Nurse not at ALL reassuring at breast examination now I'm a nervous wreck


I feel like I’m probably overacting. I just went to the doctors because I found a firm, flat lump in my breast. I’m 32 and have a family history of breast cancer. My mum was diagnosed in her 30s and later died when I was fairly young, her sister had ovarian cancer (at 51 and died 2 years later) and their grandmother had breast cancer.


I saw a nurse at my surgery and told her about my family history. She was very chirpy and said it was important to check these things. She examined my left breast and said it was fine. When she examined my right breast she said, ‘Hmm, yes, there are a few cysts here and… hmmm, I yes there is a larger lump here. Hmm, I don’t like the feel of that. That’s a bit concerning. That needs checking. It’s very big. Do not like how that feels one bit. Ok you can put your top on.’ Her chirpyness had gone completely.


Then she went to her desk and started filling out a referral form. I said, 'So you think it’s a just a cyst right? Seeking some reassurance. She said, ‘Yes, you have cysts but the lump in question… that needs checking. It’s worrying. it’s not like the others.’ She then filled out the form and kept glancing at me but not saying anything. I felt a lump rising in my throat. 


She gave me the forms and said to take them to reception so they could book an appointment. As I left the room she said, ‘Well…good luck…’


‘Good luck’??!


Once I got outside the surgery I burst into tears.



I was expecting to hear, ‘Well, its likely a cysts but we’ll refer you to be sure.’ which is what I heard when I had a fibroid at 17. I feel dreadful and I know I cant do anything until I have my ultrasound and biopsy but now I’m a bag of nerves.


Hi Mao mao


I can imagine you must be feeling quite distraught at the moment,  Whether the nurse expressed her concern or not the end result is the same ie, you will be referred to a breast clinic for further investigations.  I believe it should be within 14 days.  It is impossible to confirm whether your lump is anything other then a cyst by feel alone so please try not to worry.  Your nurse actually sounds quite unprofessional in her way of expressing concern.  Sometimes we tend to be so worried we see looks/glances that aren’t actually there, I know I did and still am if I’m honest.  


Please hold onto the fact that the nurse does not know, it is her job to refer you quickly and that is all.  Oh a little bit of reassurance wouldn’t go a miss.  Big hugs x


The waiting is just dreadful but you certainly should be seen with the 2 week guideline, I also lost my mum to breast cancer so when I saw my GP about a lump I was fast tracked and seen at the clinic within 6 days, you should be seen as a matter of urgency due to your history regardless of what the nurse may or may not think she’s found, they cannot tell anything until you are checked by the specialists at the hospital , my GP was concerned about mine but I know it was only due to me telling her about my mum and my lump turned out to be fat although the tests they did discovered an area of early breast cancer that would have gone undetected for years most likely so I’ve been very lucky, I know it’s impossible not to worry but it will just make the time drag even slower, I would ring the clinic to make sure they have received your referral and tell them of you anxiety and they may be able to see you quicker, they are lovely in my experience and try to do every thing they can to help Xx Jo