What was it like for you?

Hi to you all,

I wonder if any of you brave ladies are able to help me please? Perhaps only just to give me perspective and stop things running away with me!

Over recent weeks I have been experiencing a widening variety of symptoms, culminating now in  a loss of appeitite, when I eat I am either sick, extreme nausea, food sitting in chest area, I have constant rib pain too, with a feeling on the left side that something is pushing up an out under my left ribs, especially when I sit. I have been checked with mamogram and US just 3/4 weeks ago and told ‘just swollen lymph nodes’ , vaginal scans, uterine biospy, hysteroscopy (all clear)  and a lot of blood tests. The only current diagnosis is anemia, which isnt responding to iron treatment. On top of all of this is extreme fatigue and I have been unable to work or carry out usual tasks for the past 4 weeks due to this.

Then yesterday I was woken by a real pain in my right breast, when I looked my nipple was pulled to the right, it was swollen, and a lump can be felt under the areola there was a pinking of the skin around this… It is not hot to touch. I went to the GP and broke down actualy as I have been feeling so rotten and despondent over recent weeks. The doctor prescribed anti-biotics for mastiits and asked to see me again in a week. I felt she was a  little dismissive, but then I was highly emotional and cried for most of my time in the office.

Today I returned to the GP, calmer then yesterday, and told her that I wasn’t happy with yesterday. She asked me why and I told her that I think I have IBC. She was immmediatley defensive and said no, it can’t be cancer as it doean’t present itself with all the symptoms I have been experiencing. Where I could agree that the other symptoms may not be directly related, (remember that at this point we don’t know if I have cancer) I insisted that my body had been trying to tell me something was wrong for weeks and that I felt this was why. I said I wanted further testing and she said she would ‘suppose’ refer me again to the breast clinic. her attitude was one of someone who thought I was being neurotic and that I should accept what I have been told by the various GP’s I have seen -“it’s a virus”, “ride it out”, “take anxiety pills”, “When it’s a virus it means we don’t know” etc. I had to be firm and say that IBC doesn’t present itself like ‘typical’ breast cancer and is oftern missed on mammagram and US. We then discussed the breast again and I told her it was more red today, she asked to look.

Upon examining the breast her whole demeanour and attitude changed; she became more understanding and agreaable. She then filled in a two week wait referral to the clinic making my reasons very clear, and agreed that although mastitis presents similarly (I have had it before so can differentiate), she wasn’t conivnced either…although careful not to commit to saying it is cancer. Obviously, neither of us can know for sure. I now wait for an appointment.

Anyway, after all of that, I think what I want  to know is has anyone else experienced other symptoms before and/or at the time of diagnosis for breast cancer.

I would be very grateful for any replies please, even if to satisfy that our bodies are remarkable and do things to make you pay attention when something is wrong.

Thank you for taking time to read this and hope it made sense.

Hello Penguin5

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

If you would like to talk to someone in confidence you may like to phone our helpline  where you can talk to a member of staff who are there to support you. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes

June, moderator

Now I am scared out my wits after reading this as I have had symptoms like itching, pain in left breast and skin and nipple areas looked different. I have had breast examination by my GP who said everything looked normal and had appt at breast clinic when cancer nurse said the same. Have had mammo and ultrasound which were both clear. Now I worry this type wouldnt have shown up? The only thing is the pain in l/b was caused by swollen glands as showed on ultrasound and taking evening primrose oil has virtually stopped the pain. Also itching seems to have subsided apart from rare occasion. So if these were symptoms then surely they would have carried on? I had been on the pill for 10 years before this then decided to come off it around the time the symptoms were starting so dont know if that could have caused the changes in my breasts appearance. Kess did you have blue veins appear at all as I suddenly got these and dont know why. I just get told breast changes happen over time.
I ended up with pains in other parts of my body and currently waiting for results if mri scan of my back.

Hi Penguin5,
I only noticed a pinching feeling in my breast before I found a lump in the location where I had felt the pinching feeling.
I lost loads of iron after treatment. There are different types of aneamia so if you doctor hasn’t already determined which type worth asking. If it is iron deficient aneamia then be aware of the things that help and things which severely impair absorption of iron. Taking vit C and vit B12 at the same time aids absorption. Do not drink tea within 2 hours either side of taking the iron (even peppermint tea affects absorption). Calcium is also supposed to impair absorption of iron. Coffee is really bad, some reports say just one cup a day can affect you if you are aneamic (fine for those who aren’t). Anyway, I do hope your doctor has followed up - it’s best to get these things checked out.

Hello again all

Just an update and for any sharing of experiences; it seriously feels like I am boob obsessed right now!

I have had a change of symptoms since my first post; the lump in the areola has now gone - which is a relief - along with most of the redness, although to be fair this is a very slight blush now - unless I am seeing things!! I thought great the antibiotics seem to have worked. However, I have noticed a subtle change of shape and position; it is now more round and slightly higher than my left breast. This is a definite difference; especially as after breastfeeding three babies (many years ago) my boobs were more like spaniel’s ears than I 'd care to admit! The right breast is not so ‘floppy’ for want of a better word. Also I have felt two bumps of the top of breast, one near chest area one closer to the nipple. They are very small, perhaps grain of rice size, but very prominent, and can be felt through clothing.

Do you know, to be honest, I am not sure what I am after from you, but my head is just full of ‘what ifs’ which is a way that I try not to be…

Any reples of similarities and/or ‘get a grips’ haha will be very much appreciated.

Thank you for taking time to read me whittering on