How did you find your lump/symptoms?

as its a month since last post on this thread, i just wondered if theres anybody else wanting to post their story>

Also, i am amazed that we are not spoken to routinely about breast exams at our smear test appointments. I know smears can be stressful, but cannot believe this alone would stop the opportunity to give the info out. Does anyone know anything about why this seemingly obvious approach is not untilised widely? Does anyone have any views about it?

Good idea Vickie!
I wonder if it would be possible to have a breast care nurse visit our doctors surgery, perhaps once a month to give a talk or as you say how to examine yourself.
It doesn’t have to be every GP surgery, they could advertise it in the local press suggesting a talk and get together in one or two local surgeries in that area, l am sure they would get a lot of ladies interested.
Our breast care nurse does a talk in our walk in centre once a month which is fine, but by then you already have breast cancer!!
In fact her next talk is next Wednesday, l think l will suggest it to her!
Sandra xxx

Late to the party but here finally. I did the IBIS study 2000 - 2005, and after that fell into genetic screening due to family history - maternal grandmother did pre 50 and sister double mx also pre 50. Had routine mammo Nov 07 - clear. Next routine mammo Mar 09. In pre mammo check nurse spotted indentation in lower breast, and she just said “we’ll get that ultrasounded” - I thought nothing of this. Mammogram scarily was clear, but ultrasound showed something suspicious, which led to agonising core biopsy (2 valium required to get me thru it!) and biopsy of axilla.

A week later the news I’d expected - grade 2 cancer in breast and cancer in lymph nodes. Onto treadmill we go.

As an aside, I had to have a wire prior to WLE as lump was not ‘feelable’. Initial insertion was fine, but when it hit the tumour - Ouch!! My tumour was obviously a sensitive wee beast who objected to being interfered with, as he’d shown during biopsy and took his last chance to assert himself as the wire went in! Fortunately I went straight from wire insertion to theatre and the kind anaethetist saw my agony and knocked me out PDQ!

I first found a painful lump in my armpit after a long car journey. The lump was rubbing against my seatbelt. The morning after it was still aching and as I rubbed the area I noticed a second lump in my breast. I went to my Gp the next week. He didnt think there was anything sinister but referred me just in case. I was diagnosed Sep 2007 with a 2cm triple negative tumour. The lump in the armpit was a cancerous lymph node. Lumpectomy, Chemo and rads followed. Most GP’s say that if there is pain it is unlikely to be cancer, although many do experience pain. I was 49 at the time. My GP said don’t worry I’m sure you’ll come out of the Breast clinic smiling! How wrong could he have been.


I had a dimpled area at the side of my right nipple, I could also feel a thickened area above it. Neither was painful. My GP didnt see anything to worry about but referred me to breast clinic for a check. I had mammo and ultrasound which showed 3 areas of concern. I was sent for biopsies, which showed 2 cancerous areas 1.7cm and 1.5cm. The only lolution was mastectomy and I had lymph node sampling. Tests revealed 2 out of 3 nodes were positive. I had 8 epi/cmf chemo and now take tamoxifen. I am 3 years post diagnosis and feel well.

Take care

Carolyn x

hi there,
my story is a bit different to you other ladies and i would love to hear if anyone else had anything similar.
i had a rash appear on my leg, very itchy, but the weather was warm, last april so didn’t think too much of it. The rash then spread onto my back and stomach, so I went to docs, who started tests, thinking it might be the start of diabeties. I was given a lotion to put in the bath to help ease the itchyness(by this time i was making myself bleed with continuious scratching) and this made my skin very oily, so as i got out the bath i rubbed excess oil off and felt a pea size lump on side of left breast. Got very scared and made appt to see doc next day, she examined me, said it was nothing to worry about, and i burst into tears, i had lost my mum to lung cancer the year before. She said she would refer me mainly to make me feel more reasured that there was nothing sinister.had mammagram, the scan where the lady said it looked a bit ominous and wanted to do core biopsy, i think i knew then deep down that it was cancer. had it confirmed and had wle oct last year. After op my rash just vanished,
i am convinced it was my body telling me there was something wrong and a different doc i saw at local surgery agrees(or is he humouring me?)anyway i am finished with treatment now and i definatley check regulary now.

I found my lump (7mm) because I had an itch just next to my nipple. Was lying on a hotel bed on holiday one afternoon, reading. Was just like a pea that pinged around under the skin. Thought nothing of it.

