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I'm scared - found large lump in breast

(55 Posts)

Hallo. I am 45 with 2 teenage children. A few hours ago I discovered a strange large lump in outer side of my right breast. It's massive - the size of a walnut - and feels like it's just under the skin. Now I think about it, I've had a couple of times recently where this breast has felt hot and itchy - I think it could be related. I've been looking online at breast cancer sites and am now in full panic-mode. I'm obviously going to see the GP on Monday, but in the meantime have gone into a weird state of shivering and crying and imagining horrible scenarios. I can't sleep. Please could somebody reassure me that it is probably something harmless...

BananaPie Sun 15-Dec-13 02:43:20

No real words of wisdom, but up with dd and didn't want to read and run.

It is scarey, but it could be a number of things, not all of them the c word. Stop googling. There is nothing you can do at the moment, and staying awake worrying won't help. Seeing your GP as soon as you can is the absolutely right thing you can do.

Try to think about something else and get some rest.

DaisytheStrange I have no experience of this panic but didn't want to read and run.

They say most lumps found are unlikely to be breast cancer so the chances are low but you are right to head off to your GP and have your mind put at ease. I hope you manage to relax some before you see your GP, please try not to worry yourself - keep busy until you can see your doc.

Elllimam Sun 15-Dec-13 02:48:06

I recently had a large lump on my breast too, similar size and it turned out to be a cyst. The woman at the breast clinic said a lot of the bigger lumps ended up being benign. Will keep my fingers crossed for you too xxxxx

I really appreciate your replies - thank you x

@Ellimam did you also have hot, itchy skin with your cyst? Did you need treatment?

I wish I could stop thinking about it and get some, but my thoughts are just whizzing around in my head horribly. I wish I could sleep.

tinker98 Sun 15-Dec-13 03:41:34

Hi Daisy, I had a big lump on the underside of my breast a few years ago. It was fairly long and quite hard and it turned out to be a cyst. I had a needle biopsy which showed it was a cyst. The doctor told me that the way to tell if it's a cyst, is to press on the lump gently and see if it slips around or as the doc put it "runs away". I eventually had it removed.
All cases are different, but perhaps that will help you a little. I know it's hard but try not to worry and keep occupied until you get to the docs, hugz x

jchocchip Sun 15-Dec-13 04:46:22

Odds are I think, at least 9 out of 10 that it is benign. If it is something nasty, treatment is doable and getting better all the time. I'm 47 and found a lump 2 years ago. Mine was a cancer, but it hadn't spread. I had a lumpectomy, a bit of radiotheraphy and taking tamoxifen. Still very much here and prognosis is good. Remember the panic when I found the lump. I had to wait for tests and results, but strangely getting the results wasn't as bad as the initial finding the lump panic - because you imagine the worst case whereas it is most likely to be benign or treatable. Be kind to yourself, do something you enjoy today to take your mind off it. drink brew and eat cake

malteserzz Sun 15-Dec-13 04:46:50

You're doing the right thing going to the docs though it's much more likely at this stage to be harmless
In the meantime if you want to come over to the tamoxigang thread we will hold your hand as you wait and answer any questions you have we've all been there smile

jchocchip Sun 15-Dec-13 04:55:42

<waves to malt>

helzapoppin2 Sun 15-Dec-13 08:46:30

Just as jchocchip said! I went through the mill five years ago and am still here, being a total pest to my family!
Don't worry yourself sick with morbid thoughts. Find out what it is and then have treatment for it, if any is necessary.
You can't know anything until you've at least been to the breast clinic so don't let your imagination run away with you. All the best!

Elibean Sun 15-Dec-13 10:54:30

Op, could I hazard a wild guess that you've been googling and come up with IBC?

If so, I've also done that - twice. Both times it wasn't anything serioussmile

It's very rare, and any swelling that stretches skin can be itchy. I've had itchiness with hormonal lumpiness (diagnosed with core biopsy as proof!).

Nightmare waiting, and obviously important to see GP first thing Monday, but meanwhile take heart.....google will always lead to worst scenarios, and there are lots and lots of other more likely options. Really.

I found the Tamoxigang a wonderful bunch to hang with while waiting, btw smile

Good luck and have a paw to hold if you want one x

Thank you for your kind replies. They have helped.

I still feel sick with worry, and haven't slept since Friday night, but feel a bit calmer now.

