any advice appreciated!

Hi, have just joined the forum as I am going out of my mind with the wait to be referred to the breast clinic and have seen how helpful the forum is to be able to share things.

A week ago I noticed a hard lump in my left breast and went to the doctor who says I also have a swelling in my armpit (can’t feel it myself though…). I have been referred and am being seen on Monday.

I’ve got two questions - I can see I am not alone with veering from ‘it’s just a cyst’ to fearing the worst, but I am so exhausted that I can hardly function. This tiredness actually started a week before I noticed the lump, so I can’t help wondering if there is a connection or if it is just the worry that’s made it worse…

The other question is - I can’t work out whether I will leave the clinic on Monday with at least a clue as to what is wrong or if I am in line for weeks of waiting - can anyone tell me how quick results of say mammograms are?

Thank you!

Hello deb24801

Welcome to the forums. This is a very worrying time for you but you have come to the right place for support from our experienced users who I’m sure will be along to support you soon.

In the meantime maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 600 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 to 2.00.

With best wishes
June, moderator

Hello and well done for going to your GP in the first place!

There is some variation from hospital to hospital, but at a ‘one stop’ clinic you will meet a doctor who will exmaine you and take a history. He/she will then send you for a mammogram and the results are sent back to them pretty quickly. They may well also send you for an ultrasound to have a different kind of look see. Based on this they will have a pretty good idea what’s going on and will almost certainly tell you. At my hospital, and many are the same, if they suspect it is cancer, they will do a fine needle biopsy (FNB) and a core biopsy (CB) straight away - these are not usually painful though can be uncomfortable. At my hopsital they give the FNB result within an hour (along with an initial view on treatment) but wait for the CB (a few days, no more than a week) to confirm the diagnosis. If you have a cyst, they will probably drain it there and then. You can expect to be at the hospital for up to 4 hours. If you have someone you can take with you, I’d advise it.

If you do have cancer - and it’s still very much if at this stage - they will move very quickly to come up with a good treatment plan for you. Try to remember that about 90% of lumps are benign and there may be good, innocent reasons why your GP found enlargmeent in your armpit. No one will be happier than us if you get a good outcome, but if you have to join us, there are some really lovely poeple on here who will support you.

Take care, try not to worry too much (easy said, I know, I’ve been there).

Sending you a big cyber hug

Hello Deb
So sorry you are going through this
firstly it depends on the clinic, but most do give you some idea of what they think it is, but until biopsy results are done nobody will know for sure.

The tiredness could just be all the stress & worry, but do mention it when you go Monday they will know more. Remember 9 out of 10 lumps are benign & it could well be a cyst, your going to be worried until you know what you are dealing with. Its all the waiting that is the hard part. theres always someone here if you need to rant or ask anything.

Take good care & keep us posted
Mekala x

have you got the letter for your appointment yet? is there a phone number on it?? you can ring and ask what sort of clinic it is and wether or not you can get results the same day and wether or not you are seeing a doctor or just having scans. if the person who answers the phone is not clear you can be asked to be put through to the breast care nurses who should tell you the proceedure at your particular hospital.

I had a cyst that i found myself, and the scans found enlarged nodes, but the nodes were just doing their job and fighting the cyst, their was not cancer in the nodes. When they were examining the cyst they found cancer cells too and so i have had the lump out and am waiting radiation-- no chemo. The op was three weeks ago and i am completely back to normal, charging around getttin on with my life with just the odd twinge as the breast heals.

As everyone says this waiting for appointments is the worst part of it, I think i would rather have the op again than go through all that waiting and not knowing.

Are you taking someone along with you? You will probably have to hang around for some time so the company is good, and if they do find something of concern on the scan they will tell you straight away and so it is good to have a second pair of ears there to take in exactly what they say. Or it is good to have someone to go and have a cofee or something stronger with to celebrate the storm in a teacup

Hello there!

Oh, the waiting really is a horrible part, n I agree with OAL, it’s the worst part. Once you know what you’re dealing with, if anything, then at least you can move forwards, but the waiting is just totally out of your control.

OAL’s advice to ring the clinic is great, so pls consider doing so tomorrow. Another idea might be to go onto the webpage for your local hospital. My hospital is great, but doesn’t mention the breast clinic very much online, but another hospital only a few miles away has a big section on their website about their clinic. It’d be great if yours had similar, and so you may even get some of your questions answered tonight if you look on yr hospital website.

The tiredness could be stress, or it could have been the hot weather that was around at that time (in yr area too). Our minds can cause all sorts of havoc when we may innocently put 2 and 2 together - I include my mind in that! Think I’d be just the same as you!

Alternatively the swelling in your armpit could be a swollen lymph node through infection, and it could be infection that made you feel tired.

My hospital don’t have the one stop clinic - I wish they did! I hope yours does, and wish you all the best with your appt. Take a friend with you if you can, and hopefully you’ll be celebrating afterwards that you’re one of the 90percent whose breast lump most definitely isnt cancer. And, if it is, you’ll get a treatment plan sorted very quickly - hospital staff are lovely in those clinics.

Lots of love, and keep posting on here, and let us know how you go on at your appt please!

Shelley xxx

Wow, thank you for your comments - as soon as I posted my question I felt like something had lifted, and now I know why - I don’t feel alone anymore!! I’ve even been doing housework haha…

I looked at the hospital website, it looks a state of the art clinic with loads of technology but not much written about it. I got my referral letter today so will definately ring them tomorrow, god knows why I hadnt done so before…

Thank you so much once again xxx

Shelly-- you dont happen to be in North London do you? my local hospitals website was rubbish, but the one down the road had a fantastic website, and I asked to be refered to that one instead.

Hiya OAL, nope, think it’d be quite a long walk if we were to meet up - am right up at the other end of the country! Lol! My friend only lives about 15 miles from me, but she’s in a different county.

I’ve never thought of asking to go to another hospital actually - my surgeon was great though. He’s involved in research I think - he was welcome to use my gammy nipple for whatever purpose he wanted if it’d help bc research!

But, I do wish they had a “one stop shop” for bc diagnosis!

Luv Shelley xxx

PS - I clicked on the wrong button when I first started to reply to you OAL - it was the report button!!! What am I like! I’ve not done that before. I didn’t report it - it just came up with this form to fill in which I didnt do. Hope you dont get anything bad from BCC as a result of my mistake OAL!

oh i must have done that before and just sent a blank report off. I got a very strange email saying that the report I had submitted had been investigated and no action had been taken

I realised what I’d done n didnt send it off thankfully - we’re birds of a feather aren’t we, both clicking on the same wrong button! Lol! xx

Hi Deb,

glad we’ve been able to help you, and hope you’re even more reassured after you’ve spoken to the hospital tomorrow. Thinking of you, n please come on here and let us know how you go on!

Much love,
Shelley xxx