I posted on here a few weeks ago but am struggling with my anxieties and wondered if anyone else had similar symptoms or could offer any reassurance.
3 weeks ago I found a lump in my right breast, it was about finger tip sized and in the lower/outer area of my breast just below my nipple. It sort of feels like half a grape? I have no dimpling, my breast looks normal and there are no changes in my nipple or any discharge (I check this regularly incase I have any other symptoms developing). I have just turned 31.
Panic took over and I was convinced I had cancer, I know many people who have had breast cancer and are doing well now but I also know of two people who passed away due to it in their 40s. I went to an out of hours GP who examined me and felt both my breasts and armpits. She said she felt the lump but in her words thought it was definitely a cyst. She said it was very smooth to touch and was moving around a a lot. It was tender to touch so she felt it might be infected and she gave me a weeks worth of antibiotics. She said it probably wouldn’t go with the antibiotics but to leave this for a few weeks and return if it got more painful, bigger and to monitor it over my next period.
3 weeks later the lump is still there and I have just finished my period. I have very bad general anxiety and health anxiety. I cannot stop obsessing over it and keep touching it! I have already decided I will book a private appointment if it is still there as I would find it hard to cope with the long wait for a referral (although I know so many people are having to do this!)
It seems to have gotten smaller and almost moved ‘higher up’ my breast more towards my nipple but it is still there. Sometimes I cannot find it, and it moves around depending on the angle I touch it from. If that makes any sense!
I know rationally it is more likely to be something else but I cannot get out of my head that she has got it wrong and it’s something sinister. The fact I have anxiety anyway does not help!
Sorry for the very long message, I just cannot get it off my mind!
Thank you @Tili, @lottiedog and @Evie-S for thinking of me and your wishes, it genuinely means so much. I will try to relax a bit now, I need to trust what they say and they are both experts in their field who wouldn’t have said benign so many times if they thought it was something to worry about.
It sounds like you already very much have the measure of me and my natural worrying @Evie-S, it’s good I can refer back to what I wrote on the night if the flashes of doubt go across my mind. I’m hoping the consultant’s letter will also be useful for that when it gets here.
I will keep you posted about the biopsy and I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Thank you so much for the reassurance and kind messages, it was hugely helpful in the run up to something I was so anxious about.
Em986, Well done my brave lady, wonderful news so so pleased for you. Try not to worry enjoy your weekend with your boyfriend.
Big hugs from me to you and all the other lovely and caring ladies on this site.
Goodnight god bless Tili xx
Em896 - I really am so happy to read your message, and I agree with lottiedog’s lovely reply to you. You have to remember that doctors are ultra cautious and they really wouldn’t tell you not to panic if there was even something small to worry about. If you do start to worry before your biopsy you should re-read your own post from today to remind yourself just how certain both the consultant and radiologist are. Please do as lottiedog suggests - relax and get a good night’s sleep.
Big goodnight hugs from me and thank you for your lovely appreciative comments throughout all the chats on here. Evie xx
Wonderful news - try not to worry and be reassured by what the doctor and radiologist have told you. When I saw the consultant he told me straight after the initial examination that he thought it was nothing to worry about. It sounds like your consultant is sure it’s benign so please believe him - hope you can relax now and get a good night’s sleep. Take care xx
I’ve been to the clinic tonight. The doctor was very nice. He said it didn’t feel worrying.
Then I had my ultrasound and the radiologist (who was also very nice) said he was not worried about it and thinks it is a benign lump, he said he’s a bit too honest and will say if he thinks there is something to worry about. He showed it me on the screen and said the lump is very smooth and all the same colour all the way through, a couple of ‘nodules’ in places but nothing to worry about. So I asked if I could stop panicking and he told me no more panicking.
But he said because it’s the first time they’ve seen me with a lump they’d always do a biopsy just to make sure. Then I saw the consultant again who said the ultrasound was conclusive with what he thought was a benign lump. He said it very much isn’t something to go home and panic about and he thinks it’s a Fibroadenoma. He said basically having a private biopsy would be a waste of money because it’ll come back benign but it’s just policy to do a biopsy as it’s the first time they’ve seen me.
