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I Found A Lump In My Breast

(347 Posts)
cleanasawhistle Tue 04-Nov-14 12:32:30

Found it on Friday.
Managed to get an appointment with my GP yesterday morning,he was really nice and tried to put my mind at rest.
I have just had an appointment through the post for Wed 12th Nov.It says I will be diagnosed on the day.
The weekend was so long waiting to phone my doctor and now I have to wait over a week for the next step.
I think the not knowing is the hardest bit so far.

Thinking of others going through this.

MrsSquirrel Tue 04-Nov-14 13:00:53

It's hard, isn't it cleanas.

I can't think of anything to say that won't sound like a cliche, but don't want to just read and run. thanks

cleanasawhistle Tue 04-Nov-14 14:38:40

Thanks for the reply.

It is hard,its scary,I feel sick etc etc

helzapoppin2 Tue 04-Nov-14 15:33:02

Cleanas, try not to worry yourself sick, easier said than done!
The highest probability is that it is a cyst, or something benign.
I would recommend taking a friend, bf, DH or DP with you to your next appointment as you will be a bundle of nerves.
If it is Breast cancer ( there, I've said it!) the treatment is excellent, with a high success rate, these days, and gets better all the time. I was diagnosed and treated six years ago, and am fine.

cleanasawhistle Wed 05-Nov-14 11:13:15

Thank you so much for the reply Helz.So pleased you got through your cancer.

My huband is coming with me,we have to drive 50 miles to the nearest clinic.He is wonderful but at the moment he doesn;t want to discus it being anything but a cyst.
I haven't spoken to anyone else because I really don't want people waiting for a phone call on Wednesday,it may be bad news and I might need a couple of days...if that makes sense.

So I thought coming on here was a good idea,feels better even righting it down,but I am not ashamed to admit I AM SCARED.

helzapoppin2 Wed 05-Nov-14 16:20:20

Oh, I was too! Total rabbit in the headlights stuff. Good policy to keep it to yourself, and then if it's nothing you can just celebrate and forget about it.
Wine helped!

SugarPlumpFairy3 Wed 05-Nov-14 17:43:32

The waiting is awful, i do sympathise.

I found a lump last year and it was utterly terrifying. Thankfully, mine turned out to be nothing to worry about, as most breast lumps are.

Try to keep busy but DON'T google!

cleanasawhistle Wed 05-Nov-14 19:31:37

Thanks everyone.

I have only ever heard about finding pea size lumps,this is a lot bigger than pea size and my nipple is leaning to one side.

LemonChicken Fri 07-Nov-14 09:28:04

I have only ever heard about finding pea size lumps,this is a lot bigger than pea size and my nipple is leaning to one side.

Hi Whistle, I have had around 20 cysts in my breasts over the last two decades. None of them have been pea sized. Most have been cherry tomato to golf ball in size. A couple have been even larger (as in, in excess of 200ml fluid was drained from them)

I know how worried you are (been there, felt that), but please try to remember that chances are it isn't cancer.

The nipple leaning to one side thing I can relate to too. The pressure of the cyst does that.

I don't know if I can even word this in a way that makes any sense, I will try, but feel free to ignore if it's senseless. The way I mentally visualise breast cysts are:

get a condom, fill it with 100ml of water, tie a knot in condom to make a ball, insert water filled condom through an imaginary slit into breast. That is how a cyst feels. They are moveable, wobbly, if that makes sense. More soft than hard.

You will most likely get a mammogram and an ultrasound at the clinic. Don't panic if they have to repeat either or both of those procedures. Cysts, because of their "fluid" nature get pressed down and flattened during the ultrasound and mammogram, so they're tricky to capture. The first cyst I had I was in total panic on the day when they called me back for a 2nd and then a 3rd ultrasound, and then for a 2nd mammogram. I thought they had found something really bad, when in actual fact, it's often par for the course with cysts. Why they didn't tell me that is beyond me.

If it is a cyst they will most likely drain it there and then. The fact that it's not pea-sized is really going to work in your favour here, as the smaller something is the trickier it is to stick the needle in the right place. So don't go thinking because it's larger, it will hurt more. The opposite is true. The draining of a cyst is about the same as getting a blood sample taken. If anything less sore. They stick the needle in, the remove the fluid, that's it. It's honestly not painful. The doctor can reliably predict on seeing the fluid that they remove that he is 99.99999% sure it's a cyst. But sometimes they send the fluid to the lab just to be on the safe side. Again, nothing to worry about.

I hope something in there will quell your worries somewhat.

All the best on Wednesday, and please do let us know how you got on.

And try not to ruin your weekend with worrying. Easier said than done....I know. But try. Thinking of you....

cleanasawhistle Fri 07-Nov-14 10:40:23

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write all that out and explaining things to me.
Really means a lot to hear it from someone who has been there.
I seem to have calmed down after reading that and yes my lump is golf ball size and moveable.
The letter from the hospital says I will have an ultra sound,a mamogram and a needle to drain some fluid and the whole a appointment should take about 3 hours,then I will be diagnosed and hopefully that will be the end of that.

