How did you find your lump/symptoms?

I was put on a family screening programme despite the fact that both my mum and grandmother had been in their 60’s when diagnosed. I was 41 when my first mamagram appointment came though. I went to this and was recalled. Had a further mamagram and ultra sound and an early diagnosis was made.
My surgeon said to me just before my op that, with my family background he wouldn’t have put me on the programme. So I class myself as very lucky. He said I wouldn’t have felt the lump for 6 - 18 months as it was so deep and the outcome could have been very different.

well i didnt find a lump at all. i caught something called haemolytic sterptococclus, nasty little blood disease but as its almost been erradicated it took 6 weeks of test after test but i had no voice and had coughed myself raw and thought i has ruptured something the doc said he thought i had but as i hadnt had a mamo yet he would cross that off this list as well!, that was a rupture but they founbd calcifications further round which was a 6mm grade 1 tubular carsinoma which the breast surgeon couldnt i had a wire localisation as it was so small then wle and snb in dec then 15 x rads in jan, no chemo.

I felt an aching in my left shoulder last Aug at the airport as I pulled my suitcase alsong. This led to me rubbing my shoulder area and putting it down to more ‘old age’ aches and pains (not really old…47). Around xmas when bc was prominent on Corrie, I was still rubbing shoulder and armpit area and began to move down side of breast…then I felt a thickening on left breast…didn’t really think much of it as no family history, I was fit as a flea and had only started a new job in Sept so my mind was concentrating on that and mot on any diversions!!! Around Jan time my nipples started to itch and an indentation began to develop in the ‘thinkened’ area. It was end of Feb when I decided (just by chance ) at my pill review appointment that I had itchy nipples. Practice nurse referred me to GP who I saw 3 days later, she fast tracked me to hosp and 2 weeks later doc could feel the thickening.
I had mammogram on a brand new machine and the operator was learning on the job, my first mammogram and not my best ever experience!! Then sent for ultrasound, that took ages and ages and the radiographer said I was to have biopsies there and then…10 biopsies were taken and during this I asked if I was right to presume that this was bad news…the radiographer confirmed this then aplogised if hes news shocked me…it didn’t actually I thin I had worked it out by then…then I did drop quite swiftly into shock when he said they found something in right breast also and lymph nodes were ‘worrying him’!!!
Ended up with wle on both breats…26mm IDC lumpectomy on left and node clearance 3/34 nodes affected and IDC 15mm lumpectomy on right
and 2 small lesions removed sentinel node biopsy done which was clear on the 2 nodes removed!!!
Never done anything by halves so I suppose this is no different!!!
Suze xx

I had an early miscarriage, and as my breasts normalized (they had swollen during those first few weeks of pregnancy) I saw a dimple appear under my right nipple. It didn’t disappear, but even though I have a family history, I thought it would just be a bump associated with pregnancy.

Sadly not so. I stupidly got pregnant again before I went to the doc to have it checked out, but that miscarried too. My body probably had too much else to cope with, so wasn’t prepared to carry a baby at that point.

I also found out from the radiographer at mammo/ultrasound/biopsy stage.

