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Worried about possible spread


Re: Worried about possible spread

Hi granny

Thanks for posting

It sounds as though your clinic visit has left you feeling very worried and anxious.  Waiting for tests and results is always difficult and it’s understandable your anxiety increased following the conversation you had with the nurse.   As Gillyflower says it’s difficult to unhear what the nurse said to you but try to remember the more accurate information that was later given by the sister in the unit.

Although a lump may look suspicious on a mammogram or ultrasound as suggested by the consultant, it is not a diagnosis. As the sister indicated its the biopsy that will confirm a diagnosis.  Only when a diagnosis is confirmed is it possible to say what treatment may be necessary or what this may mean for you as an individual. Treatment for breast cancer will be successful for most people,

If the biopsy confirms a breast cancer, here are some questions you may want to ask about your results.

Gillyflower has shared some helpful information on how she coped and you may find it helpful to see what others have said on this part of the forum

I wonder if it would help to talk this through with one of us here on our Helpline.  Sometimes we can help people more by talking to them on the phone. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.

The number is 0808 800 6000 (Text relay prefix 18001).

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

Best wishes


Breast Cancer Now Nurse

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Community Champion

Re: Worried about possible spread

Hi Grannyp,

Sorry, I have just realised I replied to this but you had posted in the "Ask the Nurses" section.  I'd already written a reply without realising.  I'm not a nurse just so you know! 🙂

I'm so sorry to hear about your recall and the stressful situation the nurse has put you in.  Its difficult enough that you had been informed that there is a suspicious mass, let alone have a nurse then tell you that cancer might be everywhere in your body!  That is completely unprofessional and you did the right thing by raising it immediately with the unit Sister.  You are right in that its difficult to "unhear" something like that when it has been said to you though xx

The Sister is absolutely right, there is no way anything can be determined at this stage until the biopsy results come back.  Radiologists can only raise concerns from images alone, hence the need for a biopsy.  Unfortunately I don't think there is anything you can do or ask at this stage, as none of your unit's clinical team will be able to (or willing) to tell you anything until they have received your biopsy results back and discussed them at their multi-disciplinary meeting.

I don't think you should worry right now, as worrying doesn't achieve anything other than making things worse in your mind.  I think its very realistic of you to mentally try and prepare yourself for adverse news just in case but you don't need to dwell on it too often either.  This is all easier said than done of course!  I am just sorry that you've had the nurse make things more difficult by saying what she said.

My best suggestion to get through this tough waiting period is to keep yourself busy with things you enjoy, keep your mind occupied and take one day at a time.  Don't try to anticipate what the results will be or how things will go because that will ramp up your worries enormously.  I was lucky that at the time of my biopsy waiting period, I'd already had a week's holiday in a yurt in the wilds of Wales booked....tramping up and down the campsite with a 2L water bottle to fill twice a day and every time I wanted to use the toilet certainly helped take my mind off things!

If you have any other questions or just want to chat, this forum is full of wonderful people with stories and information to share, so don't sit alone with your worry and fears in the meantime! x


Worried about possible spread


I had biopsies of breast and lymph node last week following a recall from regular breast screening. The consultant radiographer was totally open and honest and told me that the 13mm mass found would need treatment. The finding of a suspicious lymph node on ultrasound was something of a body blow. However, it was the nurse’s words when chatting to me when completing my referral form that terrified me and have haunted me since. She said that she was being devil’s advocate but I could get to the surgeon and ‘it’ was everywhere and nothing could be done. She then started talking about someone she had seen on tv who had lived 12 years with incurable breast cancer. Going from having a relatively small mass found in screening to facing the possibility of having a body riddled with cancer has obviously thrown me off course massively. I have spoken to the sister at the screening unit who apologised and assured me that the nurse should have said no such thing and that no one knows any more than what the radiographer told me until the biopsy results are in. Whilst my rational side knows this, it is becoming increasingly hard to ‘unhear’ or ignore what was said. 
I totally appreciate that you know nothing of my case but just wondered if anyone is able to indicate how worried I should actually be about this possible outcome. Or if you could indicate anything else I could ask the unit before seeing the surgeon I do try to mentally prepare myself  for any adverse situation.