opinion on any of the results? I didn't even go to my GP as this was a regular screen, not one I was referred to because I had seen a lump, I only really noticed it just before I went there.

    Thank you again for sharing.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 3,627
    Not much point getting a second opinion at that stage.  If you are diagnosed with bc you will be referred to a surgeon who will order scans and blood tests to get a more thorough picture of what is going on.  
  • JulieVT11JulieVT11 Chermside, BrisbaneMember Posts: 28
    @SundaysChild to be honest not sure if there was a choice, when they called they said I would be having a repeat mammogram.  Originally the mammogram picked up an area of DCIS so then had ultrasound which found a small lump in another area.  Fine needle asp was done on the lump core biopsy done on DCIS.  Boob was quite sore after but just like a bad bruise
  • SundaysChildSundaysChild Member Posts: 11
    primek said:
    I had a recall for quite a large benign cyst years ago. It was definitely all set up ready to go with good support people. Mine was benign  and I asked them to explain how they could tell this. If it had looked differently they would do a biopsy.

    I found a lump years later and went straight to ultrasound  and biopsy.

    When we worry about physical health our focus can  be on just that. We can suddenly be acutely aware of pain, heat and tingling as we are focussed on that. Also constant feeling, squeezing etc might actually be causing some inflammation and hense the  heat...you might even have bruising  appear. So my advise...no more touching. Try to get out and get distracted. Keep your mind busy in something other than the what ifs. 
    Wednesday would feel a long way off but you will have answers soon. We all know how unbearably long the wait is. Take care. Kath x

    Thanks @primek - I know I should stop mucking around with it, but google says it's more likely to be a cyst if it's moveable and a regular shape. It's so weird that it feels like it's different hour to hour. It's so stressful and my moods change every 10 minutes. I was hoping to have some closure on Wednesday but it looks like if it needs further testing via biopsy that's another couple of weeks' wait :(
  • SundaysChildSundaysChild Member Posts: 11
    Sister said:
    Sorry @sundayschild I had to end abruptly as I was running late to pick up my daughter.

    With the recall, everything was done in one afternoon - physical examination by a doctor, followed by a mammogram, ultrasound and core biopsy - then a consultation with the nurse to discuss what would happen from there and to make the appointment for the results.

    Please try to take someone supportive with you to both appointments - partner, parent, sister, good friend...  It helps with the anxiety and also to have someone else to hear what is said and ask any questions.  I also found that I was too shaky and distracted to be safe behind the wheel.
    I don't think I'll be able to take anyone with me :-(  Did the core biopsy require stitches, or local anaesthetic? Sorry I'm getting ahead of myself here, I'm just so anxious. Appreciate your time. xx
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,766
    Oh yes we get it. However feeling it won't diagnose it on its  own anyway...so hands off. It will just  make the ultrasound more uncomfortable. It moves as thats the nature of breasts and so it's much more difficult than other regions to tell if tethered or moveable. 
  • SundaysChildSundaysChild Member Posts: 11
    JulieVT11 said:
    @SundaysChild to be honest not sure if there was a choice, when they called they said I would be having a repeat mammogram.  Originally the mammogram picked up an area of DCIS so then had ultrasound which found a small lump in another area.  Fine needle asp was done on the lump core biopsy done on DCIS.  Boob was quite sore after but just like a bad bruise

    Oh @JulieVT11 that scares me if there's no choice about the second mammogram. I'm quite traumatised by it all :(
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