A few weeks later I was going to the doctor for something unrelated and thought I’d better mention it - she said it was probably a harmless ‘breast-mouse’ but sent me for 2-week referral, just in case. Nothing showed on mammogram, lump on ultrasound - I was 32. Core biopsy. Results more than 3 weeks later a complete and utter shock, not helped by appalling bedside manner of doctor who told me on the same day I’d need a mastectomy, lymph clearance, chemotherapy, tamoxifen, radiotherapy and would go through the menopause and never have children, all while looking at his shoes. I didn’t see him again!

My mother’s nipple became inverted and this prompted her to get it checked. She didn’t feel any lump and it was only when she had the mammogram that they found it hidden behind the nipple. Unfortunately her cancer had already spread to the lymph nodes but it is very fortunate that her nipple turned in as otherwise it’s highly likely she would not have felt the lump until much further along the line.

Hi all, I’m new. I came on here primarily for the Secondary Breast Cancer Forum but then found myself drawn to this forum too. I’m not really young now compared with you young fillies in your 20’s and 30’s, but I was just 31 years old when I had my first diagnosis and I also think of myself as being younger than I actually am, lol. So here I am.

My late Mum had BC twice (aged 41 and 44) before bowel cancer finally claimed her when she was 58 and I was 19. She always told me to check myself regualarly, so I did religiously from the age of 18.

When I was 31, I was doing my monthly breast check and I found a pee-size lump in my left breast. I wasn’t overly concerned, I thought perhaps it’s the time of the month, but then when it was still there 2 weeks later, I got increasingly concerned about it and ended up in tears at work worried, my boss immediately told me to go see my GP. Which I did the same day. She said she thought it was fatty tissue or a cyst or a fibroidanoma (sp) and not to be worried about it. I broke down in tears again in front of her and insisted I be referred to the Breast Clinic. Which she did begrudgingly, as she didn’t think it was anything serious at my age! As her parting shot, she also prescribed me diazepam (valium)!

Appointment at the Breast Clinic 3 days later, expected to have a mammogram and be told it was indeed fatty tissue, cyst or fibroidthingy. But no, I then had an ultrasound followed by a biopsy, so by then I was REALLY worried. Had to wait 3 days for results, was absolutely kakking myself and they were the longest 3 days in the world! It still came as a huge shock when I was told I had cancer tho’ and my world fell apart. Had a mastectomy, but no further treatment needed as I had caught it early.

Five years and 3 months later (when I was 37), I was doing my monthly breast check, when I found another lump in my right breast. I panicked and immediately rang my breast care nurse who told me to come down straight away. Had a mammogram and whilst I was waiting for the ultrasound, she came to sit and chat with me. I asked her if she thought it was cancer again and that I wanted to know now. She said it didn’t look good and they were fairly certain it had returned. Had the ultrasound and biopsy. Went back 3 days later and was told it had, but by then I’d already come to terms with it. Another mastectomy followed, again no treatment as I had caught it early - well apart from tamoxifen for 5 years.

I really can’t emphasise enough the importance of checking ones-self. My friends all do after what happened to me at such a young age and touch wood they’re all ok, altho’ one did have a scare, but it was benign thankfully.

At my local support group, 12 years ago when I was first diagnosed, there was only me in the 30’s and under age group, now there’s approx 15 out of a group of 60. Sadly!

Anyway, sorry for rambling on, hope you’re all having a lovely day, keep smiling and keep yer peckers up! :slight_smile:


p.s. Found it ironic that 2 years after my first diagnosis my GP got breast cancer and could really relate to my upset/fears then. She even asked to see my reconstruction at one appointment I had with her as she was considering it and wanted to see the resultsd of it first hand, lol.

I too have had 2 diagnoses of bc but mine were in the same breast, 12 years apart.
I had had a left mastectomy in 1997 aged 38 after finding a slight and painless thickening. I and GP both thought it was nothing to worry about but I went to see her because it seemed daft not to have a change (however slight) checked out and she referred me to be on the safe side.
I still checked the remaining breast tissue on the left side as well as the ‘good’ side over the years and luckily, I found the second lump fairly early after the area became sore, as it had mutated from a grade 1 to a grade 3.
I guess there are no ‘rules’ except somehow not to give up your life to anxiety, but not to be complacent either. Surprising how possible that is…
good luck everyone
monica xx

anyone want to put their story on?

