I Found A Lump In My Breast

Just over four weeks ago, I was having a shower and remembered to give my boobies a check, because HELLO, it’s super important!!

Instead of my usual soft and smooth squishy boobs, I found a hard lump in my right breast.

I must have spent another 10 minutes in the shower desperately trying not to panic and squishing my boobs every which way to make sure I was mistaken.  But I wasn’t.  There was definitely a lump there.

These are the 10 things that immediately went through my mind.

  1. Is that actually definitely a lump?!?  Maybe it’s not a lump. *poke* Nope, pretty certain that’s a lump.
  2. What do I do?  Don’t panic.  There’s no need to panic.
  3. What if it’s cancer?  What if I die?  Who’s going to look after J and Mr Bear? (Okay, I panicked.)
  4. How am I going to tell my mum and dad?
  5. If it is cancerous, I wonder if there’s an adult version of Make A Wish Foundation so I can meet Tom Hardy and go to Disney World, Florida?
  6. What if I need treatment?  I really want a tattoo, what if I have to put that on hold?
  7. I wonder if it’s appropriate to go into work tomorrow and whip my baps for my boss to have a look at? (FYI, I work in a cancer clinic, so it’s less weird than it sounds).
  8. Okay, plan.  I’m not going to get my tits out, I’ll make an appointment with my GP first thing tomorrow.
  9. Right, one more quick check.  Shit, yep, it’s definitely still there.
  10. I think I ought to get out of the shower now and ask J to check if it’s a lump. ( He checked, it was definitely a lump.  He also thought I was trying to get him to cop a cheap feel).

The next morning, I called my GP surgery and thankfully got a call back before I’d even left the house for work (Ngl, I didn’t really want to tell the bus about my lump!) Without even having to see me, he referred me to my local Breast Clinic for a consultation under the two-week wait.

While waiting for my appointment, life seemed to come to a grinding standstill.  I went to pole class that week, but was acutely aware of every tiny movement I was making.  The next day my muscles were predictably aching, especially around my right armpit, so I decided not to go back until it was all sorted.

Luckily for me, an appointment came through a week later and I went along to the Park Centre for Breast Care in Brighton to be checked over by one of their nurse practitioners.  She was really lovely and immediately put my mind at ease saying that it was almost certainly a cyst and it’s actually pretty common in women over 30!

To be 100% sure though, she referred me to the Imaging Department so they could do an ultrasound of the lump.  Three weeks later I was seen again.  The doctor and nurse I saw were incredibly lovely and reassuring 🙂  The doctor said it was definitely a cyst and I got to see it on the screen; it was pretty large!!  Then he looked around for any other irregularities but luckily everything was fine.

He then asked if I wanted it aspirated (taking out all the gunk with a fine needle!)  It was entirely my choice but I chose to have it done.  He also gave me the choice if I wanted a local anaesthetic or not (the choice of two needles or one) but as the cyst was pretty deep, he recommended I took the anaesthetic.  I agreed and about 5 minutes later it was all done!  It was a little uncomfortable but not exactly painful.  I then got to see the procedure being done on the ultrasound screen after it was over and the fluid he’d taken out, it was absolutely fascinating!!

Afterwards I felt a bit tired and by breast was a little sore and bruised but there’s nothing further they have to do as the fluid looked completely normal (no blood in it.)  There is a chance I could get more cysts in the future but I can always have them drained again if they get uncomfortable or painful 🙂

Other than the lump, I didn’t have of the other signs of potential breast cancer, but, as the nurse was telling me, so many people have no idea what else to look out for, so I thought I’d share this handy infographic from the Breast Cancer Care website.

My advice is, if you find a lump where there isn’t meant to be one, immediately contact your GP, don’t put it off as leaving it could make whatever it is more difficult to treat. Every year in the UK there will be 55,000 new cases of women being diagnosed with breast cancer (1 in 8) and 550 men.

Do you check yourself regularly? Would you know what to look for? Let me know in the comments below 🙂 x


45 Comments

  1. Holly! Your inspirational as ever, you should be so proud of yourself for choosing to share this story with us considering how it could have gone! Your so brave!

