So this is the only place I can admit this and I feel so terrible about it. I’ve just been diagnosed grade 3, lymph node biopsy positive. No hormones back yet.
I told the doctors I found it at Christmas but I didn’t. I found it last March, I was breast feeding and I brushed it off. I googled lumps cancer and breast feeding and it said cancer was rare in bf so I brushed it off. I thought I will get it checked when I stopped breastfeeding if it’s still there, I keep planning on stopping but it was so much easier to keep doing it especially at night when she didn’t sleep.
I just brushed it aside until October I needed to stop as I was going on a girlie holiday, then later in the month I went on holiday in half term. Now it’s November and the lump has got bigger, but we had planned Christmas in Spain so I thought well I have no other symptoms of BC so it must be ok. So I’ll sort it after Christmas, so here we are now.
I feel like I’ve stuffed my kids childhood because I like a holiday. I feel disgusted in myself, I’m too embarrassed to tell my doctor. So I’m sticking to the Christmas lump story even told my mum I found it at Christmas.
I know I don’t deserve your sympathy but I just had to tell someone my awful secret.


You will certainly not be on your own on this forum by delaying getting a lump checked ,fear or disbelief stops us from taking the next step . It’s pretty rare in younger women and hormonal changes do cause breast changes and you had your hands full with a new baby it’s totally understandable - don’t give yourself a hard time . My breast surgeon said my cancer had probably been present at my first ever mammogram 3 years before a routine mammogram actually detected it . Most breast cancers grow very slowly even grade 3 .Please don’t torture yourself with what iffs , you did what most people would have done in your situation . Best wishes Jill x


The grade does not change as far as I know , the stage relates to how big the cancer has become and whether it is present in the lymph nodes that can change over time .Please don’t beat yourself up over this .


I’m so sorry you’re in this situation. You really need to talk to someone about this. To start with perhaps you could call the Breast Cancer Now nurses on 0808 800 6000 tomorrow morning. It is free, confident and non-judgemental.

You’re not the first person who has put off going to see a doctor about a potentially worrying physical change and you won’t be the last. You need someone on your side, Kat. Talk to the nurses first. I wish I could give you a big hug.


Thank you for your kind reply. Do you think it matters if I don’t tell the doctors the truth.

It’s my first day of having a diagnosis I’m generally just a bit messed up. I’ve sat here and realised there are a whole host of reason why I didn’t go. I was on anti anixety meds so I wasn’t anxious about it. I had a problem after babys birth that was rare so the changes of having 2 rare things in the same year were statistically even rarer. Then At 6 months she was super ill with Covid and an ambulance came out, she was smiling by the time we got to hospital. 2 weeks later I went back to a&e because she had a rash. I though it was that bad Covid thing that kids can get, it wasn’t it was a glorified cold. I left the hospital feeling like I was some kind of odd a&e loving crazy mother and vowed never to go back!

Thank you for reading, writing this all down is helping to process why I didn’t go. Still though the selfish holiday were a big reason. Well I guess I’ll be off work for a long holiday now😞


Hi Kat.
Please be kind to yourself, in the near future you might look back at this moment an realize how brave you actually were.
No patient chose this diagnose and we are not guilty of anything , it’s an unfair lottery.
Do phone the nurses, it can certainly be very good for you.
I did it a few times when just diagnosed, I wanted to cry to someone that was not a relative or a friend. It helped me a lot.
And stay in this forum, it brings so much emotional support.


No it doesn’t matter what you told the doctor , they base your treatment on what they see on imaging and from biopsy before and after your op to remove the cancer


That has made me feel so much better. I was panicking about telling them/not telling them.


Dont feel bad at all. I’ve been coming for mammograms since I was 38 as both my sisters got BC, I’m 51 now. A few years ago they found a lump I totally freaked out only to find out it was a cyst. Then last summer I noticed a lump but just figured it would be another cyst and knew i would be having another mammogram so didn’t do anything about it. Of course this time it turned out to be BC, I was diagnosed in November stage 2 IDC. I’m very lucky tho in that it hasn’t gone into my lymph nodes and I’ve escaped with just a lumpectomy and 5 sessions of radio which I’m starting soon. Honestly though life gets in the way sometimes especially when you have kids and you don’t always put yourself first x


Hi @starburst

It sounds as though you put your baby before yourself on several occasions - and what Mum hasn’t done that at some point . Also never apologise for worrying about your child’s health - speaking as someone who occasionally assists in the management of very sick children I think you did the right thing getting help for your daughter.

I’m looking at this as both a professional and a patient here . As a health care professional we know that people aren’t entirely honest with us when we are asking for a history and there are many reasons why they aren’t . If you were to confess this to your BCN for example I doubt it would shock them or be something they hadn’t heard before - if you feel you can talk to them they may be able to help settle this if it continues to gnaw away at you but as @Tigress has suggested contacting the helpline might be better right now as the Nurses here will have the expertise but are not involved in your treatment so will be more impartial . Your family might have strong feelings about it but I expect they would get over it and it’s your decision whether or not to tell them .

Whenever you presented with this there would be treatment and disruption at some point and further down the line you may be glad that you had that holiday as remembering happier times can help you get through it all. After the year you had I’m not surprised you wanted a break - life is all about balancing priorities and none of us get it right all of the time.

