Do I have breast cancer?

Hi all.
A few months ago I started having a dull ache in my right breast and experienced a discharge a couple of times. It has also been itching but cant find a lump.
I have an apointment at the breast clinic in 2 wks time and am worried that if they dont find a lump will they just send me home without an explanation? Can you still have breast cancer without having a lump?
Thank you

Hi Jo and welcome to the BCC forums

I am sorry to read that you have this worry please feel free to call our helpline on 0808 800 6000 to talk your concerns over with one of our team, lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 Saturdays

I am posting a link to the BCC publication ‘Your breast clinic appointment’ which you may find helpful:

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/worried-about-breast-cancer/referral-breast-clinic-bcc70

Best wishes

Lucy

To add to this I forgot to say that I have aching pains down my right arm also. Is this a symptom of bc?

Jo

Hi Jojo1981
Hi, and sorry to hear that you are going through this difficult time. Referrals and the waiting we have to endure is always very hard and emotionally draining.
Firstly, not all breast cancers are diagnosed on the finding of a ‘lump’ only. In my case it was thickening of the skin and a change in the size of the breast itself that alerted me that something was not right. I did not have a distinct lump. Therfore, I would not overly worry about not having a distinct lump or it’s relevance.
The hospital will not send you home until they have done a through examination of your symtoms, this may include having tests, these are often done there and then. There is likely to be a mammogram and possibly a ultrasound examination too.
In most cases, they are able to give you an indication as to what thier initial thoughts are. I was told it was 95% likely I had breast cancer. and indeed this was confirmed the following week. It may be useful to take some one with you (a friend/sister/mum/partner) as we do not always take in the things we are told by the consultant or nurse.
It is important to remember that something in the region of 9 out of 10 women leave the breast clinic with a clean bill of health! as my friend did last week.
Whilst you are waiting for your referral, if you think of anything else (no question too small/silly) you would like to ask - go ahead. There is a wealth of experience from the women on the forum. And we have all been in the 'waiting room’so understand the anxiety. Alternatively, the nurses here can help by phone or email if you prefer.
Best Wishes
WS