I felt a lump last July while lying in bed with my arm over my head, I think I was scratching an itch at the time. I asked my OH if he could feel a lump he said no he couldn’t, so I ignored it and tried to put it out of my mind.
My breast did feel sort of heavy when I walked but I though it was because I am a bit overweight. I went on holiday last August and kept feeling for the lump which I was becoming convinced was actually there, but there is no history in my family I was 48 and had breast fed all three of my children, (my eldist for three years), so thought I was immune from cancer, if fact it never crossed my mind that my lump would be cancer, I thought it was a cyst.
By September I was convinced there was a lump there and asked OH to feel again, he said it was a muscle or tendon. It was quite high up near the breast bone so I didn’t think it was a breast lump. I decided to wait a cycle and see if it disappeared, it didn’t. OH said if your still worried go to the GP just to put your mind at rest. So I did and two weeks later had a mamogramme, followed by a scan and then a core biopsy and was told there and then that it was DCIS and invasive carcinoma, It was a total shock, I was still expecting a cyst. Ten days later I was having a mastectomy, 4cm tummor as well as DCIS, tripple neg. and have now finished five months of chemo. Fingers crossed that’s the end of my story…apart from a reconstruction I hope next year.

Found mine the morning after I got engaged. Well my other half did. We’d had an amazing night before, after 9 years he got down on one knee and did the whole formal proposal thing, cried as I said yes.
The next morning while i was getting ready to go to his parents to tell them the good news he crept up behind me, gave me a squeeze and said “you’ve got a lump”.
We did get married, brought it forward to avoid chemo treatment dates so instead of the new year wedding we’d talked about we got a rainy day in November. Incredibly emotional day for me and the family.
Finally finished my treatment now apart from the tamoxifen, hair’s growing back, ready to get on with life!


Great thread…

I had a breast exam in December as part of a medical for my Australian visa - we were supposed to be moving there in Jan. My GP did the medical and passed me just fine. But 2 weeks later I did a routine exam in the bath, found a small lump, wondered if it was actually just my rib, but it didn’t feel the same as on the other side so started to panic. The following day (new years eve, nice) I saw another GP who referred me to breast clinic and because we were supposed to be moving to Oz only a week later they saw me that day, and by 3pm I’d had mammogram, core needle biopsy and was told they really didn’t think it was anything else…and you know the rest from there…I had lumpectomy & SNB, then node clearance - 3/12 affected, done my 6 chemos, rads and now tamoxifen, and feeling a little wobbly about the future, but looking forward to getting back up to normal pace and to moving to Oz in Oct now.

Have recently emailed a bunch of girlfriends to remind them to check, and to say that I think I wouldn’t have found mine if it wasn’t a lying-down check as it was flat against my ribs - and I’m amazed how many girls don’t check (one in her mid-thirties said she had never checked and really must…er, yes). I’ve even had some friends tell me they would ‘just know’. I’m convinced there are a whole lot more young women out there with it who just haven’t found it yet. Not that I’m perfect - who knows how long mine had been there I can’t say I checked precisely monthly…

i could only feel mine easily lying down, though once i knew it was there i could detect it without lying down, but my gp couldnt and just mentioned “thickening” on the referral letter. Hope your move to oz goeswell,


Hmmmm there seems to be a lying down theme going on here :slight_smile: I lost about 3.5 stone last summer after being made redundant. I was a first time Grand mother and wanted to be a more glamourous one, and thank heavens I did! One night I was lying in bed and ran my hand over my right breast, I was kind of lying on my side at the time so I thought I was feeling my breast bone at first. I remember thinking that it felt a strange shape so I turned over and did the same on the other side to see if I had a matching one on the other side - I didn’t. I turned back over and felt again and thought to myself this is definately a lump! I was so calm though, I dont know why but I just went to sleep without a worry!

The next couple of days I checked and yes it was still there and whilst trying on a new dress for my grand daughters christening I mentioned it to my partner - I could tell from his face he thought it was serious, so mentioned it later that day to my daughter too - I am not sure why i didnt go to the dr’s straight away, I think I thought it would just go away or that I was imagining it. I went on the Monday, and was referred straight away. The GP (Male) asked another GP (female) to examine me and I could tell that she thought it was serious and I was referred straight away to the hospital, she asked me if I had any worries and I said no, I honestly didnt - it all felt so unreal, as if it was a mistake!

At the hospital I went for a mammogram and the radiographer reminded me 3 times that I had a clinic appointment later that afternoon - I thought that was strange too, but thought they were being cautious! I have no idea what I thought but felt it was definatly all a lot of fuss!

When I finally saw the surgeon after being examined by two registra’s, he used an ultrasound to look at the lump and spent a long time examining my armpit! I remember thinking how it couldn’t be serious because he wasnt even looking in the right place! How innocent can one 51 year old woman be!

