Top tips for initial appointment!

I had my screening appointment last week and thought it may be useful to share my experience.

  • Expect to wait… Receptionist told me by phone I’d get all results on the day, but I didn’t.

  • Take someone lovely with you. My partner kept me laughing but was also ready with the hugs.

  • Expect a rollercoaster… Doc took ages to find my lump, then told me I had two (surprise/panic) but they were both benign (phew) and could just be monitored and that radiologist would tell me if they were cysts that need draining. Felt a fraud being there. Radiologist then told me I had a concerning solid lump on ultrasound and would need mammogram and core biopsy (panic again). She then said she was slightly less concerned after seeing mammogram but didn’t know what it was. She said not to panic as it could be sorted if it was nasty (still panicking), but then felt OK by the time I got home (phew, maybe it can be sorted).

  • Don’t look at the core biopsy contraption if you need one - you can’t feel it anyway after the local anaesthetic.

  • Don’t upset the radiologist by telling her the cape is like one you wear to hairdresser, you may be too stressed to explain you’re trying to make light of the situation!!

  • Seeing result in black and white may make you worry again. Letter described the lump, sounded serious…

  • Don’t Google stuff, listen to the doctors!! Got in a state after reading the classification of my lump meant its “probably malignant”, despite doc telling me it could be sorted.

  • Expect to see and hear ads for cancer care all the time. I’m sure they’re on all year but that’s all I’m hearing now!

Just keep busy. Get my result in 2 days, not sleeping but trying to remember I was told it can be sorted whatever the lump is…

Good luck :slight_smile:

Hi 75LM

It sounds like you’re having a pretty tough time at the moment.  I’m sure some of the other users will be a long soon to offer you their support.  In the meantime if you need to talk things through do give the BCC helpline a call on 0808 800 6000.  Here you can share your thoughts and concerns with someone who will offer you a listening ear as well as emotional support and practical information.  Lines are open weekdays 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator 

I agree! 

  • I was told I would get the results on the day of the tests - I think you do if they don’t need to do the biopsy but realising I had to wait another week was awful
  • Be careful getting your hopes up until they’ve really finished everything.  I was told after the mamogram that they were definitely benign cysts so I should relax, then she got the ultrasound out and … “Having said that… I’m not so sure”
  • The subject is EVERYWHERE!!  My BF tried telling me that it was all around me all of the time and I was only noticing it more, and I know logically this is true but it doesn’t feel like that.  Right after that conversation we sat down to watch the next episode of a sitcom we’ve been watching and in the first scene one of the characters revealed she had breast cancer.  I inappropriately laughed soooo much.

I posted on here the other day about timescales because things hadn’t happened in the time the GP told me it would.  Turns out he was describing best case scenario.  I might write to the and just point out that it is a LOT less stressful knowing the reality up front so your expectations can be managed.  Don’t get me wrong, still stressful