Still really worried - Help Please!

Hi all

I hope you are all doing well. I could really do with some friendly advice and help to get me out of this state of worry.

A bit of background, I am 36 years old and on the 5 April I had a routine breast exam as a part of my Bupa Healthcheck, in which the GP consultant identified a suspicious lump which she thought was likely to be a cyst. Im sure we all know how it feels when someone tells you that. She recommended a breast ultrasound, which I managed to book privately the next day, even though my own GP suggested that I wait to go NHS.

The GP was right, I did indeed have a cyst 4cm big! It was benign and identified with no malignant features, a simple cyst. I was relieved as you could imagine, the consultant radiologist recommended that I do nothing as it was not causing me any pain.

However, in the past couple of days, the cyst seems to have become a little firmer in its feel, it still moves very freely between the fingers, but it is the slightly firmer consistency that is making me nervous. Also to add to this, I had a very light period on the 15 April so I am not sure whether this is likely to be caused by cyclical changes, such as ovulation?

I have some questions to the forum that could really help me alleviate my stress levels!

  1. Should I go back to the doctor and get referred to the breast clinic to get a second opinion on the cyst

  2. Is there any chance in the the four weeks that I had my breast ultrasound that the cyst has become cancerous

  3. Can cysts change shape, consistency and size? and most importantly can they ever become cancerous?

I look forward to hearing from you

Nahdia

Hi Nahdia

Welcome to the forums, you’ve come to the right place for support as the users of this site have a wealth of knowledge between them.

You may find it useful to contact our free helpline on 0808 800 6000, lines re-open at 9.00 in the morning and normal opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.00 – 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 – 2.00.

best wishes
June, moderator

Hi Nahdia

If the consultant feels that the cyst is not malignant and he has done all the tests then you should feel confident that he is right. He will have seen many.

I had a cyst about 15 years ago and they took a sample needle biopsy and all was clear. They did not remove it.

However, If a second opinion will make you feel better ask your GP to refer you.

I am glad it was good news for you.
Best wishes
Janvis

Hi Janvis

Thank you for your response. All I had was an ultrasound and not a needle biopsy, the consultant immediately placed the probe on my breast and said it looks clear and is not cancer, he also gave me an all clear on my other breast.

I think some of its a bit of anxiety as you come so close to convincng yourself you have cancer, that you then go in to hyperdrive checking yourself - and the fact that the cyst feels a bit ‘firmer’ makes me start panicking.

Thanks once again!

Hi Nahdia, I have several benign cysts and they do feel more obvious sometimes than others. I was told that they feel distinctive (smooth surface and mobile) and different to bc and they showed me on the ultrasound how they look different to my bc (which isn’t even a lump and has spiky star shaped bits coming off it).

You have done right to check this out but they do seem pretty clear that cysts aren’t a problem. If it still worries you, ask for a second opinion to put your mind at rest? I guess you may have to go private again but at least you would be able to relax xx

I think there are different kinds of cysts and some of them if they are fluid filled can be aspirated to remove the fluid. It’s uncomfortable but not painful, or less so than a wasp sting. Perhaps you could ask if they could do that, to set your mind at rest, if it’s the sort of cyst that CAN be drained.

Nahdia it wouldnt hurt to have a second opinion and at lest put your mind at rest .
my cyst came up over night i wasnt to worried about it as it was that time of the month and my breast get very lumpy every month however this time it was different as i wasnt just able to feel it you could see it i went to see my gp who was sure it was just a cyst as it moved freely even at the hosptial the 1 doc was sure it was a cyst even drained it off it was only on the ultrascan that they could see the cyst had a very different shape to wot cyst have almost like a L shape well from fnb i was dx with breast cancer so i would say have a second opinion it carnt hurt
tc maz xxxx

Nahdia

I really don’t think it is fair for a doctor to expect you to be happy walking around with a 4cm lump in your breast. I had a 4.5cm lump and have large breast - it was very noticeable. Your obviously not very comfortable with it remaining there. I would go back and ask to have it either removed or drained. Hopefully this would also put your mind at rest as i think all fluid or lumps removed are tested.

Good luck

Maria x

Thanks guys for all your support. I think I am going to go back to the doctor and get referred to the breast clinic again and see if they can aspirate it. The real major issue I have with the cyst is that I may read too much in to the changes the cyst will go through as a part of the menstrual cycle and that this is likely to propel me in to anxiety.

Just a final question for you all, how likely is it that a cyst could have become a problem in the space of a month (which is when I had my ultrasound that gave me the all clear?. Can changes happen that quickly?

Thank you all again x

Ni Nadia,

Why not go back to your GP and explain how worried you are and see if you can get NHS referral? They are usually within 2 weeks of the GP referral- I went to a one stop clinic, where they will carry out ultrasound/mammmogram/biopsies if necessary. I would definitely get a second opinion even if you have to go private for it. Hopefully, that will put your mind at rest.