A few months after I had completed radiotherapy I found a lump near my lumpectomy scar and pretended to myself I hadn’t found it - I was so scared I think that my mind just shut it out and I actually succeeded in making myself forget it was there until it started to hurt. At that time my Dad was unwell and we were helping to move him into a home - so I put that first . It was only because it became more painful that I rang the BCN service and the first people I told about it were not my partner or my family but the ladies I was doing the Moving Forwards course with - in a virtual chat session. I had put off asking for help for well over a month - it turned out to be just an oil cyst but it might have turned out to be something that needed treatment .

Get some help if you need to but find a way to forgive yourself Kat - don’t waste your energy on this . Stay off Google as well as it’s really not helpful for this sort of thing.

Sending love
Joanne. X


Thank you for your reply. I will give the bcn nurses a ring they can maybe answer my questions but grade etc.
my husband knew about the lump back in March, I feel a bit like he could have prompted me a bit. He had a cataract last April at 40 I feel like that was rare as well. But he got done and dusted with that in a few months.
Sorry im still trying to find reasons to forgive myself but I’m now just getting angry at my husband that he didn’t say or do anything. I will stop now and focus on the consultant appt today. This BC thing is a proper messed up rollercoaster.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Hopefully when I am further along this journey, I will take the time to reply to newbies, like you all have.


Like you I found a lump when my baby was 6 months old and left it a few weeks to go to the doctor.
When I did get to the breast clinic they told me it was highly likely to be breast feeding related and that I was way too young at 33.
I was classed non priority for follow-up so it was another 4 months before I got an ultrasound. Not sure who got the bigger shock - the breast surgeon or me.
Since then I’ve heard of lots of women who’ve had bc shortly after pregnancy. My surgeon even fobbed it off that statically it was no higher than general population but she did say that pregnancy hormones would feed a cancer.
I think it’s not mentioned in medical literature because they don’t want to increase numbers looking for appointments when most pregnancy lumps disappear within a few weeks.
Really even if you had gone months ago it still may have taken ages to get a diagnosis so don’t beat yourself up. As for your husband - a lot of men like to brush things under the carpet and hope they go away on their own.


Haha, so true about men! Thank you but terrible for you that you had to wait so long. But your reply massively helps. How are you now if you don’t mind me asking.


That was back in 2005 so different times but the mindset seems to be the same.
I did get a recurrence in 2020. There was 15 years between cancers and 2nd one coincided with menopause so that was more than likely the trigger. I took tamoxifen for 5 years but now they recommend 10 so taking it for longer might have kept it away. I also was advised to remove my ovaries but refused as I thought it was a bit dramatic for someone in their 30s with the osteoporosis risk.
You always know best with hindsight!!


Please do not beat yourself up what matters is what happens next. I slso am stage 3 (lymph positive) and grade 3 (how aggressive cancer grows) which was diagnoised April 2022.
Yiu dont need to fess up to when you found yours , it wont affect your treatment from this day on. The waiting for results feels like ages but diagnosis of the tumour enables them to know what to throw at it to fight it.
Take one day at a time, then one week at a time, and enjoy your family and friends. Keep in touch :orange_heart:

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Can I ask are you ok now?

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I’m considered cancer free but still having cancer treatment. This is hormone tablet for 5 years ( mine was oestrogen and progesterone positive) and targeted therapy to prevent reoccurance as I was HER2 negative. Again a tablet twice a day for 2 years which finishes November 24. Youll learn loads as you go along on your treatment plan so dont try to understand everything at first. Feel free to reach out anytime.
I am and have been living my life to the full. Working full time and thankful for all the NHS has done for me in Shrewsbury. They have been amazing. Hugs xx :kissing_heart:


Hey kat my story is like yours i had a mammogram in dec 2022 was told it was fatty tissue ( happy )
March last year went to egypt had a massage the lady felt something in my left breast and was very concerned begged me to get it looked at, as i had the mammogram 3 months before ignored her :pensive: just before xmas i decided to get it looked as i lost lots of weight and my boobs so i could feel it, had my results last week grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma spread to lymph nodes :sob:. Im waitin on results for hormones and ct scan its mentally killing me, i also have mum guilt and wished i hadn’t left it. We now have to kick this fckers ase x
Pink sister :heartpulse::people_hugging::pray::muscle:


Don’t beat yourself up. I’m a midwife and would agree that lumpy boobs in someone whose lactating is extremely unlikely to be breast cancer. And remember breast feeding is protective !!! It’s not our fault we got it, I beat myself up re too much alcohol and not breast feeding, but in reality it’s nothing I did.
Be kind to yourself xxxx


Oh, I do hope you manage to not blame yourself. You didn’t put it off just because of a holiday- the chances of it being breast cancer weren’t obvious at all. Now you are doing something about it.
Not that it matters regarding your treatment plan-that will be based on the here and now- but if it makes you feel better, tell the doctor- if you’d rather not, don’t.
I found my lump myself and it was large- I couldn’t believe I’d missed it and clearly couldn’t have been checking myself as I thought. Also, I’m overweight (can tend towards breast cancer), enjoyed red wine too much (same), but none of that changes where I am now.
As women and mothers we find enough to blame ourselves for. We do our best, which is always enough.
All best wishes going forward.