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High anxiety over breast lump

(92 Posts)
mintymellons Mon 02-Dec-13 17:37:24

Please help, I'm getting myself into a right state and not sure why really.
To cut a long story short, I saw my go three weeks ago today as I'd felt a sort of bump in my right breast. I noticed it because I had a tender area in that side in the week before my period. It's hard to describe what's there, it's not a specific lump, more just a bumpy area, soft.
Gp couldn't feel anything and told me nothing to worry about. I then saw another Gp later that week as I was still concerned and she said that she thought I was just feeling normal breast tissue and no discrete lump and to leave it alone! She did however say I could go back and have it checked again at another point in my cycle (was a few days pre menstrual before). So I have an appointment this Friday with yet another Gp to see if she thinks there's anything there.
I'm now so worried about going back and it's all I can think about.
The bumpy thing is very hard to feel unless you're really looking for it and on several occasions I couldn't find it and thought it had gone. I'm going back to go as it was suggested although clearly no one is concerned about it (apart from me!!).
I'm driving myself mad over what seems to be nothing but keep thinking.
Can anyone calm me down please?!

mintymellons Mon 02-Dec-13 17:38:38

Sorry for typos, writing on mobile!

AnythingNotEverything Mon 02-Dec-13 17:56:58

It's normal for your breasts to change during your cycle, and it's important for you to know what's normal for you.

If you feel you're being fobbed off do keep seeing the GPs.

I believe there are a number of factors which increase your risk. If you're very low risk, say young with no family history, it may be that they're taking a wait and see approach, or maybe it falls within the "no need to investigate" type of breast change.

If you're worried, tell the GP again!

chartreuse Mon 02-Dec-13 18:07:37

I have had a few investigations into breast lumps, specifically one on my left breast, which enlarges and becomes tender during the second half of my cycle, then shrinks again when my period starts. It was investigated and I was told that it is glandular tissue. I still worry a bit about it TBH. I would push your GP to refer you to a breast clinic. It's one thing for a GP to tell you it's innocent, but it's much easier to believe when a consultant tells you having seen your mammogram and ultrasound.

chartreuse Mon 02-Dec-13 18:07:38

I have had a few investigations into breast lumps, specifically one on my left breast, which enlarges and becomes tender during the second half of my cycle, then shrinks again when my period starts. It was investigated and I was told that it is glandular tissue. I still worry a bit about it TBH. I would push your GP to refer you to a breast clinic. It's one thing for a GP to tell you it's innocent, but it's much easier to believe when a consultant tells you having seen your mammogram and ultrasound.

mintymellons Mon 02-Dec-13 18:09:27

Thanks anything.
I am worried but not sure if I need to be if you see whst I mean? Two gps have told me everything ok, but just not sure why the second suggested getting rechecked.
I'm 39 by the way with no family history.

mintymellons Mon 02-Dec-13 18:11:24

Thanks chartreuse. I don't have any real fear that the bump is suspicious, just concerned about the whole rigmarole. I'm a terrible worrier.

malteserzz Mon 02-Dec-13 18:15:00

Go back if you're still worried and ask to be referred. I'm 42 with breast cancer and no family history, I bet you're fine but it's worth having a mammogram and ultrasound to make sure and put your mind at rest

AnythingNotEverything Mon 02-Dec-13 18:18:49

I should've added, I have lumpy breasts so am familiar with the clinic. I think you should ask for a referral for an ultrasound and/mammogram. Tell the GP about your anxiety.

It's probably nothing, but neither is not your GP is qualified to tell you that for sure.

Ifcatshadthumbs Tue 03-Dec-13 14:12:46

I am in the exact same position as you. Lumpy area but not specific lump. Have seen the gp today who could feel the lumpy area that I could and said she felt it was normal breast tissue but due to where I am in my cycle I have to wait 2 weeks and then go back and see her.

I used to suffer extreme health anxiety and although much better and dealing with it I am feeling very worried. Hate waiting just want an answer.

mintymellons Tue 03-Dec-13 19:10:13

Thanks for your replies. It's good to hear from others.
cats it's hard not to worry isn't it? Like you say, you just want an answer - either it's fine or it needs further investigation. It's the waiting that gets you. From what I've read, they tend to refer you if there's a discrete lump, but not sure what they do otherwise.
The thing with me is that I don't really know how long my 'thing' has been there as it's pretty hard to feel (I didn't spot it in the shower or whilst moisturising for example). For all I know it could be perfectly normal breast tissue.
I'll post back after I see GP on Friday.

Ifcatshadthumbs Tue 03-Dec-13 19:21:12

Good luck for Friday

mintymellons Thu 05-Dec-13 11:06:12

Thanks Cats.

I'm in a state today as it's my day off from work, so not got much to take my mind of it.

Really want to start getting in the Christmas spirit, but can't think about it right now.

Got all sorts going through my mind. It's such bad timing. My FiL has recently been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer and I just keep thinking how awful it would be if I have BC.

it's frustrating too, that I saw two GPs a few weeks ago and neither of them seemed concerned, but I know there's something there and the whole thing just seems to be dragging out.

Anyway, hopefully I'll have made some progress by this time tomorrow.

Jollyb Thu 05-Dec-13 16:07:52

Just ask to be referred to the breast assessment Clinic. I doubt another doctor telling you they can't feel anything worrying is going to reassure you. I work in the area and lots of women are referred with similar and fortunately in the majority of cases everything turns out fine.