Best of wishes,

Lisa

Hi Guys

So, here is the update. I managed to get a appointment with my breast clinic for yesterday afternoon, the consultant so me, did an ultrasound, seemed happy that it was a simple cyst and then drained off the fluid which she said looked fine. She told me to monitor it and that it might come back as I did have a 4cm cyst. I was pretty content last night, happy that I could put this all behind me.

However, today when I came back and examined myself (out of habit now) I could still feel the cyst! admittedly it is much smaller and soft than the original cyst size, but I am really freaking out that it has refilled in 24 hours, I googled on the internet and it said that this could be a sign of a cancerous cyst, which had really scared me. The consultant did say to come back if it refilled and that if it persisted I could have it surgically removed, I did ask her if this did happen was this a sign of cancer, she said no as the fluid had no blood when she aspirated it

I have so many things and fears in my mind, so any words of reassurance will help. I am going to try and get an appointment urgently tomorrow.

Thanks

Nahdia

Hi Guys any advice would be much appreciated! I have an appointment on wednesday at 9.00am, but still worried…

hi hun my cyst refulled over night but not as much fluid in it as first time , if its worring you that much have it removed might be the only way you will be able to stop worring . my cyst had blood in it so i knew the same day i had bc . my sister has 7 cyst and at 1 time had 19 but they come and go she has only had 1 removed as it was under her arm and it got in the way but she hasnt got bc so keep that in mind
all the best
maz xx

Nahdia, I have had big cysts in the past and they do seem to spring up out of nowhere. Mine were typically hard and sometimes a bit painful for the first few days, then would seem to soften.

If the consultant were worried about the appearance of the fluid, some would be sent for a biopsy. Unfortunately some women keep getting cysts. If you turn out to be one of these, it’s important to keep visiting the doctor about them, however daft you feel, simply because you don’t want to assume it’s just another cyst when it’s not. And as someone else said, if it’s big and uncomfortable it should be treated.

Cheryl

Hi Honeybee

That is exactly what has happened to me! that the cyst has refilled but not as much. But there was no blood in the fluid when she first aspirated it. Just to clarify, did blood come out in your fluid when you first had it aspirated - is that what you mean by the fact that you knew then you had breast cancer? Or did blood come out the second time you went to have it seen to?

Thank you

Nahdia

Just a follow up question to Maz!

Did they detect that the cyst was irregular from the ultrasound and then check your fluid? My doctor seemed to be happy with the ultrasound and thats when she aspirated. Neither her or the original radiologist ever identified any malignant features in the imaging. Can I take some confidence from that?

I did ask her before I left, that if it refilled did that mean the cyst was cancerous, she said no as there was no blood in the fluid? But she did ask me to come back if it had refilled - it also feels a bit tender, even made me think is this just a new cyst that has miraciously popped up new!

As you can see the brain is in overdrive and by the time wednesday morning comes I will be half crazy!

Nahdia, when I went to the clinic the first time, I was surprised to see that they just chucked the fluid they aspirated down the sink, but the doctor assured me that there was nothing to worry about as the fluid was the typical colour and consistency and that draining the cysts was all the treatment they needed. She also told me that even if you leave them alone, cysts fill up and empty of their own accord, without any intervention from anyone. It could be feeling tender because you’ve had a needle stuck in your boob!

Give the Helpline a ring, they can explain things much better than we can, and it’s staffed by very knowledgeable people.

And if you can, try not to fret too much between now and your next appointment. You should also stay OFF Google, as there are some really off-the-wall sites out there and you could scare the pants off yourself with some of the nonsense that’s out there.

You are absolutely right chocco muffin about google, since the aspiration I have convinced myself that I have an intracystic carcianoma - a cancerous cyst as the symptom is a breast cyst that refils immediately after aspiration.

I just want to put my mind at rest that following one diagnostic ultrasound a month ago on the cyst, a look at it by the breast doctor on a smaller ultrasound, I.e. Of just the cyst and the fact that they didn’t identify any malignant features is conclusive that the cyst is not a sign of cancer even though the cyst has refilled. Will be able to cope with whatever else they throw at me!

Do you or any other forum members know what other tests they are likely to do on wednesday, I have been asked to report to the ultrasound/mammogram unit.

Will try to keep of the internet, just fuels anxiety…

Thanls for all your advice!

Nahdia

nahdia yes they did detect the cyst was irregular from the ultrasound seem cysts have a shape to them and mine was a funny shape thats how the doc put it when they aspirated the fluild had blood in it so i had a fnb done there and then and it was the results from that that told me i had bc , by the following day cyst had refilled but it was the following week before i had it aspirated again and again it was blood filled ,

Thank you so much for your answer, I’m hoping the fact that the ultrasound didn’t identify a malignancy in the cyst and that the lack of blood in the fluid means that the rrefilling of the cyst is not because of camcer. Really nervous about my appointment on wednesday, did the doctor ever tell you whether a norrmal cyst could change to cancer? Doesn’t sound likely from science point of view but my rational side is not working that great!

Also what treatment have you received, if you don’t mind me asking x