I will probably worry a little before the biopsy but I am relieved that they were very convinced of it being benign.
Thank you @lottiedog that’s very kind of you. I’m really glad I found this forum, everyone has been so kind and understanding.
I’m glad your scare was just a scare. I’m hoping the GP was right and mine is too even if I am feeling very nervous now.
Hope all goes well for you - will be thinking of you. I had a scare a few weeks ago which turned out to be an oil filled cyst caused when I hit my boob on a door handle! These lovely ladies on this site are so understanding. Sending you hugs. Xx
Thank you @Evie-S that’s really kind of you and means a lot.
I’ve been a bit teary this morning but I’ve got to stand in front of lots of small children so I won’t be able to think about it for a while anyway.
Thank you again xx
Hi Em896 - Tili is right, I was thinking of you and just coming on to send you a message. I’m so glad Tili had already been on to send you a lovely message. You can do this, we will be holding your hand every step of the way. Love, hugs and strength coming your way, Evie xx
Thank you so much for your thoughts and hugs @Tili, it really means more than you know.
Feeling very nervous this morning I have to say.
I will certainly keep you posted on here, thanks for all the support xx
Good morning Em896, thinking of you, lots of love, and big hugs my brave girl. Hopefully all will be well......We are all there for you I know Evie will be thinking the same.
when you are feeling up to it please let us know how you got on.
with my love and very best wishes Tili xx
Everyone is so lovely, it’s been massively reassuring to find somewhere to talk about my worries.
I think I just need to get it done now whatever the outcome and as you say that is a fact I’ve been told. Hopefully this will just confirm it. It doesn’t help that it’s been a bit tender again (but I’m at the same point in my cycle as when I first found it so maybe the hormones are impacting that - who knows!)
All the COVID stuff isn’t helping at the moment. Being a teacher I’m so paranoid every day and I had to complete a form today about contact and symptoms etc, I’d feel so awful answering all those questions but going tomorrow and then suddenly being contacted on Friday to say I’ve had contact with someone. To my knowledge I am not taking anything into the hospital but I suppose it’s a risk everyone is taking at the moment.
Glad your mammogram went well, that must be a massive relief! Thanks for the hugs xx
Hi Em896 - I agree with Tili’s lovely message to you and am also sending big hugs. What you describe is a completely normal reaction to what you are going through and the nurses/radiologists won’t think badly of you if you tell them how scared you are. I did exactly that last week at my mammogram and they were even lovelier to me.
As you are already doing, try to keep focussing on what you already know, what is a fact, and what your doctor has already told you, rather than letting your mind rush off fearing the worst. Of course easier said than done.
Thank you for asking about my mammogram, thankfully all ok.
As Tili said, we are here for you any time, don’t feel bad messaging any time. Big hugs, Evie xx
Thank you so much @Tili, it’s just the worst case scenario keeps running through my head. I keep trying to keep in mind I’ve already been checked and she is hopefully still right. I’m just such an anxious person anyway so I always picture the worst possible outcomes, so now I’ve already got it in my head she’s wrong.
Thank you for your thoughts and wishes xx
Dear Em896, thinking of you, we all understand how you are feeling, the waiting is terrible our brains does overtime let’s hope time passes quickly for you until your appointment tomorrow. We are all there for you,
with a very big hug Tili xx
I’ve woken up very panicky today. I just kept waking up in the night and imagining them telling me the worst. I know it’s very much my brain in overdrive but I can’t help it!
Thank you @Evie-S it feels so much better to know how much support there is, even from people I’ve never met! I’ve been really touched by the reassurance and kind comments from this forum. I’m so glad I found it!
Thats a lovely quote! I hope your mammogram went ok?
I’ll make sure to tell them, I suppose I didn’t want them to think badly of me but it isn’t silly being scared as it’s very normal and I imagine most people they see will feel the same. I don’t feel too bad this evening now the appointment is made, almost like I know I can’t do anything but I think tomorrow evening might be a different story.
