had needle aspiration - but totally confused :-(


I am just looking for some information as I went to the breast clinic today about a lump (I’ve been waiting for 2 weeks and have been worried sick) and have come away feeling totally confused by the doctor.

I had a ultrasound first and the lady said the lump didn’t show on the ultrasound (although she could feel it when she examined me) and she said it didn’t look suspicious, so I felt really relieved. Then I went in a saw a male doctor. He was foreign and although he spoke English, I’m not sure if some of it got ‘lost in translation’…

He had a really a abrupt attitude and after examining my breast and saying that one side was very lumpy but probably fatty tissue, he said “there is no point putting a needle in because you are very skinny”, then said “You will come back in 8 weeks and if it is still there I will try and put a needle in then”. (The lump has been the same for the past 6 weeks.)

The thing is, I’m not THAT skinny! I’m a size 10 and I have A/B cup breasts. I asked what he would do if the lump was the same in 8 weeks and he said he would put a needle in then and try and get cells. Then he started saying that the lump is near my chest wall and that he didn’t want to puncture my lung. When I explained that I didn’t want to wait 8 weeks if there was anything to worry about, he suddenly said he could put the needle in right away (a good thing I’d already done some research because he certainly wasn’t about to explain anthing to me!)and didn’t mention my lungs again… although I was feeling slighly nervous!

He said (before he put the needle in) that he thinks there wouldn’t be enough cells because the lump is small (my GP put it as 2cm and it easy to feel) and that he might miss it. He said that I will have to go back next week for the results, if no results the have another try with the needle and if there still were not enough cells then I could have it taken out if I was “still concerned”.

So, basically I am thinking I should be relieved, but I don’t understand what the lump is - if it’s fatty tissue then why was he suggesting putting a needle in at all? And I thought the ultrasound would show for definite if it was nothing. I’m also worried that he seems to think it’s up to me if the lump is taken out. I certainly don’t want it removed just for the sake of it, but I want to be really sure it’s okay.

I don’t want to see the same man next week and have him sticking a needle in me whilst muttering “I might miss” again. I have been really anxious about today and I now starting to question whether I am slightly mad and if I have actually imagined the lump or not!

Has anyone had experience of being told they were ‘too skinny’ for needle aspiration? Or has any suggestions on what I should do? I’m in two minds about going back at all - neither the doctor or the ultrasound lady seemed worried and I am quite young (29) so I’m thinking maybe I should just leave it at that (I’m sure they’ll ring me if anything shows up, but he told me he thought it would come back saying there weren’t enough cells anyway).

Thank you for reading anyway, it was all a bit strange so I feel better just for writing it down.

Rosie xxx


Sorry to hear about your confusing time.I don’t want to worry you at all and obviously every single case is different but some of your experience happened to me too ( not the skinny bit though!!!)

When I first went to the breast clinic, neither the doctor nor the consultant were worried about my lump. They did the ultrasound and it didn’t show anything.They then said to come back in 6 weeks and if it’s still there they’d do FNA. However,like you,I said I couldn’t wait so they did do one there and then.I was told ‘just to put your mind at rest.’ I waited for my results and got them an hour later and was told they were clear. Unfortunately they weren’t and I was recalled two weeks later.The cells were ‘suspicious’ after all and I had to have another ultrasound then a mammo. Both unclear. Then a punch biopsy, two week wait for that, then ‘suspicious’ results again.I’m to have the lump out next week.

I know this is terribly long winded but I would urge you to make sure you do get the results from the FNA and possibly try and get referred to another Breast clinic too (if you are not convinced by the man you saw today), to get this checked out.I don’t think you will rest fully until you know for sure what the lump is. Even after the first appointment where they said it was fine the fact that they never actually said what the lump was puzzled me.

I am 37 so fairly young in these terms.

As I said, I don’t want to worry you and the lump could be lots of different things.Chances are all is fine. What is important is that you are satisfied and sure of any tests and results that you are given.

Love freddie xxxxxxxxxx

Hi Freddie,

Thank you for your reply, it sounds like you’ve been waiting for a long time, I’m sorry that you got bad news - it must have been awful after being told you had the all clear.

I have decided I will go back next week and I am prepared for the doctor this time! Hopefully they did get enough cells for analysis so I won’t need to have him put the needle in again. I’m sure it will be okay - although every time the phone rings I get the fear that it’s the hospital phoning to say they need to speak to me. Hopefully the results will come back and I’ll be able to relax :slight_smile:

Also, if you can remember, when you the needle biopsy, did they take bloody fluid out? I saw this and presumed if was normal but then when I was hunting about on the internet (which I know I shouldn’t do) I saw something about bloody fluid needing more tests. Although I’m reasoning that if you put a needle into any part of your body there would probably be blood in the sample, so it’s probably nothing.

Good luck for when you have your lump removed, thank you again for taking the time to reply to my message.



Glad to hear you’re feeling a little better. As for finding things on the internet- there’s so much on there and so many different findings it is difficult to know what is fact.

The fluid they took out when i had the FNA was bloody I think- not really that sure though and it probably means nothing. Like you say I think this would happen anyway.xxxx

Best of luck with everything

Love Freddie xxxxxxxxx

Hi Rosie
Sorry to hear you are having a difficult time, there’s always someone here to give support.
Can’t really comment on FNA, as my process was quite different; I had a core biopsy on an area which showed up on a mammogram, and I am a fair bit older than both you and Freddie!

All I would say, on a general note, is that you deserve MUCH better treatment at your clinic.It is really not acceptable to come away not understanding what is going on. Fair enough, sometimes we are given a lot of information to take in, when we might be feeling anxious and possibly not in a good frame of mind to take it in. But in your case, it sounds as if the fault was with the doctor who was just not explaining things to you.

Is it a dedicated breast clinic? Perhaps you could arrange to speak to a breast care nurse, who might be able to explain things properly.

I hope things go well for you, keep in touch,

Hi Rosie… I had a similar situation. I wish I had known to follow up quickly. I hope that you did and received good news. Best wishes.

Do chase up your results Rosie. I am 32 and i was told 99% my lump was a fibradenoma-benign- and to come back in a week.

I did go back and it was grade 3 breast cancer and i am now waiting for chemo. Because i am young they just wrote the lump off and how wrong they were!!

If you dont like the Dr you have seen you are within your rights to ask to see someone else.

Good luck