Anxiety, sudden lump growth

Hi all, hopefully this posts correctly, I just joined. I’m 32 and freaking out. My doctor found a good sized lump (2 to 3 cm) a few weeks ago during my annual well woman visit. The lump is deep, and she didn’t seem terribly concerned but I’ve got an ultrasound and mammogram scheduled in three days. Two nights ago I realized the lump was much bigger suddenly (I can’t stop feeling the lump so I know it wasn’t like that a day or two prior) and the lymph node in my armpit was swollen. Yesterday morning the skin on my breast was red and painful. I called the after hours line since it’s the weekend and was told to go to urgent care for antibiotics in case it’s an abscess. I did that immediately and the redness went away but it’s still painful and still very large/size hasn’t gone down. I was told to call the doctor first thing Monday morning if it’s not improved. I guess I’m just really scared. I didn’t think abscesses could just hang out in tissue for 3-4 weeks then suddenly decide to become an issue? Is it common for these lumps to just suddenly double (or more) in size so rapidly? Waiting for the ultrasound and mammogram has been difficult enough but this is even worse. Additionally I’m being evaluated for PCOS if that matters. Thanks for reading.

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Hello @strawberrycat

So sorry for your situation - you have a lot going on.

If you think there’s no improvement or not much I should go through with the plan to ring your Drs. It’s very difficult to answer your questions - I don’t know the answer your Dr. might but also may want to reserve judgement until after your tests . From the fact that you have had some response to antibiotics it does seem certain that there is an infection and this could also have caused the swelling in your armpit . It’s tempting to keep feeling the lump but try to leave it alone unless asked by a clinician to reassess - you don’t want to risk setting off the redness in your skin again.

If you want further help I would advise contacting the nurse helpline ( number on the main site ) . It may be easier for them to gain a better picture in discussion with you than you have been able to give here. I have no idea whether PCOS might be relevant at all but they may have some information for you about that.

Try to keep busy until you get your tests - the waiting game is awful it drives us all round the bend but it’s 3 days and you just need to get through them 1 at a time.

Let us know how you get on
Joanne x

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I had my mammogram and ultrasound today. The lump was not an abscess unfortunately, it was solid when they did the biopsy. I am still on antibiotics and while the redness is still gone, they did say one of my lymph nodes in my armpit was still slightly enlarged. The lymph nodes in my neck and jaw are also still somewhat tender. I’m terrified that this could be inflammatory breast cancer that is responding to the antibiotics. I would find it to be unlikely that I developed mastitis AND have this lump suddenly. I should get biopsy results Friday or early next week. Hopefully it’s benign but my hopes aren’t high right now.

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I’m so sorry that you don’t have the all clear - or answers . I will still keep my fingers crossed for you and hope that your results come through ASAP .

I had the same tests as you and was told at the same appointment by a BCN that it was almost definitely cancer as were others - but I know isn’t always that straightforward.

Joanne. X


Good luck strawberrycat. Do you have polycystic ovarian syndrome? I was not sure what PCOS stands for.

A friend of mine had it.


I’m still waiting to find out about the polycystic ovarian syndrome. My doctors office called me tonight asking me to come in tomorrow morning to go over biopsy results and I’m so scared.


Sending hugs


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good luck

We’re sending all the best wishes @strawberrycat and are here for you every step of the way whatever the result :heart:

I went in this morning and got my results. It’s cancer. That is the preliminary result- invasive mammary carcinoma. We are still awaiting staging and what not. I have an appointment set up with a surgeon next week and will get more information at that time. Obviously I’m devastated, as is my husband. We were really hoping to start a family soon. My parents and brother are shocked… My friends don’t know what to say. This sucks.

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I’m so sorry Strawberry Cat - yes it really sucks , no words to explain quite how much . I hope you get your plan soon.

Write down all your questions in a notebook and take it with you to your appointments otherwise there will be things you will forget to ask . Don’t be put off if someone tries to tell you that you don’t need to know that just yet / it’s not important at the moment - I think it’s best to get the biggest picture you can. That’s not for everyone I know but it is for me and somehow I think you will feel the same.

Perhaps you could also ask them if your investigations for PCOS can be fast tracked as this can also affect fertility as I’m sure you know . Also it would be good if your care could be managed in a joined up way .

Keep posting

With love
Joanne xx

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