How quickly do lumps develop?

Hi everyone

On Thursday afternoon I noticed that I had a thickening in my right breast just above my nipple. I saw my Doctor Friday morning who was concerned and decided to do a fast track referral for me. Luckily my husband is in BUPA through his work, so I have an appointment Tuesday morning at our local BUPA hospital which also luckily has a breast care unit.

Anyway, my question is how quickly do lumps develop. I ask this because back in January I had a health check and a breast examination and mammogram were part of this check. Both were clear. My doctor measured my lump yesterday and it is quite large about 4.5cm by 5cm. Would anything sinister develop this quickly? I am 44 years old and going through an early menopause. I was on HRT for about 2 years but stopped taking this in June as I was having too many problems on it. Also, about 8 years ago I found a lump in the same breast which was thoroughly checked out by mammorgram and needle biopsy. This turned out to be harmless.

I guess I am just trying to find any crumbs of reassurance. Tuesday seems a long way off (I know it isn’t) but I am worried sick and was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.


Hi Ann

So sorry you are worried…waiting is the pits…and somehow weekends always feel worse.

Lumps can grow quickly and mammograms don’t always pick up cancer particularly if you’ve dense breast tissue.

The thing is your lump could be cancer or it could not be and you won’t know until you have been to the clinic. You should have a clincial examination, a mammogram, an ultasound and a fine needle aspiration or a biopsy.

very best wishes for your appointment.


Thanks for your best wishes Jane. I am trying so hard not to be negative, but it is so difficult. Am trying to keep off looking things up on the internet too. I know I have been really lucky to get an appointment so quickly, but Tuesday is still feeling like a lifetime away!


Hi Ann

Don’t feel pressured into thinking you have to be ‘positive’.If you do get bad news this time of worrying will have been helpful to you in preparing. If its good news you will be over the moon.

Feel what you have to feel…there are no rules…and Tuesday will come. But do at least one thing nice for yourself before then

best wishes


Hi Ann

I can’t give you any reassurance that your problem isn’t cancer as it could be a whole lot of different things, including cancer. However, I think you should be reassured that your doctor has been so quick in referring you. So many times we hear of people who go to their GP’s only to be fobbed off. At least s/he is being very responsible. You can also see from these forums that if you do have cancer, it isn’t necessarily the end of the world and there is much that can be done. Please don’t try to self diagnose as that will drive you mad - we’ve all done it at some stage and it’s the worst thing for making you worry much more. You will be feeling dreadful at the moment - waiting for appointments and test results, in my opinion is the worst thing possible because you feel so helpless. Once you know what you are facing, good or bad, you can then make decisions and gain back a bit of control in your life.

Best of luck for Tuesday


My GP was absolutely amazing. I got really choked whilst she was filling out the referral form. She just grabbed hold of my hand and said “we don’t know what this is yet, but if the worse comes to the worse we are going to fight this together. I promise I will be with you and by your side every step of the way” and then gave me a massive hug (it is making me cry again just thinking about it). She was so, so lovely. I was in there for at least 30 minutes and she spent ages examining me. I am very, very lucky to have such a wonderful doctor.