I will let you know how I get on and hopefully Lemon you won't have anymore cyst.Thanks.

Norfolkandchance1234 Fri 07-Nov-14 10:56:41

I found a small lump a few weeks ago and saw my doctor the same day who referred me to the local breast clinic. I got my letter a week later and my appt 1 week after that where they checked me and then although not overly concerned they have nevertheless booked me in for a mammogram etc for which I got my letter a week later for my appt next Tuesday.

LilAnnieAmphetamine Fri 07-Nov-14 10:58:10

They sometimes call them breast mice as they run away from fingers as you feel towards them. I understand how anxious you are but the fact that it is movable is a GOOD sign. And if it does turn out to be something more sinister, the odds are great and they will work so damn hard for you so that you may be cured.

I have had cysts drained. The first time it was tethered and my GP and the consultant (upon initial examination) was honest and told me that they 'had concerns'. However luckily for me it turned out to be an unusual type of cystic mass and benign.

I am still being watched as I am still producing milk twenty years after weaning my son off the breast and it is sometimes blood stained. Exhaustive tests show nothing ominous BUT I will never feel safe.

I will keep everything crossed for you and every other woman playing the breast lump waiting game. It is hard flowers

LemonChicken Fri 07-Nov-14 11:32:45

I have never heard the "breast mice" expression, but it's very apt indeed! They can be little buggers that need chasing/looking for, depending on if you're stood upright, lying flat, arms above head, arms flat at your side. They also change shape depending on position, and can kind of "slip out of your fingers" when you think you have a hold of them. I sat up during one ultrasound and it was a perfect round ball-like sphere on the screen, when I lay down and they applied light pressure with the scanner thingy, it looked more like a sausage shape, when they applied more pressure it looked more like a hamburger shape. Thta's where my water-filled condom image comes from, lol.

Golf ball sized and moveable were two of the three things first time around that my GP (and later consultant) found very reassuring. The third was the fact it literally appeared out of nowhere. As in, at that time checked my breasts once a month at roughly the same time, one month nothing, next month a big floppy lump.

Relax over the weekend, and best of luck on Wednesday whistle

and you too Norfolk, all the best for your mammogram on Tuesday.

I'm the same as you Annie, logically I know I have nothing remotely sinister, but .... it's hard to relax completely.

LemonChicken Fri 07-Nov-14 11:39:58

oh one more thing.... say you should wake up tomorrow morning and it's doubled in size overnight (or for that matter totally disappeared), call your GP by all means, but don't panic at all. Cysts can do that. They can be stable or they can be unpredictable. They come, they go, they get bigger, they get smaller. It can be gradual. But it can also be quite sudden. The biggest one I ever had was approx 250ml of fluid. It appeared overnight and was visible to the naked eye even at 6 foot away. So really, don't worry if you feel any changes in how it feels.

EvaTheOptimist Fri 07-Nov-14 11:42:05

I found a lump this summer - and the waiting is tricky. It does make you feel your mortality and get emotional over the children etc...

My lump disappeared on the morning of the mammogram. Now that was an interesting one to confess to the doctors... It disappeared as my period started. Apparently it was "fluid retained in an area of fibrous matter" or something, that got reabsorbed with the hormone changes of my period.

Though I was embarrassed on the day, I'm glad I got it looked at anyway, there is nothing like hearing a doctor state firmly "There is no cancer" to really allay those dark fears. I hope that you hear the same message on Wednesday.

cleanasawhistle Fri 07-Nov-14 22:40:52

so many replies,thank you.

Could anyone tell me if you have any pain in your breast ?

Mine is not so much pain but everything irriatates,I don't like my arm right by my side because it rubs against the side of my breast where the lump is.
I'm finding bras annoying but my breast aches if I don't wear one.
...but my breast are not painful to touch.

NORFOLK,good luck for Tuesday,hope its good news.

elportodelgato Fri 07-Nov-14 22:49:07

Cleanas, this is the worst bit - waiting for tests to find out what is going on. The chances are very high that it is NOTHING and you have to hold onto that.

However, if it is something more you need to hold onto a couple of things: firstly breast cancer (yes I said it) is one of the most treatable cancers there is, there is so much the doctors can do for you nowadays. Secondly, there are lots and lot of other people both on here and in RL who can and will support you through whatever is to come. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July at the age of 37, utterly unexpected and utterly terrible. I have had surgery, I am having chemo now, I have joined the tamoxigang thread and have found an amazing community of women going through the same thing who have held me together through some of the darkest days.

I really really hope you get good news: that is the most likely outcome and I hope you can then forget about it and get on with your life smile If it's not good news, come back here and post, we will be here to hold your hand and keep you steady through whatever is to come. Thinking of you x

cleanasawhistle Fri 07-Nov-14 23:13:15

So sorry yours was bad news elport x

Thanks for posting and will be back with an update and if its bad news then I am sure I will be around more often.