LittleMouseontheDairy Thu 05-Dec-13 16:42:48

Good luck tomorrow MintyMelons (and Ifcats)

I'm in a similar situation. My left breast has been sore for about 10 days, and after I poked around on the day it felt sore (well, to be specific - after I squeezed around) I found a hard 'block'. I do appear to have similar sort of fibrous tissue in the right breast but it feels more significant in the left. A real definite 'area'. I called the doctor last week, who advised me to wait until my period to see what happened. But it was still really stressing me out bothering me today so I called again and got invited to see the nurse. On 'normal' palpation (i.e. the advised way) she couldn't really feel anything, but when she squeezed the area the way I did she could. She thought it felt like a blocked duct but wasn't sure, so called in the Dr. This time I lay down and the Dr examined both breasts. Again she could not really feel a discrete lump when doing the normal exam but when I leant forward slightly and pinched the underside and showed her, she too could feel a 'thickened' area. Due to the fact I was obviously bothered by it, and that she could feel something she has referred me to the breast clinic. I have an appointment in two weeks time.

Anyway, sorry for the long post but it's so horrible worrying and waiting. I wish I had my appointment tomorrow! So good luck, and I am trying to focus on the fact that most likely it is fine.

mintymellons Thu 05-Dec-13 17:20:42

Hi littlemouse. Well done for getting a referral. As you say just a shame you have to wait two weeks. Still hopefully it will give you peace of mind. I have prodded mine the last couple if days and now it's really sore again!

mintymellons Thu 05-Dec-13 17:22:55

Thanks Jolly. Good advice from someone who obviously knows what they're talking about.

LittleMouseontheDairy Fri 06-Dec-13 10:22:44

My breast is sick of me prodding it!
Good luck today, it's great you're getting seen.

mintymellons Fri 06-Dec-13 10:29:53

Hello!
Just back from GP appointment.
Luckily she found the lumpy area straightaway today and said immediately about referring me. She was able to book my appointment there and then, so I'm going to the clinic next Wednesday.
I was quite teary as I left the GP, because the referral makes it more real. I'm not imagining it. She didn't say much to reassure me. Asked me if I have any family history of BC (which I don't), then said hopefully the clinic will tell you it's fine.
Just got to keep busy these next few days and see what the clinic say on Wednesday.
Littlemouse I've decided to stop prodding mine now, because it's getting quite painful.

Jollyb Fri 06-Dec-13 10:46:48

Well done minty.

At the appointment you are likely to first be examined by a doctor (or sometimes a specialist nurse). You'll then have an ultrasound and probably a mammogram too. If they see any discrete lumps they usually take a biopsy then and there.

I know it's easier said than done but try not to stress too much - the chances are that it isn't cancer.

smiffy54 Fri 06-Dec-13 10:57:31

i have a condition called duct ectasia; not uncommon in women approaching a nd beyond menopause; shortening and thickening of glands in breast. It can be very tender and red at times, and took over 12 months to get referral to breast clinic, and another 6 months before being told what it was, by the 1st female doctor i saw, strangely! The Gp could only feel the lump when i leant over, not when sitting up or lying down. Try googling the condition, it is benign. my GP told me that there are strict criteria for referring to breast clinic so you may have to be pushy!

mintymellons Fri 06-Dec-13 10:57:47

Thanks Jolly.

Sitting here in tears. Need to calm down!

Timing is awful as cancer is very much part of our lives right now. DFiL just started chemo for bowel cancer which cannot be cured, only managed.

I feel awful that my DP now has this to think a out now on top of things with his dad.

You are so right Jolly that it is unlikely to be BC and if it is, then hopefully it can be dealt with. I'm terrible in these situations, such a doom merchant!

LittleMouseontheDairy Fri 06-Dec-13 11:16:51

That sounds similar to my experience with my GP Minty - she only really asked if there was any family history ('no' in my case as well) and said hopefully the breast clinic would say it was fine. She is very experienced and no-nonsense. Not at all the cuddly type. I know she's very thorough which is good, but I was still a bit hmm at the 'hopefully it'll be fine...' Though I know she can't say anything much else.)

I have decided to have a private appointment sooner as I am getting myself worked up about it all. I like to think that normally I would handle this better but it's just bringing up a lot of emotional stuff right now - my best friend had breast cancer last year (just had her first post-chemo mammogram which was clear! Hurrah) and I recently broke up with my DP.

So I just wanted to let you know I know how you feel! But, have a good weep. Maybe (depending on circumstances!) have a nice long bath, and really do try and focus on the fact that the chances are it most likely is just normal breast change. There are plenty of things it can be which aren't scary at all.

Also - although the referral makes it more real it is also a relief - because there is no niggling doubt in your head based on someone just telling you 'it's fine'. And if they feel anything in your breast at all they are duty bound to refer you even if they don't think it is anything serious. In my case the fact I was anxious about it (who isn't! But you know what I mean..) was another factor in the referral.

mintymellons Fri 06-Dec-13 11:48:09

Littlemouse, glad you've got an earlier appointment and sorry about the other stuff you're going through. As you say, the appointment is a relief in a sense and best to get it progressed sooner rather than later.

It's nice to have someone else in the same boat (although not nice that anyone has to go through it sad)

Ifcatshadthumbs Fri 06-Dec-13 12:08:49

Littlemouse, how did you go about getting a private appointment? I think I may look into it as I have to wait 10 days to see the GP again, then if I need a referral it will be another wait and probably slap bang in the middle of the Christmas holidays.

I wasn't worrying to much but keep prodding and now what felt like a hard area feel like a proper lump sad

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