Waiting but already told 'its probably cancer'


Well I seem to have joined the can’t eat/can’t sleep/ just worry, worry, worry rollercoaster.

I went to the breast clinic yesterday (referred by GP after I noticed changes in my left breast). I’ve had mammograms, ultrasound and more biopsies that you could shake a needle at. The results of one biopsy (a cell one I think rather than a tissue biopsy) came back within half an hour and was inconclusive. I don’t get the other results (including a lymph node biopsy) until Friday 27th Jan. However, the doctor told me that that all indiciations are that I have something “very suspicious” and it’s “probably a cancer”. She also said that I may need chemo before I can have an operation. I am terrified. The terror is made all the worse as, although they checked out my right breast (mammogram and ultrasound) and said it was OK, I looked at it last night and I am SURE the nipple is changing appearance just like the other breast (also been getting some burning sensations). Added to that since Sunday I’ve been feeling a bit breathless and have had a pain in my left armpit and occassional pain in my shoulders. I mentioned the armpit while at the hospital but stupidly didn’t mention the breathlessness or should pain. I am absolutely terrified that cancer is galloping around my body and I’m having to wait 9 days before results.

I’ve made an appt at the GPs for later this morning where I run through the above and also ask if he can prescribe something to take the edge of the terror - I don’t feel like I can function at the mo. I’m permanently shaking. I’ll also call the specialist nurse - but she wasn’t particularly warm or helpful yesterday so no holding out much hope there.

Oh dear. A very long first post I’m afraid. This looks like a fantastic forum and if anyone can help/support/share a general gnashing of teeth that would be great.

Hi Historygirl,
Really feel for you at the moment. To expect you to wait another week seems like unnecessary torture. I do hope that you get some support from your GP today.
I can’t reassure you, but i would just say, that once you have heard the word ‘cancer’ your mind does race - every ache and pain becomes something sinister. So, I can’t say ‘don’t worry,’ because of course that’s what we all do- but hopefully the support you get here will help you to get through. I’ll be thinking of you. Don’t forget you can also phone the helpline here,

Hi Historygirl

The waiting is hell and if there is any way that you can approach someone to expedite the result, I would.

Remember that if it is the worst case scenario and it is cancer, then it is not a death sentence. Don’t Google anything to do with BC as you’re likely to find info which is scaremongering and out of date. Stick to sites like this and MacMillan.

Whatever the outcome, you will get through it although I know you don’t think that now. Please feel free to PM me (send me a personal message) if you want to chat.

Laurie x

Hi Historygirl

So sorry you have had to join the forums, its such a terrifying time but you well get huge support from the lovely ladies on here. Just wanted to say my thoughts are with you.

Love Debbie xxxx

Hi Historygirl

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums, I’m sorry to reardthat you are having a pretty tough time at the moment.

As well as the support you are receiving on here you may find it helpful to talk things through with a member our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 600 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Hi Historygirl,

Believe me the waiting is the worst bit of the whole thing. I was diagnosed in November 2011 and the worst bit was the waiting for the results. I had a mammo, ultrasound and biopsy and although they didn’t say what they thought, the said that it was suspicious, so that set me off and even when they confirmed the cancer 3 days later I was still in a state because then I had to have tests to check for spread which totally freaked me out. I was convinced the cancer was running away round my whole body. Luckily it wasn’t but I can safely said that was the worst point, worse than the treatment I have subsequently had.

I had a Her2+ grade 3 4.5 tumour which was shrunk with chemo - 4 x AC and 4 x Paclitaxol, then had a WLE and sentinal node biopsy which was clear and then 20 sessions of rads. I am just coming to the end of 12 months of Herceptin.

The treatment for me was not too bad, I had great care at the hospital and a great onc, and chemo is not as bad as everyone fears, so even if the diagnosis is cancer it isn’t the end.

I am now back at work full time and only occasionnaly tired which is due to the Herceptin I think. I even have a full head of hair now.

I know it is easy to say don’t worry, but once you know what you are dealing with it all falls into place and you just get through it, and this site and the support it gives is second to none.


Hi History Girl

I can only reiterate what everyone has said - the waiting is definately worse than the treatment.

I was diagnosed in October 2011 (aged 42) and am now half way through chemo, just started herceptin, to be followed by surgery then rads. The chemo isn’t half as bad as I was expecting, just tired really. Everyone involved in my care is fantastic(I’m sure yours will be too) and this site, along with The Haven if you are near one is great for support.