Will the GP be able to offer an opinion, or they will simply make a referral to a specialist clinic? Do you think I'll be seen before Christmas, or will I have to wait for weeks?

I don't know whether I'm being pathetic or whether it's normal to feel this upset before I even have a diagnosis. I feel on the verge of tears all the time and keep thinking about my children. I don't know how I'll cope at work tomorrow.

jchocchip Sun 15-Dec-13 21:44:19

My gp did offer an opinion and it was correct, but really without a scan or biopsy they are guessing. I only had to wait as long as I did as I missed a call on my mobile and it was number withheld. I think they should see you if you are referred within 2 weeks, but I suppose it depends how busy they are over Christmas. Absolutlely normal to feel that upset when finding a lump. It is dealing with what ifs that is hard. Do all the stuff that usually helps you sleep. Warm bath, hot milky drink and go and read a boring book in bed works for me.

shallweshop Sun 15-Dec-13 21:56:16

I had this once when I was in my twenties and it was a cyst which disappeared within days. It was the size of a walnut. I have no medical background but I would think that a lump that size that appears so quickly is unlikely to be cancer. ,Good luck with GP.

Elibean Mon 16-Dec-13 17:57:15

How did you get on today, Daisy?

Hi Elibean. My GP has referred me to the Breast Clinic, as expected. She thinks I should get an appointment before Christmas.

She was...inscrutable. When I asked her for an opinion she said it was "impossible to say". Can't work out if this is sinister or not...

She's also prescribed some Diazepam for the panic, though I do feel much calmer now the initial shock has work off.

Thanks everyone for your replies and bearing with me x

jchocchip Mon 16-Dec-13 22:07:27

Not sinister, she just couldn't make the call without imaging and biopsy. panic is normal, glad the shock is wearing off.

furbaby Mon 16-Dec-13 22:17:55

Fingers crossed that you get appointment before xmas .
Most lumps do turn out to be cysts .
If its any comfort I could feel a lump in my breast and went to doctor who went into panic mode and said she could feel lumps in both breasts sad
After being fast tracked to hospital for mammagram and scan it was nothing more than lumpy muscle from my extra exercise ....
Will keep everything crossed for you .

lougle Mon 16-Dec-13 22:33:22

If you normally touch your breasts in that area and it has appeared suddenly, it is likely to be a cyst - they grow very quickly and are easily treated by popping a fine needle in to draw the fluid out.

" -Painful lumps are less likely to be dangerous than painless ones.
-Soft lumps are less likely to be dangerous than hard ones.
-Lumps that move freely are less likely to be dangerous than ones that don't.
-Smooth lumps are less likely to be dangerous than rough ones.
-Lumps that grow very fast over a few days or weeks are unlikely to be dangerous." net doctor

Wren48 Mon 16-Dec-13 22:41:13

Daisy, I just wanted to add my ha'porth to the sensible things others are saying. I recently found a lump; unfortunately it has turned out to be cancer but the great majority of lumps aren't. What's more, hot and itchy doesn't sound likely to be cancer.

But I'm fresh still from the horrible 10 day wait for referral for a mammogram and I really really sympathise. I had overwhelming levels of anxiety because of the total lack of information to go on, and it was hard to keep working. Reading the tamoxigang thread was helpful - it normalised the situation -and breast cancer care and others have people you can talk to.

In reading discussion threads, I saw that someone who couldn't bear the wait paid to go privately for those initial tests. I've no idea what it would cost, but I would really have considered it to avoid that long wait.

Good luck.

furbaby Mon 16-Dec-13 22:47:09

wren48 hope things all get sorted for you °thanks

Wren48 Tue 17-Dec-13 08:36:12

Thanks, furbaby. That was nice.

ClairesTravellingCircus Tue 17-Dec-13 08:48:45

Op I hope you get seen soon so you can get peace of mind. But should it be bad news, remember the vast majority of bc are very treatable!
Mine was found very late (had spread to lymphnodes) 6 years ago now. Treatment was very hard but you get through it, and 6 years later it's still looking good.

Best of luck xx

ClairesTravellingCircus Tue 17-Dec-13 08:54:27

Best of luck to you too wren thanks

Halfling Tue 17-Dec-13 08:59:35

Most lumps found in the breast are non malignant.

However, even if it was found to be cancerous, please remember that most breast cancer cases are easily treatable, have a predictable and reliable treatment protocol and excellent prognosis. I speak as someone with a strong history of breast cancer in my immediate family.

Stay strong!

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