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Hard lump in breast

(20 Posts)
Puddingnpie Tue 28-May-19 20:46:36

I don't generally check my breasts but this morning in shower just came across something that felt different. It's a hard, fixed lump quite deep in breast.
I don't think I'm overly concerned (but then again have prodded and poked quite a few times today, so maybe I am). I'm 49, on HRT, though still have periods.
Does anyone have any experience?

OP’s posts: |
CherryPavlova Tue 28-May-19 20:58:55

You need to make an appointment with your GP in next few days - urgent if no routine ones for a while and never referred to breast clinic. I think you know that though.

What you probably need to hear at this point is that you can’t ignore it but that the vast majority of women walk away from breast clinic heaving a sigh of relief or smiling. Most lumps are benign.

Then what you need to hear is that most women (the overwhelming majority) survive breast cancer. Most have a years treatment that’s not especially nice but not too awful either. It’s doable. Then they gradually move back to normality. I’m here nearly ten years on. My mother’s here nearly twenty years on.

Get to GP and get tested properly as not knowing is the hardest part.

Puddingnpie Tue 28-May-19 21:06:45

Thanks cherry. I do know I need to go to GP but I feel less concerned as I had a mammogram (routine - I was a pilot for under 50s) about 2-3 years ago. Was all clear. I am thinking something would have been picked up then?
Thank you for your reassurance - i do feel out of kilter today.
I'm so glad you got through it all. I will book gp tomorrow.

OP’s posts: |
lljkk Tue 28-May-19 21:13:17

Let us know what happens, OP. x fingers 4 U.

CherryPavlova Tue 28-May-19 21:23:53

Don’t be persuaded by the scared ‘pretend it’s not happening’ side of your brain to defer the GP appointment.

It might have been picked up three years ago or might not. Only one way to find out.

LiliesAndChocolate Tue 28-May-19 22:40:23

Go and have it checked. The vast majority of lumps are benign, but the only way to tell with be a mammogram, ultrasound and possibly biopsy.

I had a biopsy recently and it was a fibroadenoma, but still it was scary and a long week. Book a gp and request a referral. Nobody can determine by touch if benign or malignant, ultrasound might be able to by looking at the borders and increased blood flown, but in my case, there was increased blood supply (which is bad) but they were wrong.
Call in the morning and have them checked.

Breast cancer can grow between mammograms. To be able to be seen on a mammogram, a breast cancer need to be at least 1 cm to 1.5 cm for the best machines, but quality of image might be affected by dense breast. In any case after 2 or 3 years after an all clear, you can't know for sure. Breast cancers lump are usually hard, but sometimes they are soft, they are usually painless, but sometimes they hurt. Not all cancer lumps feel the same, so they need to be checked by images and diagnostic specialist.

I have not written this to scare you but warn possible lurkers who might be undecided and not wanting to waste doctor's time. It is not a waste of time.

Most probably it will be nothing.

Brassica Wed 29-May-19 04:44:35

Definitely don’t assume a mammogram 3 years ago will reflect your current situation. I am having treatment now for a grade 3 lump that I first noticed in about October but didn’t act on until Feb. The consultant reckons it grew to 4cm in about a 6 month period, given it is grade 3 (which means fast growing, capable of spreading). So 3 years ago doesn’t cover you for newly spotted lumps.

I don’t say this to scare you as Cherrypavlova has already made the right points about it being more likely to be nothing. But don’t make my mistake of being complacent and do let your GP have a feel. Good luck.

SnowsInWater Wed 29-May-19 05:39:12

Again not trying to scare but I was told the Inflammatory Breast Cancer I was recently diagnosed with often does not show on mammograms. Get it checked then hopefully you can breathe a big sigh of relief and get on with life 😊

BillywilliamV Wed 29-May-19 06:11:10

Aggressive cancers can grow in a few weeks, a mammogram 3 years ago means nothing today. That’s why they do them every 3 years. I had a mastectomy two years ago and now a mammogram every year. GO TO THE DOCTOR AT ONCE!

Puddingnpie Wed 29-May-19 06:29:25

Thank you everyone for your stories and advice. You are all a wealth of info that you can't get on internet - I had no idea mammograms didn't pick up all types or that they were fast growing.
I'm calling GP today but feeling positive. Will keep you posted x

OP’s posts: |
LilyRed Wed 29-May-19 06:40:53

May I add another story? I found a lump in my left breast earlier this year which (sort of luckily) co-incided with my call for an over-50s breast scan.

I went to see the GP anyway who fast-tracked the appointment and I was called in quickly.

It turned out I had something called a 'fat necrosis' lump see here - you can get these just from a bruise, or for no reason at all.

The staff at the clinic were really lovely and did everything to reasure me - the Consultant was most pleased to find a fat necrosis as she had just been training her students upon them!

Puddingnpie Wed 29-May-19 15:11:28

Ok. Saw Gp and he referred on for mammogram. He didn't seem concerned and said it felt like normal lumpy boob. Actually I don't have lumpy boobs and this is a lump. He said he was being cautious in referring me. Wasnt sure whether to be reassured or not as he also said I was early to be perimenopausal (49 isn't early).

