Still not reassured after breast surgeon consultation and screening - constant anxiety

Apologies if this is a complicated post but I really need someone to talk to or give advice who has had experience of this or somewhere along the lines of a similar situation - it’s much appreciated! 


When I turned 26 this year I started becoming more health conscious and more interested in my family health history. Around september I performed a self examination which I had never done before, and I felt as though my right breast was lumpier than the other one and I had an almost plate like lump at the top of my breast and some other small moveable ones near my armpit/side breast. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 41, there is no other history in my family excluding my great great great grandmother (which I dokt believe would count.)


Fast forward to mid September I went to my GP as i was concerned about this and had nothing to compare to as it had been my first self examination that sparked concern. She felt around and said she didn’t feel any need to refer me however highlighted the same as I felt in my breast and asked me to come back in a couple weeks when I was  nearer my cycle  my problem is I have come off the depo vera shot and not had a period since around june so I wasnt expecting anything to change as I’ve not been menstruating.


I ended up getting so worried about this that I went private and got a breast consultation and a breast screening. The breast surgeon drew lines where he felt it more nodular and the radio doctor took the scan, it was confirmed that there were no concerns and I had lumpier breast tissue/glandular tissue on my right breast. 


This should be reassuring to me, but now I am constantly checking and prodding and the area feels tender. I just donr know what to feel for as my right breast is already lumpy and I dont know how to tell if something doesn’t feel right. 


I feel like I cant stop thinking about it and I feel like I’m going to put myself in debt going private again but my mind is making me so unhappy.


I guess my questions are;


-What should I be looking for if I already have lumpy side and general breast tissue?

-Am I eligible for testing it only one family member (my mum) had it under 45?

-Is it normal for the lumpiness to feel tender from checking them maybe too much? If at all? 

  • What does a cancer lump feel like compared to firm movable lump/flat lumps? 

-Any other advice is grateful appreciated.


Understand this is a lengthy post but I feel so drained and stressed thinking it, it’s on my mind 24-7! 


N xx

Hi Dee


I don’t have the answers to your questions as we’re all different. I can understand your anxiety, particularly with your mother’s medical history. Do you know if her kind of breast cancer has a genetic link because most don’t? Oddly, my mother’s experience of having breast cancer twice, early 40s and 60s and no link in the type of cancer, then dying at 89 of heart failure, gave me tremendous confidence when I was diagnosed. She survived, why wouldn’t I? 


I was diagnosed last year with bc but I couldn’t feel any lumps. When I spoke to my GP recently, she said she was shocked when she read my diagnosis as the lump she found hiding between my ribs “didn’t feel like” any bc lump she’d felt before. My point is, I don’t think there are hard and fast rules for breast cancer. The experts can usually tell from their experience but lumps can be all shapes and sizes, and even unfeelable in some locations. Most breast lumps are NOT breast cancer.


The important thing is to get to know your breasts and how they feel when they are healthy. You’ve had a consultation and an ultrasound, which is considered very reliable, and been told you don’t have breast cancer so you know your lumpy breasts are your ‘normal’ healthy breasts. Learn to love them. Stay familiar with them but don’t poke and prod just in case - follow the guidelines for examining your breasts monthly and accept them as part of your body, not something to be fearful of. You might consider booking an appointment with your practice nurse or a friendly GP to be shown how to examine your breasts as they are right now, healthy. Maybe being shown how to navigate your lumpy boobs may help? There’s a big difference between being breast aware and breast obsessed and you need a bit more reassurance to get back to breast aware.


It may help you to ring the number at the top. The breast care nurses are really helpful and reassuring. Meantime, please take good care of yourself and your health anxiety x