Hard, painful and large lump

Hello everyone,

I’m 47 years old, and approximately 10 days ago, I noticed a hard and large lump on my right breast. Initially, I attributed it to my period, which is now 5 days late (possibly due to perimenopause). However, over the past 3 days, I’ve experienced significant pain in my right breast, making it uncomfortable to wear tight clothing or a bra. My breast feels heavy.

There’s no discharge, but the skin appears slightly red due to inflammation. The lump is located at the center of my breast, beneath my nipple. It feels about the size of an orange, smooth, but very hard.

I’ve just seen my GP, who expressed concern. Although the lump feels smooth, he doesn’t think it resemble a cyst. He suggested the possibility of cancer and referred me to a clinic. Unfortunately, the appointment isn’t for nearly 2 weeks, which has left me feeling anxious.

In terms of family history, my aunt (father’s sister) had breast cancer in her 60s, and my grandmother (mother’s side) had breast cancer in her 70s. On a more positive note, my sister had a cyst the size of an orange, which wasn’t cancerous.

Overall, I consider myself healthy and feel well. However, given the rapid growth of the lump, I’m concerned it could be inflammatory breast cancer, known for its aggressive nature and quick progression

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I’m sorry that you’re in this this situation and the waiting period that you are going through now is just the worst. The 2 week referral is fairly standard - it’s not an unreasonable time to wait but it feels like it when you’re the one waiting . Try to keep busy in the meantime , it’s hard to control your imagination especially when you have a family history but try not to go down that rabbit hole . Try to avoid googling your symptoms as it’s not your friend right now . The fact is that anything anyone can tell you here would just be speculation and you need to wait for your appointment and tests to confirm what it is / is not . I would say that as you say there are signs of inflammation , that if your breast becomes hot and red please go back to your GP as that might mean an infection.

If you ring the helpline you may be able to discuss your situation with the nurses in more detail than is possible here and they may be able to give you a little more information. It’s 0808 800 6000 and open in the morning from 8 am .

With best wishes xx


Dear Cyn

So so sorry to read your post, anxiety takes such a toll on us.

I think Joanne has given you some excellent advise, unfortunately the waiting time doesn’t help, however as you say this is red and could be an infection, and you may need antibiotics.

Maybe, call you GP or the breast cancer nurses on the forum who will point you in the right direction, who are very kind and understanding.

Wishing you well, finger crossed for a good outcome we are all here for you, with the biggest hugs.

Tili :pray::rainbow::pray::rainbow:


Thank you for your kind and helpful words, Joanne and Tili.

Since then, I’ve had my period, and the swelling and pain are gradually decreasing. My breast feels soft again, with only minor pain if I press the lumps (I chose not to take anti-inflammatory medication, opting instead to eat whole foods and avoid sugar). The lumps are still large (there is more than one). I’m more at peace now and accepting whatever comes. I can’t control it, only fight if it turns out to be cancer. The thought of it just makes me appreciate the simple things in life.

All the best xx


Hello guys,

Thankfully, the mammogram and ultrasound came back clear. I have a few cysts in both breasts, and I had the liquid drained from the large ones. I found it very irresponsible of my GP (male) to tell me that the large lumps looked like cancer and not cysts (he mentioned “concern is cancer” in the referral letter). The breast consultant (female) checked my breasts and the first thing she said was that the lumps looked like cysts. If the large lump were cancer, I would have nodules in my lymphatic glands by now. I can just imagine how a woman with kids and high anxiety issues would feel if she were told by her GP that she likely has breast cancer and then had to wait for two weeks to confirm his suspicions. GPs should have more empathy.

I thank the NHS for the amazing service provided at the breast clinic. The NHS needs to be saved.

All the best!


Oh that’s really good to hear @cyn . I can understand why your GP put that in your letter though he should probably have put it something like needing investigation to diagnose the problem and exclude breast cancer as the cause. He shouldn’t have said what he did but maybe he will think twice another time having been proved wrong.

I’m glad that they were able to give you some treatment and I’m sure you will feel better for it . Xx

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Dear cyn,

Excellent news, time to pick up and enjoy life.

Hope the sunshine on you forever.

Hugs Tili :pray::rainbow::pray::rainbow:

That is fantastic news. My GP just said they had felt something and would refer me to a breadt clinic. Being a Nurse, I went into panic mode. Mine did turn out to be Cancer, but eas glad that my GP was sympathetic and not presumptive.