Thanks again xx
Em896 - please do not feel bad about sharing your fears and worries, that’s what this forum is all about, support without judgment. I understand your fears totally as I had to go for my mammogram on my own last week - I was so scared in the days leading up to it, but actually the reality wasn’t as bad as I had made it in my head. Your lovely boyfriend will be right outside, so not far away, and can be summoned immediately should the worst happen. And he will be right there waiting for you when you come out. You will not be alone. The nurses will look after you, make sure you tell them how terrified you are, and your friends and family will be holding your hand virtually, as will we on here.
Here is my favourite Winnie the Pooh quote “Remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you feel and smarter than you think”. A lovely friend gave this to me on a china heart just before my operation.
And I genuinely mean it, keep offloading as much as you want to. You really are braver than you think. Hugs, Evie xx
Fortunately I am work (I am a teacher) over the next few days so that will keep me busy. I think it’s just a case of getting through the next few days and hoping I will be reassured on Thursday or soon after.
Thank you for saying I’m brave, I feel like a wimp at the moment! One of the main worries is that I have to go in on my own for all the tests but my boyfriend will sit in the car. The hospital said if for any reason he needed to come in they would phone him.
Im lucky that I’ve got so many people who would be willing to come with me but they can’t, understandably so but it’s still scary.
I think it’s just the idea of sitting waiting on my own, I keep getting teary and I’m so worried I will just sit in the hospital crying! My boyfriend keeps saying we are just getting it checked and my mom keeps reminding me that doctors have already looked at it, this is hopefully just to reassure me.
thank you both again for chatting to me, I feel bad that I’m going on about it xx
Firstly, well done brave lady for making an appointment, we are all there for you and wishing you lots of luck with the outcome. Evie has some excellent points, rest make yourself number one, and take one day at a time.
Please keep us posted as we are all around for you. Will be thinking of you.
Big hugs Tili 🙋🏼
Hi Em896 - well done for organising an appointment, that takes courage, but it was the right thing to do to get another opinion or you will forever be checking and worrying about it. We now need to help you get through the next couple of days. You must remember that the anxiety you are feeling is very very normal - if you read other threads on here you will see the same level of anxiety from other members, so don’t beat yourself up about being anxious/terrified. You wouldn’t be human if your mind didn’t leap ahead. I know it sounds a cliche, but now is the time to try things such as mindfulness, and take one day at a time. I may have already said this but one of the best things I read is to keep in mind that “fears are not facts” (apologies if I have repeated myself!). See if you can keep yourself busy with chatting with family/friends, watching box sets or whatever treats make you happy. I still remember the weekend before my results, making a birthday cake for my daughter and watching the Sting with my parents as my husband and daughter were both away. Unfortunately I hadn’t discovered this lovely forum at that stage.
Please come back and chat any time, but most of all I hope your stay on here will be short and that you will get the reassurance you want on Thursday evening, or shortly afterwards. Hugs, Evie xx
Thank you both so much for replying and for the advice/reassurance, I’m sorry for the late reply!
I have an appointment on Thursday evening for the breast clinic (I did go private in the end).
The lump still feels the same in that it’s smooth and moving but I am back to being terrified incase they find something. I know I can’t carry on like this though so it is no good putting off the appointment.
I just have to hope the first doctor was right xx
GPs rarely use the word ‘definitely’ but I remember bursting into tears when my first lump was “99.9% sure it’s benign.” I was still referred to a consultant and, as it was a fibroadenoma, I had to have it removed. Evie has made some wonderfully reassuring comments and, like her, I’ve had cysts that eventually go away (but not until my breast had been made sore mass by constant poking and prodding).
If it helps, in a conversation about my diagnosis for breast cancer, which surprised my GP, she explained that she had been stunned because my lump “didn’t feel like a breast cancer.” She said that breast cancer lumps have a distinct feel and she mentioned rough edges but this is MY understanding of our conversation, not a medical statement.
Personally, given the level of anxiety, I would ask for a face to face appointment with your regular GP. If the opinion is the same, great, If it isn’t, then a referral is within two weeks and COVID-19 shouldn’t be affecting that time commitment for breast clinics. Maybe seeing a consultant and having the reassurance of a mammogram or ultrasound will help reassure you because you aren’t going to be reassured any other way.
