My Mum who has kept her lump secret for 4 years

I have just passed the third anniversary of my diagnosis and have gone from feeling so happy to absolutely devastated as my Mum has been told she has breast cancer. She had the lump for 4 years and did not say anything as she did not want to worry us. I cannot believe she kept it to herself. I am taking her to hospital tomorrow to see what will happen.Has anyone else kept it secret for so long
Best wishes

Oh Hilary, I’m so sorry :frowning: I can’t share that experience at all, but just wanted you to know that I’ll be thinking of you and your mum, and wishing you both all the best.

Sophie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Again I can’t really offer advice but know if you or your mum needs support and advice the forums here are wonderful. There are many ladies who have gone through so much and are still going strong and for me, are a real support.


Hilary I am so sorry. I can’t relate to your story personally but just wanted to say I am thinking of you both and hoping that the news for your mum is positive.

Dear Hilary

I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear your sad news. Whilst I am not in the same situation, I was four years misdiagnosed. If your Mum does not have an aggressive cancer it may not make that much difference to her outcome. Some breast cancers take years to develop. Here’s hoping your Mum’s is a slow growing one. I’m still here over five years later and doing very well.

Take one day at a time.

Fingers crossed.


Hi Hilary

I just wanted to echo what Jeannie said. Not long ago there was a discussion on this topic, and quite few ladies came forward to say they had either waited years to go to the doctor, or had been misdiagnosed for years - and many of them had been fine - no spread despite the long wait. My lump was about 2.5 cms and my onc told me it had probably taken at least 2 years to get to that size. You don’t say how old your mum is, but in older people cancer can develop very slowly. I hope the news is better than you fear.

finty xx

michael baum talks about autopsies and finding breast cancers in women that died of other diseases. They still don’t know enough about how breast cancers develop and what percentage are life threatening.

Like everyone says I think it can take years for some breast cancers to develop - I have been told my probably started around 10 years ago! My lump was 9cm when DX, I couldn’t feel it, nor could the consultant and it didn’t show up on mammogram either. I went to the docs as my nipple became indented that was the ony symptom. So whilst I think the earlier you go the better and I would recommend to everyone they check themselves and go to the docs with anything they think is suspicious - I don’t think 4 years is disasterous by any means they will do the necessary tests and let her know grade etc. Mine had spread to lymph nodes but had a CT scan that showed no further spread. I’ve had Mastectomy and full clearence, Chemo and Rads and I am fine now and I intend to be fine for a very long time yet!

Hello ladies
Thanks for your comments and support. Mum went to hospital yesterday and she has tumours in both breasts but the doctoe said it could be dealt with. Because she is 82 thay will deal with each stage seperately so are not talking about any follow up treatment untilafter she has surgery. It is comforting to know that some who have left it a while are doing okay

Hi Hilary
Sorry to hear about your mum,it must have been awful for you finding out and having gone through it yourself ?
My auntie kept hers a secret aswell for years, she was in a right mess according to my mum who saw all her tumours, they were open and smelling, she only told her gp because she wasn’t well and my mum called the doctor out and my mum had been dx with lung cancer at that time.
She is doing well and it’s 18 mths ago she was dx the tumours had started clearing up but some have got worst so she goes back 15th dec to see about changing her medication etc, she is 83 .
My auntie couldn’t be operated on because of it being so bad but she’s still here fighting and has never lost her sense of humour.
best wishes to you and your mum xx

Hello Kim
Thanks for your message.One of Mums tumours is an open wound but she seems to be geting the best care possible which is such a comfort.
I wish you and your Mum and Aunt all good blessings

Hi Hilary

Sorry to hear your news.
I am in a similar situation - I have no idea how long my mum (78) kept her BC secret for but by the time she did seek help it was ulcerated and an open wound, had spread to lungs, bone,and the latest is her liver.
She saught diagnosis 18months ago, and has had remarkable care since then from all the docs, nurses etc at her hospital.
I’m sure your mum will be treated with as much care dignety and consideration as possible, no one should berate her for her mistake in leaving her diagnosis so long… it’s something to do with that generation more than it is personal to her.

I hope things progress well for you both xxx take care