My story is rather different as i have very rare type called inflammatory breast cancer (ibc) which tends to present in a totally different way.
We went on holiday April 2008 and during that time i am sure that my breast was totally normal. I even commented to my husband on the last day that none of us had managed to sunburn this year (you know that “oh no missed that tiny bit with the suncream…”) and i said that whilst standing naked infront of the bathroom mirror…
We returned from holiday on the saturday and sadly the next day my mum died… I then went into that post bereavement fog where to be honest i could have grown 2 heads and not noticed. The funeral was 10 days later and was held back in the midlands where i grew up. I went by myself as my son is autistic and so my husband stayed behind with him.
When i reached Staffordshire i went for a shower to refreshen up and as i got out i thought “what on earth is THAT!” My entire left breast was pink and slightly warm to the touch. I straight away thought it was ibc… I used to have to attend annual mammograms due to a very strong family history and had been warned of things to look out for. Anyway i never mentioned it to my brother or sister - but believe me going to your mum’s funeral - sitting there looking at her coffin thinking “i’ve got cancer” is a surreal experience…
I got back to the northeast and the next day phoned my gp surgery and was fitted in to see the on-call doctor - which turned out to be one of the male gps… I told him straight away i thought i had IBC but he poo-hooed it and said he was convinced it was an infection perhaps from an insect bite on holiday. Things were further confused as i was due for my annual mammogram the very next Monday - so he suggested trying anti-biotics and seeing how the mammogram went.
I agreed (always regreted that…) and went for the mammo - by now the breast was getting firmer, larger and to be honest looked like a giant strawberry… (the pores even looked pitted - the classic orange peel skin associated with IBC) I told the radiographer my fears and asked what happened if someone came in for a routine annual mammo and it was clear something was wrong… She said that if anything was found on the mammo i would hear very quickly and be called in.
I never did hear anything back… and had another gp appointment booked to followup the first… this time i was booked in to see one of the female gps and she took one look and said “we need to refer this straight away” i got back home and literally 20 minutes later got a call asking me to attend the breast clinic the next day.
Again i started by saying i thought i had IBC and the nurse took one look and went to get the consultant and i was sent for an ultrasound whilst they tracked down my mammo results… They did biopsys at the ultrasound and sent me back… IBC is very different to other types of bc and they looked at some cells from my fna under the microscope there and then… this confirmed it was IBC…
They found my mammo results in the pile that get send the “Thank you for attending your annual mammogram - see you again next year” pile… Despite the fact the report said there was thickening and changes from the year before and it was recommended i be recalled for further investigation…
The tumour was 5.5cm and they could tell that it looked like at least one node was involved.
Sorry it is such a long story - but IBC is a bit different and it is probably worth telling you incase any friends mention they have a weird pink swollen breast for advice as the know you have had bc…
Good news - i had 6 months chemo first which shrunk the tumour so much that all they found was lots of dead tumour and just one 2.1cm x 2mm piece more like a tiny piece of cotton that only had some dying cancer cells on (IBC forms as sheets of almost fibrous matter rather than the usual “lump”) and some dead cancer cells in one lymph node.
Oh and I was the first IBC patient at my hospital unit in 4 years - so it was not really surprising that my male gp had never heard of it… i think many gps can go through their entire careers and never hear of / see a case…

I have ILC and my symptoms were just a change like you get with pms with a hardened area but wouldn’t go away after a few cycles, I was lucky my gp referred me and I was dx feb3rd two weeks after my first appointment jan2010, it was multifocal ILC&DCIS. So any unusual changes should be taken seriously even if you have not reached screening age yet like me! Tina

hi there,
I had DCIS and IDC, small tumor 2cm and nodes affected,

My tumor was found on a familial mammo that i have every year, i am 45, the last 4 women in my family have all had bc, all under the age of 45.

I have had mammo’s every year since i was 40, i have extremley lumpy breasts, even the hospital docs didn’t feel the lump.
My mammo picked up the changes from last years mammo, i had core biopsies a week later, then 2 weeks after i was in hospital having a WLE and lymph node clearance.

I never felt the lump as my left breast has always been a bit of a prob, nothing major, until bc, had a few cysts drained, thickening, mastitus on a few occasions, then 3 years ago had biopsies which showed a benign growth.

I just had a strange feeling the day i went for my results, i had managed to avoid bc for so long with that breast that this time round i just knew it wasn’t going to be good news.

So as one of my posts says THANK GOODNESS for familial mammograms.

Now i am waiting to see genetic specialist for my children’s sake,

Take care, Sandrae x x x

Hi i also was under the routine mammogramme age and do now and agiain check my breasts but i would never have thought what i was feeling was a lump as i always thought of a lump being small round a pea-like. I had been swimming with my nephews and had pushed myself to do 100 lengths and after i thought i had pulled a muscle and felt tender when i felt rubbed the area i felt a long tendon/ligament type thickening in my left breast and still just thought i’d pulled a muscle. The following couple of months i started to get hot stabbing pain in my breast but it was around period time so it was intermittent ( i always thought b/c was a painless).then a collegue of mine was diagnosed and was describing the same symptoms as me which prompted me to go to the doctors and i was diagnosed the week later . So not only has she done me a huge favour for prompting me to go to GP but we are also good friends and support each other while we have our chemo together,because goodness knows where i would have been 2 years later at mammogramme age .

juliebtaurus - Similar thing happened to me in that I’d heard that a work colleague had been diagnosed with bc and only had a rash-like area on her breast. I’d had my dimple by this time for about 16 months, but on hearing this, something clicked in my slow brain and I knew then that I’d been sitting on cancer all that time. I managed to continue with my next 3 night shifts and then went straight to the GP. I’m in contact now with the colleague, now friend, and find her support invaluable.

I’ve never really checked my breast regularly, maybe once every few months, but I guess I’m a ‘will never happen to me’ kinda gal! Mine started with breast pain, but I put that down to using the gym on a regual basis and just figured I had pulled a muscle or something… Pain did’nt go away so at a routine appointment at the doc’s I mentioned the pain, and was basically laughed at for thinking it may be something bad. He sent me off with ibroprofen. I then did a little web reaserch, for that to back up what the doctor told me, pain = no bc. I carried on for the next 4 months taking pain killers when needed, but woke in the night unable to sleep on my sore side, after a little poking aroung found a lump. Decided to keep it to myself for a while, to see if it disappeared but eventually mentioned it to the nurse at my routine smear test 4 months later. She got me in to see another doc at the same time - another male doctor which dismissed me very quickly - even though he could feel the lump - thankfully I persisted and he reluctently referred me - the rest as they say is history, WLE, Aux Clearance, Chemo started yesterday, rads at the end… Damn these doctors that do not listen to there patients!

carly x

Another one about doctors not listening here!..

In March 2009 I found a lump. Sat up in bed and had my hand on my collar bone. As I sat up my hand moved downwards and I found the lump near my breast bone. I kind of checked sometimes when I was in the shower but nothing regular and I didn’t really know what I was looking for. It was a pea sized stone - best way to describe it.

Phoned doctors that morning and went in straight away. The female doctor told me that because I was 32 and had ‘recently’ had a baby (July 2008! (and I hadn’t breast fed for a long time)) that it was probably a hormonal cyst so not to worry and come back if I got worried or if it didn’t go away. This despite me telling her that I have a family history of ovarian cancer!!

I did have slight shooting pains in that breast sometimes but they didn’t hurt that much.

Anyway, a busy summer came and went and I realised that I still had the lump. I wasn’t worried as the doctor had said it was a cyst but thought I should go back to double check. This time they sent me to the breast clinic but insisted that it was still probably just a cyst.

The doctor at clinic couldn’t feel the lump until I put his finger on it. He thought it was nothing but sent me for an ultrasound anyway. By this time I was 3 months pregnant (well it was a cyst so nothing to worry about and no reason to stop trying for a baby right!!?)so they didn’t want to do a mammogram unless they had to. The ultrasound showed a big black mass and the sonographer said she would do a biopsy. I thought she was just being cautious because of me being pregnant and went on holiday the next day thinking nothing of it.

Came back from hols with news that it was a grade 3, 18mm cancer. I was so shocked! Anyway, had op just under 2 weeks later and had to have chemo whilst pregnant as I’d had the lump for so many months before it was removed. (Baby was born as planned at 37 weeks and is fine…apart from another genetic fault (CF)). Due to start rads in 2 weeks.

Talked to the doctors who said that it isn’t their policy to send people to the hospital unless they are obviously worried or if the doctor is worried. As far as I’m concerned they aren’t the specialists and should have sent me straight away! They also said that they told me to come back in 2 weeks from my original appt - but they didn’t!!! GRRRRRR

Anyway, nearly at the end of the journey now.


