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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 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!

Elibean Tue 17-Dec-13 09:10:02

Doesn't sound sinister to me either, Daisy, though I'm sure I'd be thinking the same in your shoes smile

She can't and shouldn't guess, and I've had more inscrutable GPs than I've had hot dinners and nothing bad has come of it!

More flowers for the wait, and hope the apt comes v v soon.

Elibean Tue 17-Dec-13 09:10:50


That sounds awful.

I hope ykwim re the GPs - typing far too fast!

@Elibean That made me laugh - all those inscrutable GPs grin

@Wren and @Clairestravelingcircus Sending out positive vibes to you both thanks

I keep lurching from Zen-like calm to bouts of mortal terror. Trying to avoid Googling stuff, but it's hard to resist... I'm currently fixating on the GP's comment that there was flaky skin on the nipple. It didn't register at the time, but now I've googled it and it appears to be a Bad Thing, along with the fact that the lump only had "slight movement" and seems to be hard-ish.

My hospital appointment came through today. It is on the morning of Christmas Eve...

Beamur Wed 18-Dec-13 22:37:45

Your Doctor won't offer any opinion, only proper diagnosis will do. You will be seen as quickly as possible and the results come quickly too, you may even get a diagnosis on the day. I won't say don't worry - it would be like saying 'stop thinking'. I had a lump earlier this year and was practically planning my funeral - however, my Mum has had breast cancer so maybe my anxiety was to be expected. On the plus side - she is still alive! The treatment if you do have cancer is good, there are lots of excellent treatments so even if the news is not good, don't feel like it's the end of the world. I have several friends now who are post surgery/chemo/radiotherapy and doing very well. Fingers crossed it will be something harmless - which chances are it will be.

Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 22:47:06

I had a non moving lump (well tethered), irregular, flaking skin and bleeding. My GP said she wouldn't snowjob me and agreed that it looked ominous but may turn out to be fine. The consultant said it matched the criteria for 'Yes I can see why you are worried and reassured me that they would handle it no matter what which at the time made me panic so much that I couldn't actually see- I went blind behind the eyes for a moment.

After extensive tests(and two biopsies) it showed up as non malignant although I still don't feel safe (still bleeding and have a new lump now).

I'm not sure how reassuring I have been other than to say that the very worst case scenario can turn out not to be. My original lump was okay. This new little bastard- I'll wait until after Christmas and get checked again.

BTW I had no pain really at all w/ the biopsy and attempted aspiration so don't worry too much about the tests.


Elibean Fri 20-Dec-13 10:26:58

The odds are still firmly in your favour, Daisy.

They just don't mess about with lumps, and tend to act on the assumption that they could be bad rather than start from the premise (more accurate statistically) that they are probably benign. If that makes sense.

I really hope you get some answers before Xmas smile

(ps New Year's resolution: lay off the inscrutable GPs grin)

@Mignonette So sorry you had to go through all that - but it's really heartening to read that, despite seeming so ominous, it was benign after all. Wishing you all the best after Christmas - chances are it will also be harmless xx

Elibean Thanks for your post x I hope to God they do let me know the results on the day.

My scan/biopsy etc are on Christmas Eve. I have no idea now whether I will be told the results on the day or not. Does anyone know what the norm is? If they drag it out much longer I'm worried I'll have a total meltdown.

Mignonette Sat 21-Dec-13 09:00:22


I wish you a very happy Christmas and a negative result for New Year.

I was told by the technician after my second biopsy that the 'signs were good'. But I had to await confirmation.

If your lump is fluid filled they will ask you if you want it to be drained there and then (I would-it isn't painful as the aspiration needle will already be inserted and having the lump disappear is psychologically reassuring). If it is fluid filled, that in itself a good sign.

The aspiration needles really did feel like a teeny little pinprick. it isn't as scary as it sounds.

Fingers crossed for your Daisythestrange

Thank you Sparkle and Mignonette and anyone else who has posted on this thread.

I will give you an update after my scans/biopsy tomorrow x

ThermoLobster Mon 23-Dec-13 20:58:40

Good luck. I have been in your shoes, with a large painful lump, and all turned out ok. As others have said, if they can drain the lump, it is probably good news and just a cyst, as mine was (although I had a hard lump behind which caused a major scare but that is another story). Even if they can drain it, they will almost certainly send the results to the lab so you might not get a definitive answer tomorrow. And the stuff they drained was greenish black - just to warn you! Definitely sounds like a cyst - really hope it is.

