Scared stiff

Hi there,
I found a lump in my left breast about 3 weeks ago. Tried to see my GP about a week later as I initially dismissed it as hormonal/time of the month change but it grew. GP couldn’t see me for over 2 wks so I made an appt with the urgent care centre after calling 111.
I went in expecting to be told not to worry but the doctor looked very serious after he examined the lump. It’s really big - maybe 5cm+ and very hard. I can’t feel any changes in my armpits and feel well in myself.
After initially telling me he couldn’t refer me to hospital and that I’d have to see my GP for that, as soon as he saw the lump he said he was referring me urgently and that it was suspected cancer.
I’m 36 and gave birth 2.5 years ago. I don’t know my family history as my mother was adopted.
The hospital called me first thing on the Monday morning - before 8.30am and booked me in for the next breast clinic which is this coming Monday.
I’m in shock and know I shouldn’t worry until I get my results. Is there anything else it could be? Is it general practice for doctors to tell all patients that it is suspected cancer?
We lost my father in law to bowel cancer a few months ago, 3 weeks after diagnosis. I’m so scared of leaving my daughter and husband.
Is there anything reassuring you can tell me? I’m sure it isn’t a cyst as it is so hard. Felt a bit like milk coming in when I first noticed it, tender but not painful. Thank you so much x

Well, that’s a doctor with a ‘way with words’ isn’t  it! What would have been kinder would have been to say 'we need to get this checked to make sure it s not BC '. No, he can’t know it’s cancer by feeling alone, nobody can and they can’t definitely know it’s cancer after a mammogram and ultrasound either. Only a biopsy can show it’s cancer. Obviously the doctor has ground to be concerned, but there was no need to put the fear of God into you and send you on your way to worry. Yep, there are other things it could be (particularly coming up so incredibly quickly) but until checked fully they won’t know.  I HAD cancer in February of this year, and even my breast specialist wouldn’t commit and say it was BC until the biopsy results. None of us here can say that you don’t have cancer either, It’s possible, just as it was for us. 


Ok, now the reassurance…let’s remove some of the fear of BC. It is a very good sign that you have no symptomatic changes under your arms. ( mind plenty here have had lymph nodes involved and are also doing fine!) IF this is a form of BC, then you will be one of the  unlucky one in 8 women who have it in their lifetime. One in eight, that’s HIGH isn’t it, so why aren’t you seeing numbers significantly dropping of those women all around you ? on the road you live, at work, in your social environment…because they are treated and successfully treated :0) treatment is better than ever before, and changing with advances being made all the time. For the vast majority of women, the treatment will be effective and they will move on with their lives. A nurse once said to me, if you are unlucky enough to get any sort of cancer, BC is the one to get.


I know it feels like your world is dropping apart right now, it’s a psychologically hideous position to be in, not knowing…but  trust me there are skilled professionals who will make sure you have an individual treatment plan and   Take good care of you IF this is BC. Look around you on this forum, there are women who have even had secondary cancers to BC for many years! There are people thousands of people who no longer use this forum…because they have moved on and cancer is no relevant for them :0) you have huge reason to be very hopeful. when you hear the C word the instant thought is of mortality…it’s terrifying…but times have changed and you start to realise that it’s good it was ’ found’ when it was and you have a future. 


So, tomorrow you will have a thorough examination, any checks necessary will be done and if needed you will have the treatment needed ( you’ve done the right thing and got it checked!). Stay strong and keep posting here. We understand your fear and hope that you find out there is something benign, but if not we will be here to support. X



Hi Charys, thanks so much for your message - it’s really helped me to put things in perspective. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I’m so sorry to hear you have been through it all this year and so fantastic that you have come out the other side :slight_smile:
I’ll let you know how I get on tomorrow. I’ll keep reading your message and will stay positive!! :slight_smile:

Wtp - those are very wise words from Charys. How did you go on at your appointment??

Loadsa love and fingers crossed it’s nothing to be concerned about.

Delly xxx

Thanks Delly :slight_smile:
Unfortunately I found out from my GP last night that I have invasive ductal carcinoma so the lump was malignant. I have my hospital appt on Monday afternoon where I guess they will let me know what is next. I’m not feeling confident even though I know I should be positive just because the lump is so. If (11cm) and grew so quickly. Plus the ultrasound identified at least one swollen lymph node. I’m under 40 which apparently can mean more aggressive. Agh - I know I shouldn’t read these stats online as everyone is difffere t but I think it’s natural. I don’t mind the treatment and surgery - I’ll do whatever it takes - but so scared now of a worse prognosis.

*the lump is so big (it’s 11cm)

Hi again wtp. Not happy for you to hear your update.

Have you got someone going with you to your appointment tomorrow?? It’s helpful to have an extra set of ears at such times. It’s all very upsetting for you, so that much more difficult to take in everything that is being said. Someone else can sit and take notes for you, and/or ask questions you may not think to. Although, the consultants and BCNs are used to peoples upset reactions, and needing some time to digest the information, so don’t worry if you feel you’ve missed something. You should be assigned a BCN, so you can contact her post the appointment when you’ve had time for things to sink in, to go over anything again, ask questions you didn’t think of at the time. It’s important that you feel informed, know all your options. Write any questions down as they as when they enter your head for any follow up appointment.

We’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. Please let us know how you go on, when you feel up to it.