OP’s posts: |
CatChant Wed 29-May-19 15:35:40

OP, my GP said the hard lump I had found felt like "perfectly normal breast tissue" to him, but said he would refer me to a consultant because I'd had a benign cyst removed 10 years before.

It was a good thing he did because that time it was cancer.

So yes, make sure you get that referral. Hopefully it won't be cancer. Most of the time it isn't. And if it is, as previous posters have said, breast cancer has excellent survival rates these days. I am still here seven years on. My DC's teacher had it the following year and she is still here too.

Best of luck. I hope you have good news soon.

nilcarborundum Wed 29-May-19 17:12:50

I found one about the size of a walnut in my right breast. Put off going to the dr's for about a month. Then when I did go was referred straight away to the breast care centre. Had biopsy and it was cancer. Had an mri and they found another mass in my left breast. Then followed surgery ( luckily only lumpectomy) chemo and radiotherapy. Treatment took a year altogether. Cancer was stage 2
I was 63 and had been on HRT for 20 years ( early menopause)
I'm fine now , last three mammograms have been clear. I'd advise you to see a doctor ASAP xx

CherryPavlova Wed 29-May-19 19:08:11

I suspect the GP was trying to reassure you. You know it’s a lump so glad you’ve been referred straight away.

Puddingnpie Sun 16-Jun-19 07:48:27

Hi guys, I had my appointment at breast clinic last week, where I was examined by consultant and a lump confirmed as 'indeterminate'. Unfortunately where I live there are limited resources for a one stop shop and I have to wait for mammogram, ultrasound etc. I have a date (just over 2 weeks).

I've deliberated posting as not sure what I'm asking for. Maybe just to share the frustration at having to wait again. It's very hard not to get completely overtaken by it. Keep telling myself 80% are benign and most of the time I feel that, but it's still in my head, annoyingly. Anyone any tips on how to get through?
Also, how much can the consultant tell from physical examination? I didn't get a good reassuring feeling from him or nurse, but wondering if that is paranoia. I asked whether it was a cyst and he said he couldn't tell as it was so deep. Nurse reassured me later and said if he had been really worried he would have been on phone arranging imaging. I'm dissecting everything they said!! Crazy.

OP’s posts: |
Brassica Sun 16-Jun-19 10:57:09

Poor you. You’re bound to be trying to second guess, and it’s a shame you couldn’t have it fully checked out in one go. I presume you don’t have private healthcare to expedite the process? I don’t have any great advice on how to avoid going crazy: try to occupy yourself with something productive, relaxing, whatever feels as if it might be most helpful for you and trust that you are in the process so eventually you will get those checks and know if there’s anything else to be done. You can’t really do anything to accelerate that process but do remind yourself that there are excellent chances you will be all fine. Good luck.

CatChant Sun 16-Jun-19 11:04:15

Being in limbo is the worst bit, I found. Your mind goes around like a squirrel in a cage with "what if" scenarios, especially in the small hours. Oddly, once I was actually diagnosed I was far less frightened. I suppose because then I knew the worst I was facing.

It is very hard waiting to find out and I'm so sorry you're enduring this. flowers I found the only way to get through was to keep busy with something quite interesting that forced you to concentrate. At night when I couldn't sleep I took up paper-cutting and found it very calming. It occupied me just enough to push the worrying to the back of my mind.

Deep down I really knew after I first saw my consultant because having examined me she sent me for a whole barrage of tests the very same day. I'd gone into a busy department full of nervous women and by the end of the day I was the only one left.

I hope the time passes quickly for you. Remember a lot of us did get the news you dread and we are still here. Take care.

Puddingnpie Sun 16-Jun-19 11:47:18

Thanks both. I don't have private healthcare bit have considered paying for a mammogram, except I would still have to wait for ultrasound and biopsy. Think I will take up knitting again! Or clean cupboards.
Cat, I'm sorry about your diagnosis - that's unimaginable. I do feel reassured that I have to wait for tests, even though it's agonising.

OP’s posts: |
swingofthings Sun 16-Jun-19 11:54:10

Like you, when I went to see my GP with a lump (elongated one), I assumed he would make a comment on whether it was likely to be cancer or not. When he didn't and took it seriously, I assumed it was his lack of expertise in the filed and that the beast consultant would be able to have a good idea, so again was puzzled when he didn't say anything reassuring and just insisted that I needed an ultrasound and potentially biopsy there and then.

I was fortunate that the ultrasound showed a large cyst and many smaller ones, nothing to worry about ut it showed that even the experts can't tell at all by just touching.

I too had to wait for 2 weeks before seing the consultant and another 10 days for the ultrasound and it was a very miserable time, yet I almost didn't want it to come as was telling mylsef that there would be no going back afterwards. My friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer said that it is horrible when you get the news but very quickly you focus on how grateful you feel that you had it checked early as this alone is what gives you the best chance of survival, more getting the best treatment at the best place.

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