My name is Ashley and I am a 19-year-old girl from Allentown Pennsylvania.
On the night of June 3rd, 2018, I was doing my nightly routines. I was in the shower and began to scrub my body. As I was washing my body and I went over my left breast I stopped as I felt something that I had never felt before. Right under my nipple, I felt this thing that kinda felt like a ball or something.
It just wasn't normal. I then continued to shower and when I got out, my mom was sitting in her room.
I asked her to please feel my boob.
My mom felt my breast and said to me, "I don't think that should be there, we should probably have it checked."
I am lucky enough to be family friends with my OBGYN. I texted her right away and explained to her what I had just found in the shower. I was also just at the OBGYN 2 weeks before I found this lump. My OBGYN always does a great job, checking at my yearly for everything.
I know two weeks ago when she did a breast examination this was not in my left breast. I texted my Dr. the night of June 3rd, and she told me to give it about a week and to let her know if it was still there. I am very prone to cysts so the first thing I thought was it was just a simple small cyst.
The next morning, June 4th, I left for the beach with my friends. My mind was not really thinking about what I just found, I was more excited to be going to the beach with my friends and just having a relaxing time. About a week and a half went by and the thing I felt was still in my left breast, and I noticed it got a little bigger. I right away texted my Dr. and within a couple hours, she saw me in her office.
She did another breast examination and right away she found the spot I also found. She told me that I was going to need to go get an ultrasound done at the Breast Center. I was seen at the Breast Center the next morning at 7:45. I can't even begin to explain how I was feeling, how my family was feeling and all the thoughts going through my head at the time. Right away I thought I had breast cancer.
I went to the Breast Center in Center Valley, Pa, and my nurse and doctor there were great. The nurse did the ultrasound and just a few minutes later the Dr. came into the room and pulled up a chair. Again, when the Dr. pulled up that chair I was so nervous and so was my mom. I could see the nervousness in her eyes. The Dr. told me that he did find a tumor in my ultrasound.
This tumor was located on the surface of my left breast.
The Dr. began to tell me that he thought it was a tumor called called fibroadenoma. Fibroadenoma is a benign tumor formed of mixed fibrous and glandular tissue, typically occurring in the breast. The Dr. at the breast center told me that this tumor could grow 20% in a very short amount of time. If it would grow, it would begin to grow outside my skin and then I would have a huge issue and need to have plastic surgery to have my breast reconstructed.
At this point, I still did not know if the tumor inside of me was cancerous or not. All I was told was they did not think so but they would know when they did the biopsy after surgery. I then was sent to a breast oncology surgeon. My surgeon was absolutely amazing. I scheduled my surgery for August 10, 2018.
Let me tell you, the Morning of August 10th, came around so fast. My whole team of doctors and nurses were absolutely amazing. I was truly blessed, and couldn't have been any more thankful. I went in for my surgery, and all my doctors and nurses were amazed that at just 19 years old I found this tumor myself. My surgery went great, and I soon found myself in the recovery room.
I remember waking up from surgery and saying to my Dr., "Wow that was super fast."
I was just so happy to find out that the tumor that was inside of me was now out. After my surgery, I had an appointment with my Dr. to get my results in 2 weeks. Let me tell you, the next two weeks after surgery were very stressful. Just the thought of not knowing. I then went to my doctor on Tuesday August 21st, 2018 and got the great news that myself, my family and also my friends were waiting to hear.
I felt a huge weight come off of my shoulder.
This was truly a feeling I will remember for the rest of my life. My Dr. Told me it was not cancer and it came back to be fibroadenoma, which again is a benign tumor. Even though I did not have cancer I still feel it is so important for people to be aware of what is going on inside your bodies. I am very lucky I caught that tumor.
Ladies, and young girls, I am writing this again to share the importance of how impactful doing a self breast examination can be. Yes, your doctors tell you to check yourself and you say yah yah I will, and many people don't do it. I know I was told many times by my Dr. to do self examinations and I just never cared to do so. If I would have never felt that tumor when I did in the shower I could have some serious issues.
I am telling you, you might not want to feel yourself, you might think it is weird or something but let me tell you it could be very beneficial to you. Make sure if you do a self examination and you question something you are feeling, contact a medical professional right away. I hope my story really helps you understand how important it is to do these self examinations.