I went privately, believing I would be dealt with faster. I can’t say the service was any faster than the NHS and, with private hospitals liaising with the NHS during the pandemic, you may well find that it’s money you needn’t have spent - unless you have insurance of course. My private consultant persuaded me to move to the NHS, under his care, for my treatments after surgery!
I hope you manage to decide on a course of action and get the reassurance you need. You’re far too young to be wasting your days agonising over this when the majority of lumps that are referred to consultants are benign. Hold onto that fact. All the best x
Thanks for thinking of me tomorrow, that’s really kind.
Of course we all know that Google isn’t a good idea, and yet we all still google - but sometimes it can be helpful, and you have found that cysts can stick around. You might want to call the lovely nurses on this forum (number at the top right of the page), they may be able to talk through your worries. Then you can decide whether to follow up with your GP.
Please keep chatting if I or anyone else can help. Sometimes talking it over helps you decide what to do next - but I do think the nurses would help you. Evie xx
Thanks for chatting to me Evie. My family and boyfriend keep telling me that she wouldn’t say that if she thought otherwise but I’m such a worrier!
I think it’s partly because it hasn’t gone away I’d decided she must have it wrong but I have read (even though you shouldn’t Google, which is something else I know to stop) that cysts can stick around for a while.
I hope your mammogram goes well, I will keep my fingers crossed for you xx
Thank you for your kind words and wishes 😊.
From my experience GPs, surgeons, oncologists are all super cautious and if they had any concerns they would refer you. So the fact that your GP used the word “definitely” is a good sign, plus the fact that you think the lump has got smaller. BUT I do think it would be a good idea to speak to your GP again as it is still worrying you. At the moment most GPs are doing phone calls first, so you could speak to your GP again and ask to be seen again by her, or referred to the breast clinic. Do remember that the NHS keep telling people to go to their GP if they have concerns, so don’t worry about contacting them in these strange Covid times.
I totally get your comment about not wanting to go back in case you are told something you don’t want to hear - I have my annual mammogram coming up and I am dreading that. You found the courage to go the first time and you will find it again. GPs/doctors are always pleased that patients are so vigilant and alert to changes. It’s much better to find any suspicious lumps as early so you are doing the right thing checking.
Big hugs, Evie xx
Thank you for this reassurance and your concern, it really does mean a lot. I think you’re right, I am scared of going and being told something I don’t want to hear but I also know realistically I cannot carry on as I am with worrying over it as I will make myself ill!
I was a little worried that she wouldn’t refer me due to the backlog with what’s going on but she used the word ‘definitely’ when describing it as a cyst so I hope she wouldn’t take any chances if she didn’t think it was a cyst.
Thank you and I hope you are doing well now xx
It is really important you take care of your mind as well as your body. It’s not easy to shake thoughts once they have taken hold, so I think it’s important that you do speak to your GP again. You know your body and you need to get reassurance or it will forever worry you.
In my 30s I had a fibroadenoma (benign), then found a couple of other lumps a few years later that my GP said were clearly cysts/benign and I didn’t have further investigations, and then late 40s was the cancerous lump - but my oncologist and surgeon said none of them were connected.
Do keep us posted - if you want to of course. Evie xx
Thank you both for your kind words. I know I should feel a little better as she examined me and felt it was a cyst. I did initially feel reassured by her saying this and I know cysts don’t necessarily just disappear after 3 weeks. I suppose you just hear those horror stories about doctors being wrong and that’s stuck in my head.
I wish I could stop obsessing over it but it’s really getting me down worrying. Thank you both for taking the time to reply xx
Hi Em896 - I fully agree with everything Tili says. I’m also sending you hugs and really hope you get some reassurance very quickly. We are here for you anytime. Evie xx
Dear Em896, so sorry to hear you are so stressed, which is not necessary, please contract your GP tomorrow for an appointment face to face, you need to get some reassurance as soon as possible, or you could called the nurses on this site they are understanding and so caring. I did have a lump just behind the nipple which turn out to be a cyst so finger crossed for you.
good luck and keep us posted big hugs Tili x