    The infographic was a great share too, i mean i check but i cant confidently say i would have checked for all of those things.

    Great post Holly and im so glad your okay 🙂 ! xx

    1. Thank you Kylie, that’s really sweet 🙂

      I thought I’d include it as most people only know to look for lumps and there are a lot of other symptoms to look for too!! Thank you 🙂 xx

  2. Well done Holly! So great of you to highlight this subject and so pleased to hear it wasn’t anything sinister. I found a lump a few years ago but when the dr checked it she couldn’t feel anything. Felt a bit silly but it’s always best to get checked.

    Glad you’re ok. Must’ve have been a terrible time, but what a relief!!

    Samantha x
    http://thebeautyspyglass.com

  3. Thanks for sharing this post! It’s always good to have reminders to check our bodies for anything that’s out of the ordinary. I’m thankful that it was nothing more sinister for you and that you had a positive experience with seeking help to be able to reassure others – more often than not we just hear the negative stories these days. I hope you’re back to a normal routine with pole dancing again soon!

    1. Thanks for reading 🙂 Yeah, it’s amazing how many people never check anything at all!! I love having friends that I can message and say “I found this thing, is it normal?”

      Thank you so much, I’m really looking forward to getting back into it!!

  4. Holly I really am bursting with pride with this post. I especially love that you said ‘instead of my usual soft and smooth’ because it’s so important for people to know that they’re not just looking for lumps, checking your breasts regularly let’s you know what’s normal so you can spot differences easily.

    I’m so relieved that it was a cyst, and treated quickly. By discussing your diagnosis and treatment you have helped to lessen the fear out of a daunting and confusing time. Well done xxx

    1. Awww thank you so much 🙂 Exactly, the more you check yourself, the more you’ll know what is and isn’t normal for you!!

      I’m incredibly relieved too and I really hope it encourages people to check themselves and go and get things seen to!! xxx

  5. I’m so glad you’re okay! It’s so easy to jump to conclusions and imagine the worst case scenario, but you did the right thing by contacting your GP ASAP. Pleasant clinicians make everything so much easier, even when your mind is going at 100 miles an hour! I’ll definitely be giving myself a more thorough check from now on – and I didn’t realise cysts were common in women over 30, so thanks for the heads up! Xx

  6. So glad you’re okay lovely 💜
    I found a lump just after I stopped breastfeeding and I went into panic mode, because when you’re breastfeeding you’re boobs tend to get swollen and lumpy so you don’t always spot things. It was really, really painful and tender but I remembered about blocked ducts, and apparently they’re quite common when you stop breastfeeding, scary as anything though.
    I’m glad everyone you saw was so helpful and supportive, it makes a world of difference
    Hels xx

  7. See I would absolutely lose my mind with worry if it was me. I do check regularly though so I’d like to think anything I find (and hopefully I’ll never find anything) will be caught early enough. But go you for being so brave and I’m really glad it turned out to be okay! x

    1. The thing is, there’s no point panicking until you know what you’re dealing with. Plus I had none of the other symptoms so I was pretty sertain it was a cyst!! I’m so glad you check regularly 🙂 xxx

  8. So glad that it wasn’t anything too nasty! So brave of you to share your experience and hopefully it will make people more aware and to check themselves more regularly!
    Also.. maybe slightly inappropriate of me to say, but number 7 really made me chuckle! xx

  9. That was my theory this time last year …found a lump n think get it checked out. .it’ll be nothing. ..just check and keep checking. .the earlier things are found and dealt with the better!

      1. Having chemo ..which caused heart failure…that’s under control now with the help of tablets ..it really isn’t nice,but I feel ok in myself and am still here which is the main thing

  10. What a frightening experience, and I am so glad that you’re ok. Thanks for sharing the info about checking the boobs – I am guilty of not doing it enough, so going to rectify that!

  11. So glad you shared this! I have naturally really lumpy boobs which is a right pain as I can never really tell – but I’ve had them checked a couple of times when things have felt odd. It’s always better to be on the cautious side I think! xx

    1. That must be so difficult! I guess it’s just a case of checking all the time to know which lumps are always there and which ones seem new and different xx

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