Having to wait more than 2 weeks for appointment

I have been referred for breast screening as I have a large lump in my left breast.  It should be under the 2 week wait rule but I have been advised that the wait is going to be at least 4 weeks and will not be at my nearest hospital as they are not undertaking breast screening due to Covid-19.  The only hospital doing the screening is some way away and I would only be able to attend by using a taxi.  As I am on UC the cost of a taxi is going to be prohibitive.

My GP ‘appointment’ was over the phone so it hasn’t even been looked at by a medical professional.

I really feel that this type of service should have returned to as near normal as is possible under the circumstances by now.

Where I live it was super fast, I had my GP appointment as normal. I then went to the breast clinic 2 days after my GP appointment where they did a ultrasound and a biopsy, they then booked me in for my results appointment there and then for the 26th.

out of curiosity do you live where there’s a local lockdown? 
I don’t and wondered if that would make a difference.

Im thinking of you, I know it’s all a worry could you get someone to drive you to your appointment? The biopsy didn’t hurt but I had a really bad head afterwards with all the stress, I’m glad I didn’t dive myself.

I really do feel for you. It is frustrating to say the least. But horrible delays like this cannot all be attributed to Covid. I went to my GP with a lump last October and was referred under the 2 week rule. My appointment was subsequently scheduled for the fourteenth day, the very limit of that promised 2 weeks. The first appointment itself turned out to be a total waste of time, no more than a massaging of figures so that a box could be ticked. The junior doctor confirmed, ‘Yes, you have a lump. I’ll book you a biopsy. You should hear in two weeks.’ Needless to say that appointment was also scheduled for the fourteenth day. It then took 2 1/2 weeks to get the biopsy results and a diagnosis. I could weep when I read of people on these discussions praising the timely and super-efficient service they have received. I am delighted that the system has worked as it should for them but, sadly, it is not like that for all of us. It certainly should be. 

I echo what so many on these forums say. The waiting is by far the worse part of this whole process. That period where you are left in limbo, stressed to distraction in no-man’s land, is just the pits.  On this occasion ignorance is not bliss; it is torture. 

I really hope that you get your appointment much quicker than you anticipate. In the meantime be kind to yourself and steer clear of Google. Breathe slowly and deeply. Indulge in calming little rituals, favourite activities and special treats to get you through the days. Because you’re worth it. Good luck! 

Hi Lesley

What a horrible situation to be in. I’m wondering if your GP asked specific questions about the nature of your lump which suggested it might be a fibroadenoma or large cyst. I remember a phone conversation with the GP who referred me, when she told me she was “amazed” I got a breast cancer diagnosis as my lump didn’t feel like breast cancer at all. Just a thought.

Another thought is that it might be a good idea to ring the Macmillan Helpline to ask about any financial support for travel. Some hospitals have schemes that reduce or remove the cost and it’s worth knowing about in case you have to make regular journeys - it’s not like the DWP is going to be helpful  

The waiting is hard but, if you’re unlucky enough to get a breast cancer diagnosis, there is a LOT of waiting. Meantime, I would recommend plugging into a YouTube video a few times every day to help you unwind or switch off for a few precious moments. My favourite was Progressive Hypnosis’s Manifest Healing - it saw me through some tough times!

I wish you all the best for a speedy appointment and some good news. Remember, most breast lumps are not breast cancer. X