Breast Lump & Lymph nodes?

Question by pppinaz: Breast Lump & Lymph nodes?
I am undergoing treatment for breast cancer. In the last few days of January 2008 I noticed a lump in my breast – I called immediately to set up a mammogram. Mammogram was on February 1st, as I was leaving the mammography unit I called my OB and told them that I had found a lump and would need to come see them. I saw the Dr on February 6th. He felt the lump and stated it was about 4 cm and referred to it as the size of a golf ball. Said he would wait for mammogram result to decide if he was going to do anything but said most likely fibrocystic change and nothing to worry about. So I trusted him. At the end of June I noticed the lump felt larger and decided to set appointment to have it removed in conjunction with elective plastic surgery (breast lift). Figured best to have a surgeon who may be more careful about removal since it is a breast.
The plastic surgeon appointment was set for right after I got back from vacation on (August 7th or 8th).
The plastic surgeon said he could not remove the lump but could work with a general surgeon so remove it so that the cuts can be made by him to lessen the scaring and proceed with the breast lift.
Fast forward to August 12th. I am getting ready for work and as I put on deodorant I feel pain under my arm – decide this can’t be good and I call the OB office and tell them this, they say they will get with dr as soon as out of an exam room and give me a referral. 2 hours goes by with no contact from them so I go see my Primary care Dr who was willing to get me in right away and they immediately refer tme to a breast surgeon. Unfortunately the surgeon is on way out fo town and wil not have an appointment until August 29th. I call the ob back and again explain the issue – the fact that someone was supposed to call me back earlier and request a referral (this isn’t a stubbed toe) I am again told they will get with the dr when he gets out of the exam room. They did not call me back until 5:10 that afternoon.
I had called a friend of mine who has an ob as a friend and she told her OB what was going on and her ob said to give me 3 names of surgeons and if I am not able to book an appointment very quickly to call her back directly and she will call from her back office.
The next morning armed with the names I make calls and no one on the list has anything anytime soon. When I am on the phone with the last referred physicians office I ask if NY of their Drs has anything sooner and am lucky to find out that one does on the morning of the 15th. I go in and he immediately does a biopsy and schedules additional imaging tests. I find out a week later I have Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
Many people say the dr should have done a biopsy or additional imagine tests in February as this was much too large a mass to ignore and that it’s advancement into my lymph nodes probably happened in the last couple months. Does this seem likely or could it have been in my lymph nodes for 6 months without me knowing anything about it.

Best answer:

Answer by inverse_mushroom_cloud
It could have been there that long. It starts as one cell in the node, and by the time you can feel it, it is millions of cells.

It sounds to me as if your OB dropped the ball, big time. To have felt a lump the size of a golf ball and not follow through, seems negligent at best. Possibly worse. Never see that man again. Talk to a lawyer about the possibility of a malpractice lawsuit. Seriously, I don’t give advice like that lightly.

The good news is that triple negative is often very responsive to chemo.

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