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Starting to freak out about breast lump

(30 Posts)
upyourninja Sat 01-Mar-14 15:04:32

I thought I was calmly waiting to be checked out after I found a lump in my breast a few weeks ago. I've been very ill for weeks and thought it might just be a swollen lymph node. When it didn't disappear, I went to the GP. He can feel it and has referred me under the two week scheme for further analysis.

I'm only just 30 so the chances are it's just some sort of cyst. However, my referral letter came today and of course it says 'referral for suspected breast cancer'. hmm Rationally I know that this doesn't change the stats and it's the only way to get a quick referral. Emotionally I'm completely freaking out. I am not telling family unless there's something to report, so only my DH knows, but he is away a lot with work.

I'm just so freaked out. Is anyone else going through this, or has recently been through it and can tell me what to expect? How do I choose between the two local hospitals I've been offered?

tinkerbell222 Sat 01-Mar-14 18:50:41

try not to worry ninja.
some doctors unfortunately cant/don't put into account the patient's feelings when they write.
My friend had a lump and was given wrong advice. She worried of course.
how to choose between 2 hospitals: do you have a doctor you trust? ask them.

upyourninja Sat 01-Mar-14 20:57:31

Thank you for answering.

I only just moved here and have seen several different GPs. Both hospitals are pretty good but if one has a better track record for treating cancer I'd go with that in case of the worst news. I just don't know how to find that out!

LaFlotte Sat 01-Mar-14 23:11:23

Hi there...look at it this way, every single referral is for suspected breast cancer and that's why the two week rule exists so don't stress about the wording of the letter.

At your age breast cancer is rare. Plus only one in ten lumps referred are actually cancer so chances are very very high that it's nothing to worry about.

Finally re the hospitals, have you googled them? There might be one that talks about their cancer care more than the other perhaps? Could you post in Mumsnet local to see if anyone knows?

I bet it's nothing though and you'll be able to put your mind at rest soon.

upyourninja Sun 02-Mar-14 09:01:29

Thanks LaFlotte, I know the stats, but I think because a friend of mine had the exact same thing(she's a few years older), but it is cancer, I'm focusing too much on the ten percent where it is something more sinister. Just need to snap out of it.

I looked at the hospitals but I can't find any helpful mentions about symptomatic screening rather than routine screening. Hardly any newspaper articles either. Is there a place where hospital ratings/rankings are shown?

Hattie23 Sun 02-Mar-14 14:50:25

If you look on the CQC (care quality commission) website you can get their reports on the hospitals.

www.cqc.org.uk

All the best.

upyourninja Sun 02-Mar-14 15:37:46

Ty Hattie, I'll take a look.

Hattie23 Sun 02-Mar-14 15:51:35

I don't suppose you are in SE London but if you were i would recommend Guy's Hospital. I was seen there when i had a breast lump (was a cyst) and they were fantastic.

upyourninja Sun 02-Mar-14 16:04:55

Not in London but thanks smile

SugarPlumpFairy3 Sun 02-Mar-14 16:14:31

I know how you feel and the waiting is just awful. I found a lump last spring (I was 35) and I drove myself almost insane with worry.

On the day, I had to take off my bra and top and put a hospital gown on (dh had to stay in the waiting room at this point to preserve privacy for the other ladies. Female friends/family members were allowed through). First I went though for an examination (I was shown properly how to check my breasts which was very useful) and then I went for an ultrasound. It was all done in about half an hour.

Thankfully all was fine but I'll never forget the terror of those 2 weeks sad.

upyourninja Sun 02-Mar-14 16:42:47

Thank you SugarPlump, that's really helpful to know, and glad it was all ok for you.

SugarPlumpFairy3 Mon 03-Mar-14 14:32:02

Glad it helped a little. Have you chosen your hospital yet? You should get an appointment quickly.

upyourninja Mon 03-Mar-14 19:03:00

Thank you - yes, there were some other factors which decided for me - my appt is this week.

struggling100 Tue 04-Mar-14 16:52:31

Just wanted to send you hugs! I had a lump at the age of 35, so I know what it feels like to have that worry. In my case, it turned out to be just a cyst. It is so, so unlikely to be anything sinister at your age. I know it is bound to make you feel a bit on edge, but please try to stay as calm as you can. The wording of the letter was terrible, by the way - but my guess is that it simply means you're on a two-week referral so will be seen urgently to put your mind at rest.

