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have lump in breast - told it will be treated as 'non urgent' as I am breastfeeding.

(41 Posts)
pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 00:42:47

Went to gp yesterday about lump in breast I've felt for a few weeks. It is tender around the area too and she said it might be mastitis. I've had mastitis a few times and know how it feels. This doesn't feel like that. She rang the breast specialist at the hospital who suggesting putting a needle in it at the doctors surgery [by gp not by specialist]not quite sure why, but to see if anything came out of it hmm Don't fancy that at all so she has referred me but said 'non urgently' Feel a bit concerned. I know they think I'm a hypochondriac, I've been to the breast clinic before and they found a cyst [same breast] and I've also had palpitations earlier this year and was referred to cardiologist [i cancelled as palpitations went on for 2 months then stopped]

Should I just wait for a non urgent appt? Any way I can push for a quicker referral?

alardi Fri 07-Aug-09 08:23:44

Yes, you can go private (pay) to get the initial consultation. I don't know how, but I would start by asking the GP. The cost is not absurd (I would think under £100), it literally leapfrogs you into the system. Once you're seen, if they decide there's a problem, you go back to being treated on the NHS.

If you're under 40 the odds of it being anything malignant are quite small, btw.

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 10:18:25

Oh really? I thought if I went private I'd have to do all the tests private too. I'm under 40. Wonder what to do. Just hate knowing it is there and not knowing what it is.

Plonketyplonk Fri 07-Aug-09 10:38:43

I had a lump at the beginning of a pg. They ran some tests and said to leave it until the baby was born. the baby arrived and about a year later, the lump was still there. I think that gps are trained to tell what is obviously a nasty thing and what isn't. If you are worried, you should have another word with your doctor. It's not nice not knowing.

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 11:05:59

what tests did they do plonketyplonk? If they did an ultrasound at least I'd feel they could see what it was.

Winetimeisfinetime Fri 07-Aug-09 11:23:53

I was recently referred to the local breast clinic as a non urgent case. My gp said it would be up to 6 weeks wait. The clinic actually phoned me the next day and gave me an appointment for 10 days away.When I actually went they said they saw everyone within 2 weeks here so it may be worth finding out how long the wait is where you are for non urgent cases as it may only be a week or two which you may have to wait to see a consultant privately - especially over the holiday season.

Winetimeisfinetime Fri 07-Aug-09 11:25:49

I also had a needle aspiration of a cyst, years ago when my ds was a baby and I can honestly say it wasn't painful at all - it sounds much worse than it is.

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 11:26:12

it would be great if it were only two weeks! Hard to find out, seems to be a large gap between gp's knowledge and what the hospital actually does in practice.

Winetimeisfinetime Fri 07-Aug-09 11:37:10

Yes, my gp seemed unaware of the 2 week policy at our breast clinic.
Could you phone the breast clinic directly and find out how long it is likely to be before you are seen.

You could also find out how long a private referral would take - if you ring the consultant's secretary they can usually give you an idea of how quickly you could potentially be seen if you decide to go that route.

Plonketyplonk is right in that the gp can tell quite alot about whether the lump is benign or not by the feel of it and would have fast tracked you if they thought it was something nasty.

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 11:40:33

well she said if i was not breastfeeding she would have fast tracked me, which worried me slightly as she didn't really know what it was. I'll wait to see if I get a letter this coming week and if I don't I might chase it up. Thanks. It is just breast lumps always fill me with dread...

Winetimeisfinetime Fri 07-Aug-09 11:47:19

It is very worrying - I was in a real state when I found a lump, especially as my ds was so young. I found it hard to keep in mind that the vast,vast majority of lumps are benign - but they are and mine was and in all likelihood yours will be too. Mine turned out to be a cyst, they thought had been caused by breast milk so may be that is a likelihood for you too.

Let us know how you get on.

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 11:50:23

Thanks winetime. I've had a cyst before. this just feels bigger. Everything runs through your mind doesn't it? Keep you posted.

FlightHattendant Fri 07-Aug-09 11:53:01

Isn't it true that when it hurts, it's unlikely to be cancer?

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 11:56:33

I don't know if the lump itself hurts, or if the whole side is tender.

FlightHattendant Fri 07-Aug-09 11:57:48

When you have been poking it it is bound to hurt...I am sorry you're having this, it must be worrying. Hope that you manage to get it looked at and put your mind at rest x

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 12:13:03

Thanks FA.

randomtask Fri 07-Aug-09 12:25:50

Go back to your GP and push to become 'urgent'. I know it's probably 'nothing' and that your GP should know what they're doing but breastfeeding is naff all to do with it if it cancerous. If you've got experience of lumps then they should believe you. Could you see a different GP in your practice?

Sorry I know this sounds like I'm paranoid and I don't want to scare you but DH's first wife had that so well, I am paranoid.

Good luck (fingers crossed and prayers said)

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 12:28:26

thankyou. I know they'll just treat me as over anxious if I go back. But if nothing happens within a couple of weeks I'll have to chase it up or go private.

Plonketyplonk Fri 07-Aug-09 12:31:26

I can't remember exactly what they did in the first place. They may have done a needle aspiration, which is a bit like a biopsy but less. There are 3 results, +, -, and unknown. I was in the unknown category. I can't remember if they did a mammogram at that point.

They may be waiting till you have finished bf, as it may well be really uncomfortable having your boobs crushed in the mammogram machine!

They were very very quick when I first went to the breast clinic, largely because I was going away. They were very very quick when I went back too. Please try not to worry about it, and see if you can get an appointment sooner. The tests they do will depend on what they find.

randomtask Fri 07-Aug-09 12:35:27

Do chase them up. It's better to be safe than sorry. If they don't do anything, tell them it's making you stressed and that you might become a 'bad mum' if you keep worrying. Hopefully they'll then push you up the list to settle your mind and not cause you any more stress.

And I don't think you can be over-anxious when it's a lump. Doctors should realise this or there wouldn't be all those TLC adverts....

tiredlady Fri 07-Aug-09 12:37:10

Have thought long and hard before posting as I really don't want to worry you over something that is very probably nothing. But my breastfeeding friend had a lump, was repeatedly told it was mastitis ( even though she said it didn't feel like it) She went back to the doctors on several occasions, eventually someone stuck a needle in it and it turned out to be malignant.
She is fine now, but if you are not happy, either go private or go back to your GP.

Really hope that hasn't freaked you out but, like randomtask, I am now overly paranoid about these things. Best of luck though, and let us know how you get on

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 12:44:32

sad well obviously that is the worry. I'm trying not to go there at present until I get seen. It is so hard when gps are unwilling to refer you. Originally she suggested me going away for 2 weeks and then coming back hmm But I have had a couple of referrals for other things recently and I think that has gone against me.

pofacedandproud Fri 07-Aug-09 12:44:52

glad she is ok now tiredlady.

alardi Fri 07-Aug-09 20:31:25

I also know someone who was referred for a lump whilst breastfeeding. It WAS examined and initially thought to be benign, but at some point after breastfeeding finished (like a year after the initial investigation), it was realised that it was a very rare (like 0.4%) form of breast cancer. Incredibly unlucky, only risk factor was she had smoked previously.
I still don't know what I would do if I found a lump (I am still bf). Probably not worry because you can't plan life on the basis of very unlikely WhatIfs.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 07-Aug-09 20:46:15

You really ought to have had the needle inserted. I know it isn't pleasant but this is your health.

My friend got breast cancer at 29 with a 6 month old baby. sad She is fine now, 8 years later.

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