I was totally shocked when he stood back and said I had Breast Cancer! How could he know that? I then realised that it must be a classic diagnosis and it was indeed serious. He let me calm down a bit and did a biopsy. When I returned about 5 days later they confirmed that I had early stage grade 2 cancer with no sign of spread to my lymph nodes! The penny dropped at last about the extensive ultrasound scanning of my armpit!

I had a WLE and the tumor was 3cm, he had expected 1.2, and 5 nodes removed instead of only the sentinel as the tumor was so much larger. Thankfully there was no spread and after 6x FEC and 25 rads I am now on arimidex and slowly returning to normal!

Sorry this is a long post! I wanted to say that although it took a long time for the penny to drop about just how serious this all was, I still went to all the checks. If I had left it much longer the story would definatley have been a different one, the tumor was very close to the bone and who knows what would have happened if I had left it any longer. If you have anything, no matter how old or young you are get it checked, its better to feel that you have wasted someones time than to have wasted the rest of your life because you didnt want to be a nuicance,

Routine mammo at 50 no lumps or symptoms. At first they said non invasive DCIS but widespread so mastectomy only option and then pathology showed 4mm invasive and one node. Now done 6 chemos and have second Herceptin tomorrow. I am sure we have all been traumatised by this. When I got the news I remembered this passage from a novel I had read:-

" Right now I want a word that describes the feeling you get- a cold sick feeling deep down inside when you know something is happening that will change you and you don’t want it to but you can’t stop it. And you know for the first time, for the very first time, that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be. And that you will never again be quite the same person you were " Jennifer Donnelley " A Gathering Light "

True ?

Hiya all,
noticed quite a few people talk about finding lump whilst lying down. For me it was the opposite. I had checked myself regularly after having a scare about 15 years ago. I always laid in the bath and checked breasts, armpits, etc.
After a brilliant new years eve party at my house, my friends were staying the night. the following morning, because they were using the bathroom and i was unable to have a bath, i had a shower in my ensuite ( something i never do cos i hate showers ). You guessed it, whilst washing standing up, i found my lump. 2 days later i was at doctors and within 2 weeks had dx - Grade 3 WLE - stage 2 - no lymph nodes. I have just finished 6 chemo of TCH ( Tax, Carbo and Herceptin). Just started Tamoxifen and still got 11 more Herceptin to go.
Please tell everyone to check themselves both stood up and laying down, bacause once i found lump, if i laid down, it could not be felt, this is obviously how i had missed it for so long.

Hi everybody
well, it is incredibly interesting and uplifting in a way to find so many similar stories on the Forum! I discovered my lump in my left breast at the beginning of June (age 49 and 11 months) as I was lying down in bed. Like many of you wasn’t quite sure whether I was imagining it or not. As the other breast felt different (i.e. soft and lump free)I decided to do the sensible thing and see my GP a few days later. She examined me and told me there wasn’t probably anything to worry about. She reckoned it was a benign fibroadenoma but referred me all the same to my local Breast Clinic (and thank God for that, in retrospect!).My general health was excellent and I could tick all the boxes for factors supposedly protecting you against it: there is no history of breast cancer in my family, I had children young and breastfed them both, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I have never been on the pill. I also have a well balanced diet. So I was pretty confident it was all a big fuss about nothing. Anyway I went for the appointment on 22nd June, ALONE as I honestly thought they would give me the all clear. HOW WRONG was I? Following a mammography, a scan and a core biopsy (by the time they gunned the needles in me my optimism was beginning to fade)I was told on the day I had indeed breast cancer. I was totally STUNNED!Mercifully when the ax fell my husband had joined me (I had rung him at work in a state of panic as I had started to realize by the non-reassuring body language of nurses and doctors that things were not going as I expected). So mercifully he was with me when the surgeon gave me the diagnosis of breast cancer. I don’t need to explain to you the absolute feeling of shock, horror and desbelief when you are told. Nothing can quite prepare you for it.
The rest is history: I had a WLE on 5th July to remove the tumor and another one on 26th to do an axilla clearance and breast reconstruction (lat dorsi mini flap). They found a 37 mm. grade 1 tumor and one lymphnode affected. Recovering from op now feeling very sore but positive all the same that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Reading the experience of other ladies going through the same thing has helped me tremendously. Chemo will be next but one step at a time, right? It feels soooooooooooo good to read other women’s stories in the meantime.
THank you Breast Cancer Care for making it possible.