How much difference will a week make...

I’ve been reading your forum for the last couple of days or so, and I just have to say how incredibly brave and inspirational you all are - you are all truly beautiful!

I’ve had a lump in my breast for (I’m ashamed to say) a good few years - I don’t like going to doctors, I guess I’m embarrassed. I did pluck up the courage to go to the Drs a couple of years ago, but then I became pregnant before I’d brought myself to make any sort of appointment and decided that ignorance was bliss, and never went. To be honest, during the pregnancy I completely forgot about it - my breasts got bigger and I couldn’t easily notice it, however now it’s a different story, if I just skim my hand over I can feel it (but I’m not sure if that’s just because I know it’s there). I have a beautiful, clever and funny 15month old son and if it is the worse case scenario I can’t bear the thought of him growing up without me - I love him more than I ever thought possible (I had post-natal depression).

Today I bit the bullet and made an appointment with my GP - however, for reasons I’m not really entirely sure of, I really want to see a female GP, and the earliest I can get in is a week on Thursday - which at the time I was happy with (probably, if I’m being honest, because it puts of stripping in front of someone for a bit). Now, with my husband out of the house and my son in bed and only my thoughts for company I’m wondering if it was the right thing to do, to settle for such future appointment - do I ask for an emergency appointment and just see whoever is on? Does it even class as an emergency appointment, a silly girl who’s just imagining the worse when it’s probably no more than a harmless cyst?

Sorry to ramble on a bit - it’s just I’ve not spoken to anyone about my fears and I guess it’s all just spilled out a bit - but what I’m asking I guess, is will waiting for the week on Thursday appointment make any difference (other than to my sanity).

Don’t know if it’s of any relevance, but the lump does have a dull ache from time to time - mostly when I’m thinking about it!

Any words of wisdom welcomed!

I’m certainly no expert, but I wouldn’t have thought that waiting the week would make any difference if you have to face a diagnosis of bc and have treatment, but the waiting itself can be really tough. One thing I would say about this site is not to read too far ahead on it, you can only take in so much at once.


Hi Dreamer,
first of all well done for finding the courage to make that appointment. Waiting an extra week in my opinion is unlikely to make any difference if you have had it this long anyway. I didnt go for 10 days after finding mine mainly because cancer was the last thing on my mind.

If you think you really need to see a lady doctor then its probably best to wait,but if i were you i would take the next available slot as personally i would worry too much.

I first became alerted to my breast cancer because of a tingling sensation on the top of my breast,which i was worried could be heart related as i have a condition relating to the heart. A few weeks after that i itched the breast and that is when i finally realised something wasnt right it felt hard.

I felt guilty at first because i didn’t check my breast and worried how long it had been there undetected.

I hope yours only turns out to be a cyst as pain from breast cancer is unusal at the begining.

wishing you all the best Tracey

Hi Dreamer81

It sounds like you’re having a pretty difficult time at the moment. You’ll get loads of support here from the other users who know exactly what you are going through. You might also find it helpful to read which explains about changes in the breast and breast awareness.
If you are feeling upset and want to talk to someone about your worries and concerns then do give our helpline a call. Everyone working on our helpline either has experience of breast cancer, or is a breast care nurse, and has an excellent knowledge of breast cancer issues. They are on 0808 800 6000 and are open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm and Saturday, 9am - 2pm.

I hope you find this helpful.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

Hi Dreamer,
a week will not make any difference but if you are going to get all worked up due to the wait then get a new appointment - a quiet word with the receptionist about what you have found should get you a quick appointment! For me, I wanted the male GP as I was more comfortable with a man than a woman groping around! Also, the female GP had examined me a few years back and was rather gentle and very quick whereas the male GP gave me a real good, long thorough examinination.
Dont fret about asking loads of questions - we are all here to support one another.
Let us know how you get on
Clarabelle xx

well knowing how many people will look at your chest from now on if you are referred to a breast clinic (which you should be) it might be better to get used to having a male see you now, unless the GP is too close for comfort. All my consultants are men and I got a lot of male nurses too. If you have waited such a long time to go it is likely that yours is a slow growing lump of whatever it is, so waiting is not a problem if this is what you really want. You may have to wait for 2 weeks or more for the next appointment to a clinic though so bear in mind it may be almost a month until you get checked out. I was told mine was close to moving to the next stage so I would always encourage others to go quickly in case it helps them.
Thinking of you and big hugs to your little treasure.
Lots and lots of luck with this and we are all there with you, holding your hand in cyber space hoping for the best.
Lily x