GimmeDaBoobehz Mon 23-Dec-13 21:17:47

I wish you the best of luck for tomorrow Daisy.

Can certainly understand your concern but think the chances of it being something sinister are relatively low.

Hope they let you know on the day so you don't have to spend Christmas worrying.

chickydoo Mon 23-Dec-13 21:21:25

Good luck thanks

TinselinaBumSquash Mon 23-Dec-13 21:21:29

Good luck Daisy, I had a scare with a lump in my armpit but after a scan and biopsy it was just a cyst. thanks

ClairesTravellingCircus Mon 23-Dec-13 22:55:02

Good luck tomorrow xx

catchingzeds Tue 24-Dec-13 11:22:13

Thinking of you today, and hoping for the best x

Mignonette Tue 24-Dec-13 12:10:10

All the best for today xx

Good luck!

9 out of 10 lumps are benign.

Just went through the same myself, it was a big cyst shich they drained on the spot. 20ml ( yuck).

Anyway, you will probably know straight away (as if a cyst they will drain it).

It is horribly nerve wrecking, so sending Zen like waves your way.


Elibean Tue 24-Dec-13 15:27:45

Good luck Daisy, thinking of you! xx

Thinking of you Daisy, good luck!

I've been offline for a couple of days, so only just able to update.

Panic over. It was a massive great cyst. No biopsy needed - the mammogram & ultrasound were unmistakable. They drained off 16ml of green fluid (nice...) and the thing is now gone. I'm now a whole bra size smaller on one side.

I'm so relieved, obviously. The whole experience has made me feel differently about many things, e.g I have a greater appreciation of the positive things in my life and I feel a strange kind of urgency to change the negative things and stop procrastinating.

However, one very annoying result of all the panic googling I did before the scans is that I'm now much more paranoid about my own body, e.g worrying about possible effects of the radiation from the mammograms, wondering whether random freckles on my skin could be cancerous etc. I never used to be a hypochondriac, but the experience seems to have triggered this off. Hopefully this is just a temporary thing confused

Thank you to everyone for your posts and support over the past week - it helped to keep me sane and I appreciate it so much thanks

Mignonette Thu 26-Dec-13 13:41:19


flowers and wine.

Have been thinking of you and hoping.


EnlightenedOwl Thu 26-Dec-13 14:29:19

The paranoia thing is normal. I was treated for melanoma and have just finished my five year follow up. Now I'm looking at a freckle on my left boob thinking it looks "Different" actually I don't think it does, its the old paranoia creeping in but I will keep an eye.
But very pleased for you what a massive massive relief.

radiatormesh Thu 26-Dec-13 15:03:43

Great news.

About the paranoia. I had (a rare) cancer over two years ago now, and I still get the odd bout of panic: a twinge somewhere is always caused by a tumour rather than having pulled a muscle for example. But it's getting better with time. Because I've been 'through the system' so to speak, it's a known entity and not something remote: it's therefore easier to imagine being put back into the system again. Before you have a run-in with cancer, it's something that happens to other people or on the telly. Once you do though, you realise how easily you could be back in the waiting room/consultant's office: you've broken the seal if you like.

I try to limit my concern to one day a month, where I check my breasts and my moles. Everything else I imagine advising a friend about and that often helps.

ClairesTravellingCircus Fri 27-Dec-13 01:45:09

Great news!

Soo glad it was just a cyst!

Paranoia totally understandable but hopefully will subside soon!

jabeen100 Fri 27-Dec-13 06:49:50

do you always feel the lump? or do you just feel it when you think about it cause if dont feel it when you're focused on something else its probably just anxiety. but it wouldnt hurt to go to the doc and and get him to check you out and possibly get some tests. good luck.

RudolphtheRedknowsraindear Fri 27-Dec-13 09:29:04

Great News cake

catchingzeds Fri 27-Dec-13 15:44:12

So relieved for you xx

furbaby Sat 28-Dec-13 22:36:56

thanks so happy for you x

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