Sorry this is so long but just to add that I had been blaming hubby for turning up the water temp in the shower as it was burning me but he hadn’t touched it. I therefore thought it was a pregnancy related thing but someone else has since told me that it might have been a heightened sense due to the cancer! Also, even though I had already been diagnosed, the mammogram I eventually had didn’t show the lump at all - something to do with tissue density.

Faye, how rubbish were your doctors! And the 2 week thing doesn’t make sense as surely a menstrual month would be the appropriate time period to send someone away for if they thought it was a hormonal cyst.2 weeks is so obviously an after thought to cover their backsides. What idiots. Your photo is lovely and made me smile. You are very brave for doing chemo whilst pregnant, you must have been worried sick, and thats coming from me who is worried sick enough without being pregnant. Hope your rads are a breeze for you, and you are enjoying your little ones. Mine are 5 and 2 and great fun, though drive me mad regularly.


Hi all

I had what I could only describe as a thickened band about 1 inch long. I also had a indent at my right nipple. When I went to the GP he couldnt see what I was meaning, but still referred me right away to the Breast Clinic. I had a mammogram and went back the following wek for the results to be told their were 3 areas of concern. I was asked back the following day for biopsies. I had 6 biopsies 2 at each of the 3 areas of concern. I returned the following week to be told the 2 areas of the breast were cancerous 1 underarm was not. I then went on to have full right mx and lymph node clearance 2 nodes were positive. I had 8 epi/cmf chemo and now tamoxifen. I am now waiting on tram flap reconstruction. Thank goodness for all the checks you get now.

Take care all

Carolyn x

I had what I call a “dimple” under my left boob, don’t know how long it had been there. My mum, aunt & cousin have all had breast cancer, so me and my 2 sister check ourselves regulally, but never worried about it as they were all well into their 60’s before they got it.
My younger sis found some lumps while on holiday, went to gp and was fast tracked to breast unit due to family history, when she came back after having biopsy’s done she said we should all have a mamogram just to be safe so i asked if the “dimple” I had found would qualify me for one, she said to go to gp and see what he said - I too was fast tracked (thank god) and after 5 biopsy’s and 2weeks I was diagnosed with breast cancer. 3 weeks later I had my WLE and sentinal node biopsy and am now waiting for the results of what they found - type/grade etc and where we go from here.
My younger sisters biopsy’s were clear, but was asked to go back in 6 weeks for another check… she has just been back and had more biopsy’s done and her consultant has started the genetic testing - he wants to get the ball rolling asap, if she hasn’t got breast cancer he wants to know what chance she has of getting it.
It still feels as if it is happening to someone else (my way of dealing with it I guess) but taking one day at a time.

I didn’t find anything. I went for my first mammogram in March and was recalled ar Easter. I was diagnosed on April 28th and had my WLE on May 17th. Also waiting for results etc. on the 2nd and although I’m a positive person I am scared and will be glad when I know what they found and what happend next.

This thread confirms my experience through this journey of coming across far more women under 50 than over. I was 48 when I was diagnosed.
I found my lump on middle w/end of last summer’s holiday in France when putting sun cream on my chest wall - not topless tanning. Couldn’t believe how I hadn’t noticed such a big lump which felt like half a table-tennis ball and was so visible once I’d found it. I knew it felt very different to previous fibro-adenosis lumps & spent an anxious last week away. I was seen very quickly by locum GP and referred immediately for Mammogram & she reasured me it would probably be a cycst. Several biopsies were taken which I joked about that “they look like something & nothing” to be told 1/2 hour later “you know we think this is cancerous don’t you”. No family history, big shock.

tresanne this is posted in the younger women section so im guessing thats why so many younger women are posting.

also there is a predominately larger number of under 50s who use computers compared to over 50s so these is always that skewing of the numbers.

but im another younger one…

i was diagnosed at 37 when i had a tugging sensation in my breast in the upper outer quadrant and thought it was the end of my under wires digging in… had a feel about and felt something which i can only describe as chewed up chewing gum… a very ‘lumpy’ lump.

