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To decline this appointment at the breast clinic?

(22 Posts)
timewastingtime Fri 27-Mar-15 20:07:44

I've had quite significant pain in my left breast/chest area for some weeks. I eventually saw my GP, expecting some sort of infection as I thought it felt hot and swollen. She said she could not feel or see anything but that I should be referred to the breast clinic and that I should expect an appointment within 2 weeks.

I've been left feeling guilty about wasting an appointment when it seems highly unlikely that a normal appearing breast needs a specialist opinion. I'm not professing to know better than the GP and I am grateful that she is being thorough. That said, it seems silly to blindly follow protocol if I am using a slot that could go to someone who is at risk of cancer. I am in my late twenties with no family history and no lump or symptoms other than pain.

The real factor that's making me not want to waste a slot is that she briefly mentioned it could be chest wall pain or lung congestion. I have other physical health problems that have resulted in chest pain and the aforementioned two issues are associated with it. She didn't listen to my chest or poke me anywhere apart from my breast. Maybe I should return to the GP and get them to check my chest is clear before I accept/decline the breast clinic appointment?

I'm not normally a worrier about these things but I am feeling overwhelming guilt because I am positive that the clinic would be better off seeing someone else. AIBU?

formerbabe Fri 27-Mar-15 20:10:46

I had terrible breast pain during my twenties and was referred to a breast clinic...I was fine thankfully..but it never occured to me not to go to the appointment. You must go!

monkeysox Fri 27-Mar-15 20:11:52

They wouldn't have given you an appointment if you didn't need it. Please go, even just to put your mind at rest. flowers

CapnMurica Fri 27-Mar-15 20:13:58

With the best will in the world....cop on to yourself!

You have been given an appointment because your doctor thinks it is worth checking out. Don't feel guilty for that. Feel proud that you live in a country where you can access that service.

I hope you are better soon OP - go to the appointment!

loveableshoulder Fri 27-Mar-15 20:15:05

I have been referred to the breast clinic today with entirely different symptoms.

I am really.bloody glad. Doctor says she doesn't think it's anything to worry about but I'm so fucking relieved that it will (probably) rule out cancer.

And so should you be.

fairgame Fri 27-Mar-15 20:16:15

Go. Don't feel guilty. I've been twice and they have never found anything wrong with me. Last time i went due a lump and it turned out to a knobbly bit of my rib blush Maybe the GP should be a bit more emabarrassed than me after that one!

FiveGoMadInDorset Fri 27-Mar-15 20:16:46

Yes you are sorry

I went to GP today with same symptoms, been having them for three months (saw GP in December and January but symptoms have come back) and she asked me to come back in two weeks even though the tissue in the left breast felt different to the right, no lumps.

Happy with that until I went to work and the GP I work for said that if someone re- presented with mine and your symptoms it would be an automatic referral.

Radiatorvalves Fri 27-Mar-15 20:19:13

My dad was referred for a prostrate check after a blood test showed he had a tiny increase in chance of cancer. He was told it was almost certain to be a waste of time by Dr.

It wasn't. He had cancer but they caught it early. He is clear and alive 9 years on.

Wadingthroughsoup Fri 27-Mar-15 20:19:34

I agree with the others here- I would take the appt.

I was referred to the breast clinic with similar symptoms to yours (although I'm older than you and have a family history of breast cancer). I attended the appointment and luckily they found nothing wrong. I was apologetic and suggested to the consultant that it had been a waste of his time, to which he replied that he much prefers to see 100 healthy breasts than 1 that has cancer. And that made total sense.

You mentioned lumps, but not all types of breast cancer manifest as lumps so that's why they want to check you.

Hope all is well.

ragged Fri 27-Mar-15 20:21:38

Is it that hard to get an appt at a breast clinic? I don't think you have anything to feel guilty about if you do go along. They are following a protocol about who should be seen. I'm guessing age is a risk factor for you?

iammargesimpson Fri 27-Mar-15 20:22:31

You are not wasting anyone's time by going, you will be setting your mind at rest. Please go.

HcachumBabow Fri 27-Mar-15 20:24:51

Definitely go.

I was referred to the breast clinic recently by my GP for similar symptoms.

She was convinced it was an abscess and started me on antibiotics but also said that even if symptoms started to improve (which they did) I should definitely still attend the appointment.

I did and they not only ruled out anything serious but checked the abscess was clearing up nicely with the antibiotics.

DaygloYellowLady Fri 27-Mar-15 20:31:57

I was referred to our local breast clinic for exactly the same reasons as you. They found nothing, it took about 15 minutes. Like Wading I felt that I'd wasted their time and I got
the same answer and also told to ask referred if I was worried about
anything in the future.
I also know from my own work that if there is any serious suspicion of
cancer people are usually either sent in immediately as an emergency have an urgent referral to be seen
within a few days. There are usually slots built in to any clinic for this so
your type of appointment is unlikely to affect some one who urgently needs care.

ragged Fri 27-Mar-15 20:32:24

Sorry I should have read better, in late 20s you are very low risk on age alone. I understand why you declined better, now.
I reckon either decision is valid, and I made a very similar decision recently (declined screening). Definitely do the one that gives you most peace of mind.

If you're really bothered about 'waste' you could offer to go privately & pay for the assessment; there are always plenty spaces for private patients <Cynical>.

Lucked Fri 27-Mar-15 20:36:56

The breast clinic deals with benign Breast disease including pain, it is not a cancer clinic.It is a completely appropriate referral and I say this as someone who works at a breast clinic every week. I will warn you that it can take a long time depending on what is required so make sure you haven't got anywhere else to be.

timewastingtime Fri 27-Mar-15 21:13:10

Thank you for the advice. I will go. If nothing else, I might be wondering 'what if?'.

auntynorm Fri 27-Mar-15 22:37:04

Definitely go. I had what i thought was a bruise on my breast but it didn't go for awhile so when i saw my gp for something else i mentioned it. Referred straight to breast clinic; next week found out i had stage 3 breast cancer (32 and no family history). It is definitely worth going and you won't be wasting their time/taking up a slot unnecessarily. It is always better to be safe

PacificDogwood Fri 27-Mar-15 22:41:09

Unilateral breast pain is worth checking out.
You have been referred according to current guidelines.
I'm glad to see you're going smile

TwoOddSocks Fri 27-Mar-15 22:42:44

Most people that go to an initial appointment will get the all clear and never have to go back, you'll probably be one of them but you absolutely should go to make sure.

malteserzz Fri 27-Mar-15 22:58:25

Another one with breast cancer and no family history here, definitely go just in case

PuntasticUsername Fri 27-Mar-15 23:04:42

Definitely, go! It sounds almost as if you think you're not worth it. I assure you, you are wink

The doctor wouldn't have booked you the appointment if he/she didn't think it was the right thing to do. Totally understand you're worried about "what if", but honestly - go, and find out for sure. Most likely, it'll put your mind at rest and in the unlikely event that it doesn't, at least you'll know what you're dealing with.

timewastingtime Thu 30-Apr-15 21:27:05

Thank you for everyone who convinced me. The doctor felt a nodule and told me off (nicely!) because I apologised for wasting his time. blush He said I did the right thing.Scans showed that it is benign, so I can get on with my life now.

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