When you get there, you will probably have an ultrasound rather than a mammogram due to your age. They may do a biopsy with a needle, which really doesn't hurt very much at all, despite sounding terrible! I found all the nurses and staff at the unit I attended lovely and helpful. Do take some decent reading matter, though, as it can sometimes take a while to be seen!

invicta Tue 04-Mar-14 19:47:59

Hi, cyber hugs to you. The majority of lumps are referred to the breast cancer clinic, and are checked out. They can run a number of tests - mammogram, biopsy, ultrasound etc to check it out - this is all perfectly normal. The majority of lumps turn out to be harmless cysts. If it does turn out to be cancer, then most breast cancer is curable.

I went through the whole situation during 2012. From discovery of lump to my operation was only a matter of weeks ( June to August) and radiotherapy finished in October. I didn't need chemo - not everyone needs it. The support and advice you get throughout the whole process is superb it's one area the NHSe excels at.

If you need support, look at the tamoxifen thread. It's the place to be.

upyourninja Tue 04-Mar-14 23:21:14

Thank you struggling and invicta. I'll be glad when I've been seen and at this stage I don't care how invasive the tests are - I want to be certain of the diagnosis (hopefully of a cyst!) and I am a tough cookie who can cope with procedures.

Thanks invicta - I didn't want to hop on the tamoxifen thread at this stage but it will be my first port of call if the lump is cancerous. I feel a lot calmer now and I'm grateful for the 2 week referral procedure even if the letter scared me at first!

orangeone Wed 05-Mar-14 09:35:32

Hi upyourninja.
Just found this thread. Also have found a lump that has been increasing over last few months. Trying not to stress as I'm only 37 (with 2 DD under 4) but 3 great maternal aunts and my mum have all had breast cancer (only my mum survived), so feeling very nervous. Can we hand hold in a very in MN way? Can't talk about it in real life with anyone except DH who is working a lot. Going to see my GP next week... Hope your appointment goes ok this week and its just a cyst.
Sorry - don't mean to hijack.

invicta Wed 05-Mar-14 09:38:14

Orange one - cyberhugs to you.

struggling100 Wed 05-Mar-14 10:16:46

Orangeone - big hugs for you! I know it's hugely stressful, but please do attend that appointment to see your GP. They'll put you on a 2 week referral, and hopefully the findings will reassure you.

I found the waiting period between the GP and the hospital very difficult. I know that it's really so common for women to have lumps and bumps in their boobs, and only a tiny proportion are anything sinister - I kept telling myself it was desperately unlikely to be anything worrying, but I still stressed out a lot. It helps to talk about those fears, even if it's online!

upyourninja Wed 05-Mar-14 19:45:55

Orangeone you must be really scared - hand holding all the way and make sure you get to the GP ASAP. You should have the answer within a few weeks - it must be awful having it hanging over you. I've heard from so many women who just have lumpy boobs - keeping fx it 's the same for you.

My appt is tomorrow afternoon. I'll let you know how it goes.

upyourninja Wed 05-Mar-14 19:47:41

Also, more than just the stats on a huge percentage being benign (90% for my age bracket), the treatment and survival rates are great. I'm calming myself with that thought a lot smile

orangeone Wed 05-Mar-14 21:48:19

Thanks all. Trying to keep calm and not think about it (works well in day with DD's running me ragged), harder at night when time to think. Hanging on to the stats and hoping its just a cyst. Currently breastfeeding DD2 (9 months) so focusing on this and not appointment next week.
Good luck tomorrow upyourninja.... Will keep all crossed for you.

orangeone Wed 05-Mar-14 21:49:03

Thanks all. Trying to keep calm and not think about it (works well in day with DD's running me ragged), harder at night when time to think. Hanging on to the stats and hoping its just a cyst. Currently breastfeeding DD2 (9 months) so focusing on this and not appointment next week.
Good luck tomorrow upyourninja.... Will keep all crossed for you.

orangeone Wed 05-Mar-14 21:49:52

Sorry - double posted as hands full! blush

Theonlyoneiknow Thu 06-Mar-14 15:02:26

Hope it's going ok OP. Thinking of you.

I have just had a referral too due to a strange indent at the top outer area of my breast. GP says it might be due to ageing and loose skin, breastfeeding, loss of volume etc) as can't feel a lump underneath but isn't entirely sure. worry worry.

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