recent diagnosis

Hi everyone, new to this so sorry for any noob questions.

i found a lump 3 weeks ago - breast clinic appointment was this week. i expected to be in and out but was there all day. i had mammogram, ultra sound then 3 biopsies then more mammogram- consultant said there were cysts all over & two lumps on left which are cancer & possibly one on right - got to go for MRI scan & results of biopsy next week.  largest lump is 5cm. can they really tell its cancer without the biopsy results? anyone had similar and then biopsy come out clear? i’m a bit in shock over it worried about work and how long likely to be off for if have to get treatment. i keep reading online but its all so confusing & everybody seems to have different experiences. i’m just looking for info on what to expect & what reality is.

L x

Hi Lucy

I’m so sorry you’re in this situation. My experience was the reverse: told there was nothing to worry about and then one thing after another. From speaking to my GP much later in my treatment, she said that most breast cancer lumps have a distinct feel to them, compared to fibroadenoma and cysts (hence her being surprised at my diagnosis). If a consultant has stated a lump in cancerous, it is cancer. I would be amazed at any specialist risking a patient’s fears and emotions by saying something so devastating and then retracting it. 

A cancer diagnosis tends to change one’s outlook on life and priorities change, including work. You are immediately protected by the Equalities Act 2010 and your employer must register you as disabled. This provides you with essential rights and is one thing worth looking up on Google. Apart from that, my advice is not to google anything relating to the cancer. Each diagnosis is unique - Google cannot adapt its information, let alone take feelings into account, and the result is a lot of unnecessary fear. If you need information ring the nurses at the number above. They are very helpful - and human!

Treatment will vary, dependent on the diagnosis so you can only be patient - there is a LOT of waiting involved now. If you require chemotherapy, you will probably need to be off work for months. You may be fortunate and bounce back quickly; you may be wiped out like I was. It is nothing to do with age, health or attitude - it’s just down to chance, though positivity and a desire to keep fit help. Sometimes they make no difference though so it’s wait and see. If you don’t require chemotherapy, treatment is shorter but not necessarily easier. I found radiotherapy a doddle but some people find it very hard. BUT all of the treatments are manageable and there are many of us here who have got through it in our own ways.

You sound as though you have your feet firmly on the ground, focusing on the shock rather than terror. This pragmatism may hold you in good stead but I would tend towards accepting your initial diagnosis now and hope that the finer details of the diagnosis after the MRI and biopsy results are back are encouraging. They may well be. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. 

Jan x

Hello Lucy, sorry you find yourself here. I’ve had bc 3 times, so had quite a few ultrasounds and in my experience the radiologists have said Don’t know, have to wait for the biopsy result, or they knew, and could either tell me it was just scar tissue (from previous surgery) or they said Really sorry, we need a biopsy, but it looks like cancer, and it was. So I’m afraid I agree with Jan on that. Jan’s  given lots of good advice, its such a shock and the waiting is horrible, but it does get easier once you know your treatment plan and lots of us on here have been through it and are fine now. Take care and good luck, love Mo x 

Hi Lucy

Ive just Also been recently diagnosed Late July with IDC and also in lymph’s. The consultant told me I had cancer before the biopsy results, the biopsy results for him was just to confirm stage/grade etc. I was shocked but he was right, the biopsy’s confirmed what he’d already told me and the worst part was knowing it’s in the lymph’s but now I’ve got my head around it all I’m quite positive. I’m just counting down the days to 13th Aug for my Op now so I’m shielding because of covid I would hate it to be cancelled. Consultant has said he’s not sure on Chemo yet until after Axilla clearance and lumpectomy but be prepared. But definitely Hormone therapy  And Radiotherapy. The lump is 4.5cm so he’s taking lump first then doing a breast reduction same time. 
If it’s a consultant that’s told you they’re usually quite positive as they wouldn’t risk false positive information. stay positive we can get through it and keep us updated as it seems we’re at similar stages Xx