I was lying in bed last night unable to sleep...again,wondering if its bad news then how do I tell people and who do I tell ...couldn;t even get to double figures.

elportodelgato Fri 07-Nov-14 23:21:13

Hey cleanas, I hope you get some rest tonight. What I am trying to say (cackhandedly) is that even the worst case scenario is perhaps not as bad as you might fear? Hand holding and hoping you get some good news ASAP, the worry is a killer xx

LemonChicken Sat 08-Nov-14 07:52:52

Whistle, yes, my cysts can be sore. How sore they are is not so much dependent on how big they are. But more the pressure they are under, if you see what I mean (how squashed they are). If they are really "squashed" as opposed to having enough space to move around in, they can be very annoying. I know exactly what you mean with bra irritates it, but bra-less isn't an option either. I had one that was downright painful. Most are just sore. I don't get sore breasts either, just the spot where the cyst is is sore. One time my nipple hurt, which alarmed me, but turned out that was just because the cyst was very much behind the nipple. Also sometimes the veins in my chest (which are never really visible) become highly visible. They look very prominent, blue and angry.

When they drain the cyst the pain goes immediately, I compare it to having too tight high heels on, take the shoes off, and you get that "ahhhhhhhhh bliss" feeling. That's what I have when a cyst is drained. Immediate relief.

Elporto, wishing you continued strength. xxx

FrancesNiadova Sat 08-Nov-14 10:10:30

CLEANASAWHISTLE: being, "in the waiting room," is the worst place to be.
If you go to breastcancercare.co.uk, you will see that a whole section of the forum is for people who are having initial tests & are worried. There is also a phone help line where you can talk to a specialist breast nurse. I used it lots!
You know that most lumps turn out to be nothing, don't you?
Mine was, "the C word," but a mastectomy & 2 years later & I'm completely free, nothing to be worried about at all.
Well done for going to your GP, that's the first step done.
thanksflowers

thegreylady Sat 08-Nov-14 22:29:45

Hi cleanas I am another who has had breast cancer. Mine was 8 years ago now and the initial diagnosis and treatment were scary indeed but here I am today. Yours sounds like a cyst. I had cysts for many years before the bc. At the clinic they will try to aspirate it (drain it) and you will have a mammo and maybe an ultrasound. You have found it quickly and are being seen soon. The waiting room is horrible but we'll hold your hand. Good Luck xx

cleanasawhistle Sun 09-Nov-14 00:26:12

Thank you everyone.
I'm feeling a lot more positive after posting here and reading all your replies

savemefromrickets Sun 09-Nov-14 09:21:44

Make sure you take a drink, a snack and a book or someone to keep you company who will hold your hand and keep you company without making you more worried (don't take anyone of a 'dramatic bent' as you'll want to lamp them after ten mins of waiting).

Be prepared to be shuffled around a bit, you will have waits in between the procedures.

Mammograms aren't exactly pleasant but, in my opinion, aren't worth worrying about. Mine made my day as the lady asked for the platform she'd rested my boob on to be raised...I was so thrilled at not having the saggiest boobs of the day that I admitted to why I was smiling. She said she'd start lowering the machine before every patient so everyone could have the same happy feeling!!

The ultrasound is just like a pregnancy one but it helps if you make a conscious decision to look or avoid looking at the screen, unlike me who glanced up, saw a lump, went back into pregnancy scan mode and got all excited at having spotted something on the screen that was being measured confused.

You might be asked to wear a breast cape for some of the procedure, so you might need a superhero name. I'm afraid I am Capt Wondertits.

It is without doubt a scary time and it's hard not to fear the worst. The odds are in your favour though. The first time I had a referral it was just a cyst. I'm waiting for results this time round.

Above all, the breast care teams I've had dealings with have been amazing. So kind and friendly. I even took in chocolate last time as they'd been so kind during the scans when they knew I was on my own.

When it comes to family and friends, only tell those who will be supportive/humorous. Again, leave out the drama queens for now.

Good luck

Green18 Sun 09-Nov-14 10:42:05

I really feel for you OP. I found a lump, firm but movable, about the size of a small grape about 6 years ago. Totally panicked, went to see GP but couldn't bare to wait 2 weeks to get it checked. I made a private appointment and got in that afternoon. I was lucky my DH had cover through work.It would have cost £300 incl ultrasound and biopsy but i think i would've paid it anyway because I was a wreck.
I had an ultrasound and biopsy within 10 mins.The results of the biopsy confirmed it a week later. The doctor showed me the ultrasound, that the lump was a perfect oval(unlike cancer) and was text book fibroadenoma(benign solid lump). He said he hoped it was a cyst so he could drain it there and then and not have to biopsy.I went on my own and told nobody until i got through it. I was petrified, hands shaking in waiting room. When i left i felt like i was walking on air but again just before results were due, i built myself up again but luckily it was clear. I still have my little friend, it gets bigger each month and smaller after each period . I keep an eye on it but didn't get it removed because they can grow back anyway.
I know it's awful but I kept repeating to myself, 9 out of 10 lumps are benign, it just about kept me able to put one foot in front of the other until i knew.
Not long now to wait and the odds are you will be leaving that room with a smile on your face. Keeping everything crossed for you and all the others going through this awful wait.

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