After I found a lump under my arm I had mammogram, ultra sound and biopsy at the breast clinic and was assigned a ‘Macmillan key worker breast cancer nurse’ that day, prior to the diagnosis, so knew it was going to be cancer. I got the official diagnosis 4 days later then a week of scans, tests etc as they thought it had spread - it was already in lymph nodes in my armpit and neck. Luckily it hadn’t and once the treatment starts and you have a plan of action you can just get on with getting better.

Keep your chin up - I know its easy to say but there is no point in getting into too much of a panic until you know what you are dealing with.

Sending hugs

Hello Historygirl,
I was told exactly the same as you. I found a lump in my breast and went to the clinic a week later, on 6th dec, I’m 39…I was told on that day after the mm us and biopsy that i had cancer. I thought how do they know without the results but then a week later, they confirmed what they already knew. It was their way of preparing me for the worst and not coming to the next appt and getting such a shock.
Since then I’ve had a wle and snb on 28th dec. Then on tuesday went for the results of the op and was told its in one of my lymph nodes so they want to do another op to remove all the nodes. I’m just waiting for a date. I was also told i’m to have chemo and rads after.
So today I’ve an appt to meet the onc people.
Its all so surreal and the first two weeks are the hardest weeks.
I have young children 3 and 7 and my eldest wasnt sleeping very well and now we are getting back to normal I’ve got to go for another.
However the care is fantastic and the support i’ve had from this site and my bcn has been amazing.
Good luck

I to are waiting for ct scan results I was dx on 30th dec had mamagram ultrasound n biopsy been told it’s grade3 and gone into my lymph nodes hence ct scan to make sure it’s nit gone anywhere else, I get results next wed more waiting !! My plan of action is upto now chemo first to shrink it as it’s 7.5cm then surgery , think we all need a virtual hug ((((((((. )))))))))))) take care everyone love n hugs xxxxxxx

Dear Historygirl, I hope your GP was helpful. Believe me the waiting is the worst of everything…I self medicated with wine, but I reckon whatever it takes to get over the shock and the worry…things do get better I promise…especially once you know your treatment plan after all the results are in. I am two years out next week after two ops, chemo and rads.
very best wishes Moorcow

Hi Historygirl - I think you will have gathered by now that we all agree that the waiting is the worst part of all of this! I was diagnosed at the end of May last year, had chemo (8 sessions three weeks apart) then mastectomy and axillary clearance just before Christmas and now waiting to start my 15 Radiation treatments.

My advice is take one day at a time - try not to think the worst, don’t google - the internet is full of outdated information. Once you know the results then you will feel better about things. I know I did.

We are all here supporting each other - please let us know how you get on.


Hi Historygirl - again another one here who agrees nothing is as bad as waiting for results. I was diagnosed almost exactly a year ago, had mx, chemo, rads and now on Tamoxifen. I remember thinking that if I felt so dreadful before diagnosis was officially confirmed, how would I cope with any treatment - but you do, you’ll be surprised at how you deal with it, the support you’ll get from family and friends and from forums like this - this has been a real life line, and I’ve ‘met’ so many fantastic, supportive women. And a year on I am back at work, appreciating every day and generally feeling pretty good - and I hope and trust you will too. Jude xxx

My goodness, I thought this looked a supportive and helpful forum but I never expected so many fantastic replies to the post I submitted in my hour of need last night. Thank you all so much. I’m really, really touched. Now if you lot will just move in to my house and come along with me to all my appointments I’m sure I’ll be fine! (Actually I’ve got lots of support here at home so I shouldn’t be greedy).

As well as the fantastic responses here I also spoke to the Breast Care Nurse today (who I’ve warmed to a bit more) and saw my GP. And while I’m still (naturally) very worried I do feel a deal calmer. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now, there’s a bottle of red wine somewhere round here with my name on …

Let my tell you about a recent experience
on 01/12/11 my dad was told 99% sure lung cancer due to a 4cm mass found on lung via a ct scan
Broncospcy 9.12.11 taken place
19.12.11 told biposy comes back no malignant cells found
21.12.11 meeting with lung specialist and told 95% lung cancer
30.12.11 conduted attempt to conduct a ct guided biopsy and stopped as ct scan showed a considerable shrinkage.
Had an appointment with the consultant yesterday and advised that can now is very unlikely and believe it to be numonia, however want to conduct a repeat CT end of feb to check chest again.