my mum had BC 18 months before this so made an appt with GP who referred me to clinic as non-urgent but felt because of mums Dx i should get it checked. had mammo 5 weeks later and was diagnosed with a grade 1 stage 1 1.3mm IDC in right breast.

when my 2nd cancer was diagnosed last year i had felt a pain on right side and my BCN organised an exam of both breasts and USS of the right side. all showed normal… my annual mammo was due in two months but nurse suggested coming back in 1 month instead. had another examination which was normal and then mammos then phone call, 2 working days later to attend for further mammos as something suspicious on the left side!

after that had a feel about and found a smooth rounded lump at the top of left breast… worked in family planning and womens health so got some of the docs to check it and they said it felt benign… BCN said mammo report thought it was benign but just needed to be checked… diagnosed with a grade 3, 1.9cm TNBC with LVI.

so the smooth one was the more aggressive one and the lumpy one was the less aggressive.

the pain i had with the first one may have made me notice the lump, but my main symptom was the lump… with the 2nd one the pain was on the opposite side (infact i still have that pain) so i guess it was just incidental.

sometimes you just cant tell.


Hi Everyone My first sign of anything was a very small amount of blood coming from my nipple. At first I wasnt sure where it was from as found dots in my bra! It was only when on holiday as I was wearing PJ’s due to having kids in room with us that I realized it bled every night! On return I went to GP who sent me to BC Clinic. I had to wait about 4 weeks. I had mamogram and bloods everything was clear! They said to come back in 3 months. Again everthing clear just said it was a inductal papilloma (wart in ducts). Gave me the option of having small op to remove wart or just waiting for it to stop bleeding. I was SO glad I had op as it was when I went back for check up that I was given the news of Cancer! Such a shock as I was told everything was clear! I was sent for MRI as this was the only way it would show up. Within the month of waiting for mascetomy my breast had shown signs of dimpling and firming up. But other than that nothing. I ended up with a grade 2 tumour of 8cms Lobular BC and consultant said he was vey shocked as he never expected what he found!!
There are so many signs and symptoms not one of us seem to be the same. No wonder people get confused and concerned there does’nt seem to be an exact science to diagonsing Breast Cancer!

I noticed a very slight indentation low down on the outside of my wife’s breast when she was having a shower aged 47. There were no other symptoms, and she would certainly not have been able to see it herself.

There was a lump inside the breast, but almost impossible to detect by touch (Even the consultant said so later), but the (lady) GP referred her to the breast unit. When we went for her mammogram, we expected it to be nothing, but then they did an ultrasound and took biopsies in the breast and under-arm. The diagnosis after the biopsy was 6cm tumour, with 2 lymph nodes clearly involved.

After mastectomy, the path report said IDC, 2.5cm longest dimension, and just 2 nodes involved. We were actually elated to hear that, much to the oncologist’s dismay.

(Soon after, I wrote an article in my blog about how husbands/partners should be educated to be “breast-aware”.)

I had small shooting pains in my breast on and off for a few years and thought it was a mole i had catching on something. Found the lump beg of last year and went to the GP, told him my mum had died of breast cancer and my aunt had it too. He examined me and said he thought it was a fibrous lump. There was another doc in the room who he asked if i wanted to examine me also as he was a specialist (stupidly presumed he was a cancer or breast specialist, why else would he offer!!) He said the same and i left feeling okay that it was nothing. Have since found out that doc was a gynacologist.

Beginning of this year i went back and saw a female doc who sent me to the clinic the next week but said it would probably be nothing as quite big (6cm by 6cm) and painful. Was told after the scans and biopsies to come back the next week but to prepare myself for it not being good news. Was absolutely shocked and angry when i went back and they said it was cancer at not being referred in the first place. Seems like this happens a lot. I had pointed out to my GP that my breast was completly puckered up on the under side which i now know is a sign of breast cancer.