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Author Topic: Still Anxious over Breast Cancer Fears  (Read 167 times)

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Offline SadandScared

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Still Anxious over Breast Cancer Fears
« on: June 09, 2014, 03:59:04 PM »
So, I cannot stop panicking--I am worried sick about breast cancer. It all started a month ago, when I noticed what I thought were new stretch marks on my breasts (my husband says they have been there for long time--several months to a year at least). I had also been having breast tenderness, more so in my larger left breast than in my right breast (I have mild scoliosis and my right breast is smaller, squashier and less developed than my left as a result). I have been in escalating perimenopause for a few years, and I do know (now anyway) that breast tenderness and pain are very common at this stage. Anyhow, I also gained a bit of weight over the winter, and both breasts have gotten saggier and a bit larger in the past 6-9 months as well. But, I noticed these marks, googled (I know, I know), and watched page after page of Inflammatory Breast Cancer pop up. I read a lot of it (again, I know), and started compulsively checking my breasts, a lot. I've actually lost a few pounds running up and downstairs to look in the bathroom and bedroom mirrors many, many times a day, and adding it up, I suppose I had been checking them (especially the left) for up to 4 hours a day at least. I was even getting up in the night to check. Bra on and off up to 30 times a day. Then, my bras suddenly all seemed unbearably tight, and I noticed pain along the side of my left breast. This is developed into pain along the side and then across the chest (above the breast) and occasionally into the inside of the left breast, under the arm (not the armpit, but maybe 4 inches lower and across my very upper back to my shoulder blade. Most of it feels like pulled muscles, which is what my husband thinks it is, but there is also some aching. My breast is not swollen as far as I can tell, and hasn't changed in  the month I've been obsessing, though it seems like a notice a new, weird thing about my breasts daily, never having studied them so closely before. I have been doing a lot of gardening, and did some fairly strenuous lifting setting up for an art sale this past weekend (I am a photographer). The pain is sometimes mild, a few times severe, seems worse when I lean forward (to tie my shoes, things like that), and oddly disappears overnight. There is zero pain when  get up in the AM, and it seems to worsen throughout the day and is worst right after I remove my bra in the evening (for about two hours after). I bought new bras and was resized from a 38DD to a 36G. I know neither has gotten any larger in the last week, b/c I've been measuring them w/a dressmaker's tape to be sure.

The worst of the pain is in my back and "side boob" (I am older, and a bit heavy, and have a "flap" of fat there and quite a bit of side boob on both sides, more so on the left).

So, thoughts? Have I really self-checked myself into pulled muscles? There is no lump, no itching, no redness (other than stretch marks), no dimpling, nipples are fine, no rash or anything. Just the pain and for a while I was convinced the left was swelling or growing larger, but the tape measure seems to confirm my husband's assertion that nothing has changed in the past year, other than some progressing sagging on both sides. I have to admit, both do seem larger and saggier (not just the one).

I am terrified of doctors and only go when I am basically unable to function. I do see a chiropractor for sciatica and TMJ. Is this a muscle thing? An all in my head thing? Or do I actually have cause for concern? I read somewhere that back pain is sometimes a symptom of breast cancer, in addition to breast pain, and that it is often confused with sore muscles. Anyone ever experienced this? Any ladies who have undergone or are undergoing perimenopause who can let me know if they've had anything like this as a result? This particular pain has been going on for about 2 1/2 weeks.
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Offline crazymommy

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Re: Still Anxious over Breast Cancer Fears
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 09:44:14 PM »
I am shocked at how similar I am feeling lately and you described it so much better than I could... Same achy feeling that is probably a muscle pull, it kind of starts in my left shoulder blade area and reaches around to side of my left breast and I have little pangs right above my breast too. Remarkable to read someone else's description so similar to what I'm feeling!  I have my annual gynecologist appt. tomorrow. I'll let you know if she says anything helpful. I'll be 40 in a few weeks and have a weight issue with pretty large breasts, I've been wondering if that could be a cause for this. Oh and my left breast is definitely bigger and I think I read the same thing about back pain being a symptom of breast cancer and being confused for muscle pain!  Hurts more when bending over too, and for me also when I reach for something sometimes. Seriously - did I write this post in my sleep and I don't remember??
Just wanted you to know you're not the only one!!  I've been a mess worrying for over a month :/

Oh AND I have TMJ. Geez we are like twins lol.
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Offline VeryScary

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Re: Still Anxious over Breast Cancer Fears
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 09:58:15 PM »
I don't want to do reassurances with you since I know that's not healthy. But you seem to be new from your number of posts, and your pain is coming through very clearly.

Everybody's HA manifests differently - you're a doc avoider. I'm a doc addict. With that said, I vote for going to the doctor.

You do have at least a pulled muscle. So you are justified in going - it's not a made up threat. The challenge - and I'm going through this now - will be to let it go after the doctor.
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Offline crazymommy

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Re: Still Anxious over Breast Cancer Fears
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2014, 10:22:34 AM »
Ok so just back from gynecologist. I explained the pain I was feeling ... She checked a little extra carefully on the left side and said she felt nothing. When I pointed to the places where I felt pain and explained when i felt it (when reaching etc) she said she would assume it's a muscle, she guessed I pulled a pec muscle.

She also gave me my mammo script because I'll be 40 and said get it done sometime this year. When I asked is September ok (easier when kids in school, no vacation planned) she said "oh my gosh, absolutely". I would think if she thought there was anything worrisome in my description she would have said to go sooner than later

Hope that helps. I always take a while to process so I don't feel better yet. Hoping In a day or so I'll be able to relax!
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