Not sure what to do?

Hi All
I have been attending family history clinics for about 7 yrs after my mums sister (now deceased)was diagnosed with BC. My mum had a radical masectomy about 25yrs ago and my maternal great granmother died at a very young age, my mums first cousins have also had BC.

Last Thursday I had my routine 12 monthly Mamo and on Monday I got a call to say that something had showed on the Mamo and they wanted me back in today for a different view and a ultra sound.

After an anxious 2 nights I attended this morning when the lady told me what had showed up was right behind the nipple so the Mammo would be painful (oh yes) anyway. after that I had an ultra sound done by the Consultant Radiologist who then said to me ‘I am almost certain it is a cyst’!! I said ‘I want absolutly certain’ and asked how can you tell it is a cyst, to which he replied thats my job!!!

He went on to say that it looked like cancer on the mamo but he could tell from the ultra sound it was a cyst. I said what about a biopsy and he said ‘i can stick a needle in it if you want and i can drain it, but often they fill up even bigger’. he said you are being checked every 12mths, just keep examining yourself and if you are worried ring the unit,

Now although I am delighted with this news, my mum was told her cancer was a cyst(granted 25yrs ago) i dont feel as reassured as I think I should.

What do people think, and by the way I can’t feel the lump at all,

Did you tell the Radiologist that your Mum was told the same thing and had BC? I dont think that they used US on breasts in those days so perhaps that was why your Mum was misdiagnosed? I know that cysts show up differently on US as fluid shows a different colour to tissue. If you are worried why dont you call the unit and see if someone can help you? Perhaps you would feel better if they did drain it?

I am sorry I am not much help, but I wish you all the very best

Lynnette x

Hi Lynette

yes I did tell him that and you are right, they didn’t have US then. I think reading on here about others who have said nothing has showed up and yet they eventually have been diagnosed made me think (maybe read too much LOL) I just need to be sure and him saying almost certain didnt help. I have to think about genetic testing next.

If you are worried at all, you should ask for a needle aspiration. It is not invasive and apart from a bit of discomfort will put your mind at rest. The breast clinic should do a triple test - mammogram, ultrasound and fine needle aspiration on any lump they find, especially with your history. I am sure your radiologist is very competent at detecting cysts, but as they have the technology to make sure it is a cyst, then why not use it?

Thanx Lynette/Cathy

I feel a bit better today and after Lynette said they can tell on the US it is a cyst that reassured me. I think i will just keep an eye on it and conteplate genetic testing.

Thanx again

I am pleased you are feeling better about things, but I kind of agree with Cathy, while they had you there it wouldnt have hurt to have done fna on the cyst to prove it?

I dont know anything about genetic testing, perhaps someone on here might be able to advise you on how helpful that is?

All the best


Hi Debi,
If you are still abit worried ask them to do fna, I have had to have quite a few of those in different places in both breasts and never had one fill up again.
I had one they thought was a cyst but when they did fna it wasnt so I had it removed at same time as tumor, it was not a cancerous lump but a fibroadenoma which had grown while I was having chemo.
Sure if you explain about your worries, We have it in our family so I am awaiting an appointment with my sisters re genetic testing. They have got on a program at Royal Marsden so they can be screened since I was dx.
We are goinngg to find out abit about it, I know you have to have couselling etc to find out if you really want to know. Also my breast surgeon said even if you have faulty gene only one in 7 of those with faulty gene will develop breast cancer!!! Anyway we are going to find out a bit more.

Take care
Dawn X

Thanx everyone, I think it is quite poor in this day and age that you should have to ask for tests that should be given anyway as a matter of precaution. I am not sure that I want to go back now and have that done, I think I will just keep an eye on things and if I feel any changes then go back.


I just thought I would mention that my right breast (the one involved) has been really sore since the last Mamo which was about ten days ago now, I know they did it right on the nipple, would it be bruised and is this usual, dont know if I am just being paranoid now.


Hi Debi,
They can tell for certain by an ultrasound if it is a cyst or a solid mass (as in tumor) because a cyst is a fluid filled sac which shows up white whilst a lump/tumor shows up as black on the screen, so rest assured they are correct in their diagnosis. I went for geneology tests because of a family history which came back negative.All they do is take a family history and a small blood sample so not a big deal. What may be a big deal is the impact of having the tests has on your life insurances now or in the future though as you are so young - you need to ask your BC nurse or GP about the impact of having the tests. For me who has paid off her mortgage it did not make a difference but I have heard of people being penalised for having the tests as it proves you have a family history and therefore more likely than most to have the BC gene so they refuse or weight the life insurance policy.
As for being sore - I dont think this is a worry - just par the course.
Hope this has helped in some way
Take care

Thanks Clarabelle

I never thought of the impact on insurance etc from the test, also there is what do you do if it is positve!! I think I need to try and forget my recent experience and just get back to the way I was before, thinking at least I am checked out each year.

Thanx again


Hi Debi,
if you are beng checked out each year then you are one of the lucky ones - my cancer was the most agressive type and was a 2cm lump which I was told had taken 18 months to get to that size (they can tell rate of growth by the speed of the division of cells taken in a biopsy) so being checked annually will pick up any abnormalities quite quickly so dont worry. I was told the downsides to geneology before I took the test so that I could decide whether it would impact on my life or not. Had it come back positive then I would have had my remaining breast removed without question and again, the outcome is discussed with you beforehand as they like to weigh up whether it is worth finding out or not because if you would not act on a positive result (ie carrying the BC gene) there is little use in doing the test in the first place. My husband wanted to get the children tested if I did carry the BC gene but after discussion we decided we wouldnt do that as we didnt want to make them getting insurance when they are adults difficult or expensive or even refused.
Should you wish to get tested then ask all the positives and negatives first so you can decide whether to continue down that path.
Now get out of here and back to your life - if it helps - all the woman I have spoken to (and there have been many) have all said they knew deep down that they did or did not have cancer so go with your gut instinct - its usually 100% correct.
Clarabelle x