Advice needed please :)

Hello, I’m hoping that some of the kind people who visit here can help me out. I found a lump a couple of months ago, did the usual and waited through a cycle, then went to the GP (newly qualified young guy, utterly horrifed at the prospect of examining my middle aged boobs - had to call a female colleague! LOL) Anyway, they referred me to the Breast Clinic.
The clinic was awful, they were catching up from two cancelled clinics the week before. I was seen by the consultant who prodded the lump once, said it felt like a fatty lump and sent sent me off to sit in the waiting room for a scan. I waited an hour and a half, every other woman was duly taken down to radiology except me. Eventually I asked and it was clear they had forgotten about me - so I was shuffled down there, told to undress and lay waiting in a ultrasound room for five minutes. A man came in, didn’t intoduce himself, literally spent ten seconds scanning the lump and said ‘it’s a ridge, no need to irradiate you for that’ and left. I didn’t get to see the screen, or ask any questions. I was really upset by that point. I had taken my sister with me and she was massively shocked by how quick it had been. By then several women in the waiting room were in tears.
Eventually I went back in to see the consultant. I said I didn’t feel the ultrasound had been very comprehensive and was told the man was an expert and knew what he was doing. Before I knew it i was back on the bed having an FNA. the first sample was bloody, the second fine, but taken from the area next to the lump.
Before my results werre available i recieved a copy of the GP letter stating that after thorough examination they felt the lump to be fatty tissue, confrimed on ultrasound and that the rest of my exam was unremarkable. Given that i had no exam, he just poked the lump with one finger, didn’t check my armpit, my collarbone or check the rest of the breast or my other breast…
I called for the results a few days later and was told the cells showed normal breast tissue.
Given that I had a triple assessment I should be reassured by this, but I can’t seem to let it go. I am 45, have two paternal aunts dead from BC, four maternal Aunts with early diagnosed BC, one with OVCA and a cousin with a double mastectomy aged 25. Since my clinic visit two weeks ago, the lump has grown and several other thickened areas seem to have popped up around it.
I’m really trying to be rational about this - but would like to know what others think. Did I have an adequate exam, can I trust the result or should I push for another clinic appointment?
Any advice/experiences would be extremely helpful. Thank you.

Hi At45,

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums where I am sure you will get lots of good, honest support from the many informed users of this site. Could I also suggest that you give our helpline team here a ring and have a chat with them about your concerns, they’re here to support you. Calls are free, 0808 800 6000 lines open 9-5 Mon to Fri and 10-2 Saturdays.

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Hello at45

That sounds like an absolutely awful experience. The only thing I can suggest, is go back to GP, ask for appointment with a female doctor and not the young man you saw before. Tell them you feel as though you weren’t taken seriously as breast clinic were rushed, and ask if you can be referred again. Preferably to a different clinic if that is at all possible. Nobody should be fobbed off, or sent home with uncertainties. You need peace of mind, if they were right, fine, but you should have had it explained properly WHY they were right.
Hope you get some reassuring information somehow. Take care.

Thanks poemsgalore, I really appreciate your reply. Stupid thing is I would tell anyone else the same thing, but always find it really hard to advocate for myself. I will muster myself and go back to the GP I think. Unfortunately i don’t have a great deal of trust in doctors, lots of misdiagnosis in the family - lost my dad because his heart attacks were diagnosed as indigestion, lost my brother in law because his brain tumour was diagnosed as sinusitis and lost my son because his heart defect was diagnosed as a cold. Not a great history!
I do get that clinics are busy, that doctors are busy but I pretty sure all of us would wait an extra hour if we had to just to know that EVERY woman was getting the time she deserved and was being treated like a human being.

That does sound awful, and very unsatisfactory. You didn’t mention a mammogram - did you have one and what did the screen show? A mammo is the first step in any triple assessment. I certainly would not leave it at that. This is your lump and your life - and you need a thorough assessment and a chance to ask questions. You also seem to have several female relatives who had breast cancer and this ought to ring some alarm bells - did you tell the clinic people about this?

I hope you find some reassurance.

Hi Lola, thanks for replying. I didn’t get a mammo, one of the healthcare assistants said that everyone was getting Ultrasounds that day because they were trying to catch up from the previous cancelled clinics. I did tell the consultant the family history and he did mention something about genetic counselling and getting early mammograms because of it - that’s one of the reasons i was surprised i didn’t get one that day.
I think I have to go back and be ‘formidable’ don’t I?