Waiting for biopsy results


I’m new to this so please excuse any faux pas. I’m 50 and was called for a routine mammogram a couple of weeks ago. As background, I’ve found lumps myself over the years which have turned out to be a fibroadenoma and some cysts. So I had the screening mammogram and got called back for more tests. Which happened yesterday. 3D mammogram, ultrasound, then 3 core biopsies taken from left boob x 2 and armpit. This morning I got an email for next Wednesday appointment with the breast surgery team. I’m very nervous because it’s a different hospital department, they were quite non-commital yesterday, and I think most of all the armpit biopsy alarmed me . I’ve never had that before. I’m just wondering if anyone has had the same experience, and if I should be worried about being called to the breast surgery department. Thanks x 


This is a very anxious time for anyone but you seem to have been left in doubt about your diagnosis yet been given an appointment speedily but with no explanation. We always maintain here that you don’t have breast cancer until your surgeon or oncologist tells you that you have. However, it’s obvious you are breast savvy and I suspect you have worked things out for yourself. You certainly had a most thorough investigation - that armpit biopsy is a bit of a shock isn’t it, but it is routine with certain breast conditions - and the speed with which you’ve been given an appointment would suggest they have found something. BUT you won’t find out what till next week.

The waiting is a constant nightmare but you have got to learn to manage it. Please don’t start googling (dangerous territory) or letting your imagination run riot. Your biopsies might be clear for all you know. Have you got the contact details for the Breast Care Nurses Team? If not, you could ring the hospital switchboard and ask. They generally have a voicemail service but get back to you within 24 hours - you could ask them what to expect next week. They will be kind and honest - if they can’t tell you what’s been found so far, they will say so and you’ll still have that wait, but at least you’ll have done something proactive. 

It’s too late to suggest you don’t worry till you have to (the approach that is getting me through my own experience) but do whatever you can to keep your mind occupied. Learn diaphragmatic breathing (YouTube) - it’s very calming and will hold you in good stead whatever the outcome is. There are also NHS-endorsed apps like Calm and Headspace with lots of methods of relaxation, meditation, mindfulness - anything to take your thoughts away from this dilemma. Ring your hospital for a bit of clarification (you might not get it , of course) as a start. I wish you all the best,

Jan x