I know i have gone into a lot of detail however the point i’m trying to make is that they can and do get it wrong Obvioiusly we are not out of the woods yet but the word “cancer” is not at the forefront. Im trying to build your hopes up that they have it wrong but this a recent experience.

Even if it does turn out to be cancer its doable it was 4th yr anniversaly on 21.12.11 the same date dad got told its 95% cancer.


Hello again

A bit of an up and down for me today after yesterday’s relative calmness - only to be expected I suppose.

Another thing that’s really worrying me (ANOTHER thing I hear you say as you roll your eyes) is that I’ve had a read around on the forum and can’t find anyone who’s symptoms are like mine.

I didn’t find a lump. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking ‘Ow that hurts’ and thought I’d been sleeping in a strange position or something. When I looked in the mirror the next morning I was shocked at how the breast looked. It was swollen and the nipple had become bigger and a bit inverted. Since then I feel like it’s getting bigger and bigger and I have some pain (not unbearable) admittedly some of the pain might be as a result of the biopsys. Everyone else seems either to have found a lump or discovered problems as a result of screening. In my head (and I may be a bit bonkers at the moment)I just imagine the cancer growing at an alarming rate (hence the swelling) and coursing round my body like crazy.

On the plus side I had a reasonable night’s sleep last night and have been able to eat small amounts.

Sorry to be such a moaner when everyone is going through a hard time but this forum is feeling like a bit of a life-line and still having a week to wait for the results seems an age. I did ask getting the results could be speeded up but both my GP and nurse said that the samples from the biopsys have to be set in paraffin and this just takes time. Oh well.


There are quite a few of us of the pre-screening age that had a thickening/swelling/nipple changes/puckered skin rather than finding a lump.

Obviously the ladies who offer advice on this site have all had a diagnosis - I am sure there are others out there who had similar symptoms for benign conditions - so I don’t want to worry you!

My boob suddenly swelled up, I had shooting pains through the corse of my breast and my nipple looked funny. I have a strong family history and booked an appointment immediately with my GP who referred me to the breast clinic - but I then had a bit of a hoo-ha with being misdiagnosed as having mastitis for a couple of months.

I am not a doctor, but I am pretty confident in saying that breast cancer doesn’t spread that fast so is very unlikely to be coursing round your body and only a very small proportion of people are diagnosed with spread from the start. However, to chat through some of your worries I would really recommend calling the BCC helpline and talking to one of the nurses. They are brilliant and will be able to explain it all to you if you want to understand it a bit more.

The waiting is THE WORST and I remember all to clearly the thoughts, fears and panic swirling around my mind! I don’t have much advice to get through that I’m afraid apart from to try and keep yourself busy and I found having company helped take my mind off things.

Let us know how you get on. Here’s hoping it’s benign.


Hi, this is my first time on anything like this. Had my first routine mammogram 2 weeks ago only to be recalled to go to a breast care clinic in Brighton. Although i’ve been told not to worry, i can’t believe how terrified i am. The waiting is awful. I can’t help assuming the worst. I’ve had no symptoms, but the nurse said they need to look at an area on my right breast.

Sandytoes: Thanks so much for your reply. I’m very sorry to hear you were initially misdiagnosed. I took your advice and contacted the helpline and they were great. I’ve also had plenty of company over the past few days which really has been a boon in taking my mind of things and also trying to retain some kind of sense of perspective while waiting for the results.

Purple42: Thanks for your earlier response. Waiting for the results of the ct scan must be horrible, so virtual hugs back to you! I’ll be thinking of you on 25th Jan.

Bumble62: Waiting is vile isn’t it? I’m hardly the world’s expert on all this but the advice I’ve received here has been invaluable – use the helpline, try to keep busy/have company around, also I’ve found this forum incredibly supportive. Let us know how you get on.

Hi everyone who is waiting for results

I am sat here in a chemo fog feeling sorry for myself and trying to send good vibes to all you poor ladies waiting for results - it really really is the worst bit. Just wanted to let you know that I (and lots of other people I am sure) are thinking of you. Hope you all manage to take your minds off it for a little while this weekend.

Purple42 - yours sounds just like mine with chemo first so I hope your ct scan result is the same as mine as well and it hasn’t spread anywhere else. Let us know how you get on on Wednesday.

Historygirl,in fact everyone - i’m sure there is a crate load of red wine with all our names on it.

Take care everyone
Jane x

bumble62 try not to worry too much - I know its terrible and I was in the exact position as you back in November - most areas of suspiion come back fine but if it is bad news - you will get so much help and support on here. Please let us know how you get on and will be thinking of you.