Loadsa love

Dellywelly xxx   

Hi, wtp


lots of wise and helpful advice from Delly and Charys. Good luck with your treatment. Just thought it might help to know that there are a lot of us about who have had large tumours and lymph nodes involved and have lived for many years after.


my tumour was 8x7 cms and very hard. I had 12/13 lymph nodes with cancer inmy axilla. This was in 2001.

and my cancer was missed the Year before…I had gone in with symptoms, but they couldnt see anything as mine was lobular and invisible on mammos.


like you, I was very scared. I thought I wouldnt be around that long and scoured the websites to find out if there was anyone like me who had survived very long…and there were!


 After my treatment, I had over 10 years with no cancer. And even though its now back again, its currently being controlled…thats the good thing…nowadays there are lots of new and effective drugs.  I hope that helps a little.


lots of love, do keep us posted about how things go for you.





Blimey Miojan - that was a long time ago for you. Mine were 9 and 10 yrs ago. Treatments have moved on in leaps and bounds since then ey. I’m so sorry to hear you had a recurrence. Hope you’re doing well fellow catwoman.


We’re all Gunning for you tomorrow WTP

Delly xxx

Thank you all so much for your words of support and encouragement. They really, really helped me.
My husband came with me today, armed with pen and paper and a list of questions we thought up over the wknd.
I found out that the cells from the breast biopsy are grade 1 (phew!!) and the lymph node was clear (double phew!). Although they made a point that they want to test more to be absolutely sure but this sounded like common practise. I’ll be booked in for a CT scan at some point this week too.
Ok, here’s what we think we understood but so much info, you know what it’s like - Hoping not got anything wrong! The hormone receptors were negative for one and the other was low meaning hormone targeted treatments wouldn’t be effective. Still waiting to find out whether HER2 positive or negative. If positive, can do chemo with the right medicine (forgotten the name) in an attempt to shrink the tumour. However, due to the size of it, the consultant thinks surgery would still be required.
If HER2 negative, surgery needed and possibly chemo afterwards as preventative measure plus radiotherapy. I was confused to asked consultant what would be best outcome and she said HER2 negative as it’s more than likely I’ll need the masectomy in both cases and positive means a more aggressive cancer.
I’m booked in for HER2 results and consultation with surgeon next Monday and they have assured me not to worry about spreading in the meantime. Easier said than done :slight_smile:
I am feeling so much happier now - I don’t think the consultant had ever seen someone so happy to be told they will need a masectomy! I’m just so happy that this is looking treatable. I know it won’t be easy but I will beat this thing!!!
Thank you all so much, please keep in touch, your words of support are invaluable xxx

Well done WTP, sounds to have been a “good”? consultation for you?? Tho I would and, without a doubt, you would have preferred not to have been there. I’m really sorry about you needing a mastectomy. I don’t understand half of the gobbledegook terms and terminology these days.

It’ll all be sinking in now, and hopefully you feel it’s a more controllable situation - you sound as though you do. So it now rests on your next Mondays apptment, whether HER2 +ve or -ve, and you have plenty of time to jot down anything your not sure about to be able to ask.

Loadsa love

Delly xxxx


Thanks Delly :slight_smile:
My HER2 is negative so I’m booked in for sentinel node biopsy on the 13th and mastectomy on the 28th. Just getting my head around it but pleased that it doesn’t seem to have spread. My CT scan is this week too so fingers crossed that the results all come back as expected.
The plastic surgeon says I have a good tummy for the DIEP flap reconstruction (hmmm think she means there is plenty of fat to use!). So that’s also good news, if you know what I mean!
Thanks again for all your support, it really helps! Xxx

Hi Wtp,

Thanks for the update. That’s good news then that it’s HER2 then, isn’t it?  So with you talking about a Diep flap, will you be having immediate recon, or will you have to wait on recon till after all your other treatments are finished??

Good look with the next bit - your scan. Fingers crossed for you darlin. Let us know your results will you.

Loadsa love

Delly xxx

Hi Delly, hope you are well! I had my sentinel node biopsy yesterday - they only took one lymph node and rushing the results through so hoping to get by Monday! I did have a tentative date of the 28th for my mastectomy but after seeing me in theatre yesterday, the consultant is now worried it has gone to my skin so says we might need to start with chemo. I kind of felt ok with plan A (get it out, hope for negative lymph node, possibly escape chemotherapy, tamoxifen etc) but now I feel much less positive and a bit more out of control again… I guess you have to take each day/test one at a time… ahh… just want this thing out as it feels bigger all the time ? Boo!!
Hope all good with you xxx

Haha Delly - your message made me laugh! Took your advice and had some lovely friends over :slight_smile:
Well, I started chemo yesterday (EC for 4 rounds then T for 4 rounds) and I don’t think it’s hit me yet as still feeling A-OK!
Even managed to travel up to family with my husband and daughter after to spend Xmas with them all for a few days - a plan we’d had since summer but had been subject to change a few times following my diagnosis).
So I’m enjoying the feeling of normality, actually relishing it - and getting my positivity back!
This is day one and I know it could change at any time but glad those pesky cells are finally getting zapped!
Happy Xmas eve - I hope you all have a great Xmas and have some time to relax with loved ones.
Big hugs xxxx
P.s. My daughter loved your joke!! ??