do i have cancer?

Hi, I am new to this site. I am 25yrs old. I found a lump in my left breast and went to my doctor. He sent me to see the specialist at the hospital who said it was just a harmless cyst. It hurts alot and some days I cannot raise my arm above my head. I went back to my doctor and he referred me back again. I had an ultrasound which revealed that there is 5 or 6 small cysts in a cluster. They told me not to worry about them and take paracetamol if the pain gets too bad! I told the specialist of my family history ( mum had cysts which were cancerous- had surgery and radiotherapy and is now cancer free :), mum’s sister had cysts which were cancerous- had double mastectomy, radiotherapy and is currently having chemo), he didn’t seem bothered. I feel like he’s fobbing me off?

Hi lizzie

Welcome to the forums, you may find our factsheet about breast cysts helpful to read to help clarify some of the information you have had and you can do so via the following link:

If you have any further queries please do contact our helpline where you can speak to a specialist nurse about the concerns you have regarding your family history on 0808 800 6000. The helpline is open mon-fri 9am-5pm and sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

Breast Cancer Care

Hi Lizzie,

Welcome to this site, sorry its taken two days for anyone to reply, new postings are usually picked up pretty quick. I believe you will find lots of support here, we are experts in what is happening to us so any advice given is not meant to scare you, just give you other perspectives than the medical profession.

Your title ‘do I have cancer’ cannot be answered by any of us really, but I do pick up you are worried about being fobbed off. I think when we feel we are not taken seriously fears grow. I think given the family history I am surprised the consultant hasn’t at least offered to aspirate the cyst, if he did that may calm your fears.

Personally I would go back if I was feeling fobbed off and ask for more detailed information on why he feels no further investigations are needed. Take someone with you to make notes during the consultation. I really think this will alter the situation. If not keep going back.

Having said all this I really think that consultants have the experience to identify cysts as being different to solid lumps. Everything is probably innocent but if its a piece of mind you need to perceive.

Good luck

Can anyone else help Lizze out here? I am not classed as a younger woman, I’m only 50 but old enough to be her mum so I expect she’d like a young person’s support and perspective.



Hi Lizzy, so to hear about your experience.

I do not know either if this is cancereous, I would think they are cysts it is normally something that just needs aspirating.
Personally I think it is out of order to sent someone away like they did with you.
For starters you are in pain, so what do they expect? for you to take painrelief for the rest of your life?
Secondly I think that with a family history like yours, you would want some more reassurance.
You should always be able to ask for a sec opinion ( as far as I understand). If you are insured or have the money you could possibly have that done privately.

I think the best thing is to make an appointment to see a doctor again. Or else ask for a sec opinion via your GP (an urgent one that is)

I hope there a benign cysts there, but you would think they could be aspirated. Of course I am not a doctor ( but a veterinary surgeon infact). I felt that when I went to see my gp with my lump she was temped to ‘wait and see’ (since I was breastfeeding and only 36). But I insisted and now I am almost 1 year after surgery and chemo.

So my advise is be firm untill you are happy with your treatment.
good luck. Hope all is well

Hi there,
I think you need to go back to your GP and explain your not happy with the consultant and ask to be refered to another one. 9 out of 10 lumps are harmless, and 25 is a uncommon age, however given the family history, I think a biopsy of the cysts will put your mind at rest.

I’m 28 by the way, 15 months post diagnosis.

Same as Dutchy, be firm and demand the medical attention you deserve,
All the best,

Thanks for all your nice comments.
I have had another appointment with the consultant at the hospital and am still not happy! He told me the same thing as last time- take painkillers and GLA if it gets too bad?! He did say that i should go to a family history clinic as my family history is a bit worrying, but our local council (Lancs County Council) has cut funding to ours at Chorley Hospital so now I don’t know where to go?
I just feel that ’ my age’ is being used as an excuse to fob me off, as when my mum went with me 2 appointments ago, they actually asked her questions and listened to her but not me. Maybe I sound a bit pathetic and fussy but this has been going on for 1 year now, and all i’ve had is an ultrasound and lots of pain. I asked the man to take it out but he said he wouldn’t.

Can you ask to get to see a different consultant? That might help. I don’t know anything about hospitals in your area. I am from the west Mids.
PLease do not give up.

All the best

Hiya lizzie

I woke one morning and found that an area of my breast was sore. After a poke and a prod I discovered a lump and went straight to the docs who were fab and referred me to a one stop clinic. I had u/s. mammo and another u/s with fine needle aspiriation. Half an hour later they confirmed it was cancer. I was 26 at the time and have a strong family history in that my mum has had bc twice and ovarian cancer.

Having read another thread about a court case one of the ladies went through she wrote the following “Despite clearly detecting two lumps and despite all the guidelines the senior house officer failed to carry out all three parts of the triple assessment which consists of firstly clinical examination, secondly imagery (mammography or ultrasound) and thirdly histology (fine needle aspiration or biopsy)”.

If your having no luck from your consultants (are you seeing the consultant or Registrar, SHO) might it be worth contacting PALS (Patient Advice Liaision Service) at your hospital or mention the above guidelines to your consultant. Although my experience was good I believe not all women our age receive the same standard of care and you should really push for this.

Good luck.

Ju -x-