Hi Dreamer
I waited for a female Doctoer - I also insisted on a female surgeon. However, when I last went for a checkup, I was a little upset. The reason was that the female sugeon who had treated me ignored me in the corridor! I then sat in a sideroom, and a male consultant came in. He was very good - more thorough and sat and spoke to me about what I had been through.

Dont underestimate a male doctors awareness. However, if you dont feel comfortable, then I totally understand. A week wouldnt make a difference to your diagnosis or prognosis if it were the worst news. However, as several ladies will tell you, the waiting is horrible!!

Good luck Dreamer
Lisa X

Hi Dreamer

You’ve done the right thing in making an appointment with your GP. I found my lump on a Friday night last May. I had stabbing sort of pains and instinctively put my hand there and found the lump. It was a bank holiday week-end so GP’s was closed Monday but Tuesday morning phoned in a panic and they arranged to see me later that morning. It was a male GP who I’d not seen before, but he asked a female colleague to come in whilst he did the prodding. He was absolutely wonderful. So thorough, gentle and understanding. He must have phoned or faxed the hospital because I got an appointment in the post 48 hours later for the following week. I actually went back to thank him personally because he was so compassionate and prompt.

You need to get this sorted one way or the other (and I sincerely hope it’s the other) so bite the bullet and get the first appointment you can.

Good luck


PS I’ve now had surgery, chemo and am in the middle of radiotherapy and if I can do it so can anyone else.

Thank you all so very much for your advice and experience - I can’t tell you how much of a comfort it was to read from people who have been at the point where I am now, not knowing either way. I was so upset the other night that I really wasn’t thinking clearly and yesterday morning I had a moment of clarity - a “what on earth am I doing?!?” moment. I made an appointment yesterday afternoon and took a bit of time of work to go see an emergency doctor…who happened to be a woman! As soon as I left the surgery I felt like a weight had been lifted - even though I was none the wiser - I hadn’t realised just how stressed, worried and upset I’d been over making the first step?

She didn’t give me her opinion, just the facts - that given my age (27) and that I’ve had it for at around 5 years, it’s unlikely to be anything serious, but as my mother’s sister had had bi-lateral (I think that was the word she used) breast cancer in her early 40s it puts in a catagory where they’d have recommended I was regularly screened anyway. Whilst she was examining me she said “it’s smooth, firm and round, and moves slightly” - I wasn’t sure what significance this has (as she didn’t give anything away), but I’ve since read that cysts are smooth in nature and can move slightly, and fibroadenomas are common in my age range and can get larger after pregnancy - so I’m being positive that it’s nothing more than one of those. I was speaking to some of the women in my office afterwards and two of them (there was only four of us in the room at the time) had harmless lumps that they’d had checked out and they knew other ladies who had too.

Just need to wait for my appointment to come through now - one good point is that my local hospital is a large one and you hang around for the results the same day, so there’s no waiting for a phone call.

If it is the worse case scenario, then I’m prepared to deal with each stage one step at a time (I think…I hope!).

This lump is what it is - nothing I do will change it, I’ve just got to be brave and deal with it :o)

well done dreamer and hope it works out really well for you. You know where we are.
Lily x

As Lily said ‘well done’. Fingers crossed for you. Let us know how you get on.


Good for you - its always better when you feel in control ie booking a closer appointment rather than feeling you are being controlled - well done!
Let us know when you have beeen to the clinic and what they say
Take care
Love Clarabelle xx