'Lump' in breast. Please help!!

Hi all,

Just joined today after finding this site online.
I am 21 years old and have no history of breast cancer in my family.

My story:
Mid-way through January, after playing on the Wii (Tennis/Baseball) I felt pain across my right breast. Like a twang of pain whilst playing as a tennis player. The next day, I noticed the area was quite hard and swollen. I ignored this, and just linked it to the activity.
Few days after, as the swelling subsided, I noticed a ‘lump’. It’s situated just to the side of my breast bone.
I’ve first went to the Dr’s about it in March (Stupid I know). After a thorough examination, she concluded that it’s just formed because of the injury and damange to my muscle, and is definately not, what she would describe, a lump.
I am a born worrier, actally bordering on having health anxiety, so initially I accepted this diagnoses but after a while i doubted it.

To sum it up: Been to doctors 5 times (to two diferent ones) about this now. The lump has considerably decreased. Not only do I think this, but my boyfriend does as well as he used to check it’s progress for me weekly. It’s difficult to find it when wearing no bra and lying down/sitting/standing, however although smaller, I can still feel it when in certain positions whilst wearing a bra. (It has always felt different during different positions. Although it is ‘fixed’ it moves when I move my arm.) It doesn’t feel like a lump as such, more as a bump between connection of breastbone and rib.

Rant over… SOrry :frowning:

Questions are:

Can cancer shrink by itself? Does it shrinking mean it;s a good sign?
Should I worry that the Dr’s arent worried? I know that sound silly, but would they refer me if they had ANY doubt? My family have said that the fact both doctors find no need to refer me as a good sign, but as usual I look into the negatives.

I supppose I just need someone to tell me to calm down. Can no longer talk about this to mum, as she thinks I’m going way OTT about it :frowning:

Thanks x

Hello Emma,

The vast majority of breast lumps are not cancer and you should certainly not think the worst. And it certainly sounds encouraging that the lump is going down. However, for peace of mind, and if you can still feel it, I think it is worth going back to the doctor and asking for a referral to a breast clinic where you can have your lump checked more thoroughly by expert doctors in breast conditions.

Good luck and if you have any more questions just come back and ask -we are all affected by brest conditions in one way or another and are very happy to help.

You may also find it useful to speak to staff on the helpline here about your concerns if you are finding it difficult to speak to your mum.
Bright x

Hi Emma

I am sorry to read you are feeling so anxious. As well as the support you receive from the other users may I suggest you have a look at the BCC booklet ‘your breasts, your health’ This booklet is designed to give a better understanding of how your breasts develop and age and the normal changes to the breasts that can occur at various stages throughout your life. If you would like a copy just follow this link:-


If you feel it would help to talk things through with one of our trained members of staff on the helpline please don’t hesitate to give them a call on free phone 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 2pm Saturday.

I hope this is helpful.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

Hi there

Dont worry about sounding anxious its a stressful time for anyone.
I too am under 30 and no history of BC in my family but am currently waiting to see consultant at breast clinic cos I have had pain, hardening and discharge for the past month.
Just get anything checked out I nearly didnt bother going to doctors but ended up going twice and then being referred. They wont think your wasting their time if your concerned.
Good luck!

Hi Emma
The area you describe around the breast bone and ribs has lots of muscles. These are attached to the bone by ligaments and attached to each other by tendons. They can easily become inflamed and stretched and sometimes enlarged with exercise, particularly if you were vigorous when playing the tennis game and hadn’t warmed up first. The fact you are 21, have been to many doctors and the lump has decreased suggests that it is not cancer. A cancerous lump would be highly unlikely to shrink. Why don’t you go again and ask them exactly what they think it is. Once you have had a clear explanation of what the lump may be, you hopefully will relax. Ask them to show you how you should exam your breasts and what to look for like changes in shape etc as there is more to thorough breast examination than just feeling for lumps as breasts get lumps (harmless ones) all the time. Its important to know the difference.

A lump in the middle of your breast bone is normal anatomy. My partner found one after she had been exercising a lot and had recently lost some weight.

But it is werrying to have an unexplained syptom. Could you ask your doctor to explain carefully about this bit of your anatomy. Good luck.


Thanks everyone. Bombarded my boyfriend with questions this weekend about how he thinks it feels (poor lad!)

I’m starting to worry about my sanity!! It’s driving me nuts. To me, (I think where convinced it is cancer) it feels like a round, small marble. But to everyone else it feels like a flat bit of rib that is slightly bigger than the other side. *Sigh* Feel so guilty worrying when I have Doctor told me its a rib because of all those unforutnate ladies who have the disease. Doing my head in :frowning: