Lump On Boob

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Barmaid | 19:54 Wed 22nd Sep 2021 | Body & Soul
29 Answers
I saw a good friend earlier who told me she has had a large lump come up on her boob. It is partly on her nipple and partly underneath the nipple and is about 1.5 inches in diameter. It is very painful. It is not visible (no skin puckering/orange peel etc) and feels soft but firm (I felt it - she's my mate, this is not something odd, this is about 2 girls trying to figure something out).

I thought it felt cyst like (I have had cysts myself) and the fact that it is sudden and painful made me hope it was just a cyst. I felt that it might be fluid filled that would either burst or subside. The sudden onset and the pain made me think it was unlikely to be the big C - although naturally she needs it seeing to urgently.

She has been trying to get an appointment to see her doctor, but they are not doing face to face appointments at the moment. It has been suggested to her that she go to the minor injuries unit but there is a 10 hour wait there and she has three kids and an immobile partner who is due to have surgery tomorrow. I do not think it really falls into the "minor injuries" category anyway. Its either a cyst or something more serious. She is 39.

I have informed her she needs to create a fuss to be seen asap, but in the meantime, can anyone help me reassure her, please? Particularly those with medical knowledge.

I'm a bit screwed up over this since a good mate of mine nearly lost his wife to breast cancer and I only just heard it has come back.


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I am sorry, no advice re the actual cyst, but could she contact the out of hours gp or walk in clinic?
Hi BM, I've no medical knowledge but have been and am going through this treatment for Breast cancer right now, the one thing I know when I have the lumps, is, the lumps or pre diagnosis never has pain, a surgeon oncologist once told me, that the mass itself doesn't cause pain, it is all the treatment after to remove it, that said, I would advise anyone with any change in their breast get it checked out, just to rule out the big C as you say, and get a definite diagnosis of a cyst or whatever - I do hope she gets seen to soon and it is just as you suspect, a cyst. if they happen to her on a regular basis, tell her to keep note, could be hormonal. Best of luck to her x
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Redhelen - the GP's phone lines are currently down - which is why I suspect the walk in centres etc are so over subscribed. I'd go over there (she is 40 odd miles from me) and deal with her kids/partner, but I have back to back Court hearings that I cant get out of.

Ducksie - thank you. I had no idea you were going through that, but thank you so much for posting. I wish you the absolute best for a good outcome. xx
Bite the bullet and go to A and E in order to get a diagnosis and someone to look at it because that needs a proper examination and not a zoom call
Someone will have to sit with her kids and partner but she has to go
Thank you BM, and the very best of luck to your friend, she has an awful lot on her plate with her partner and everything. I do hope she gets in somewhere soon to be seen
>>> She has been trying to get an appointment to see her doctor, but they are not doing face to face appointments at the moment.

Perhaps her GP's surgery operates the same system as my local one does? Lots of people are saying that they're not offering face-to-face appointments but that's not entirely true; it's simply that many people around here haven't worked out how the new system operates yet.

The system here is that patients go online and report their symptoms to their doctor using the eConsult form. The doctor might then decide that there's no need to speak to the patient at all and simply get a receptionist to forward a message, for example saying that there's a prescription awaiting collection at the on-site pharmacy. Alternatively he/she might phone the patient to discuss the symptoms in more detail and then (and only then) invite the patient to attend the surgery if he/she thinks that a physical examination is necessary.

i.e. the new system is that the reception team will NEVER give a patient an appointment for a face-to-face consultation (and will NEVER will do so in future either). It's only the doctor who will offer such appointments and only AFTER an initial REMOTE consultation has taken place. (That doesn't necessarily mean a long wait though. I've used eConsult at tea-time on one day, to be phoned by the doctor before 10am the next day and then offered a face-to-face appointment at noon on the same day).

So perhaps your friend needs to seek a REMOTE consultation in the first instance, which will then quickly lead to a face-to-face appointment? (It certainly wouldn't do any harm to try anyway).
From what you have described it is extremely unlikely to be malignant.
Almost certainly a cyst dueto a blocked duct.

Has the swelling got a blueish hue?

Google Bluedomed Cyst of Bloodgood.

Contact your GP for a routine consultation.

No big deal
Hi Barmaid, if your friend has to go down the Econsult path, are you able to take a picture of this lump (use her phone)? She can then add it to the Econsult 'form'. I have to say that we are now booking more F2F appointments for our patients, and any breast lumps (or similar) are always seen by a doctor in the surgery. I am quite dismayed that some GPs (and receptionists), are not allowing patients actual F2F appointments. When I started this job earlier this year, I was told that our job is to do whatever is best for our patients, clearly not all GP practices follow this route.
In her position, I would be extremely *** off at being unable to see anyone medical. She has an unexplained lump. I would go private . Some breast cancers are painful .
Ducksie, best wishes with your treatment ,.
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Thank you all. All have given useful advice and reassurance.

No Sqad, no bluish tinge, but I presume if it is a new cyst it may not be full yet so as to show with the tinge.

She is under orders to fill out her econsult thing and then create hell until she actually gets someone to see her.

My friend had a painful breast cyst and was told by GP it was mastitis. After a double mastectomy she died of secondary (bone) cancer. She needs to get it checked urgently.
Buenchio - What happens at your GP Surgery if a person does not have access to a computer etc? Some very elderly people do not have computers or mobile phones. My neighbours (both sides) are elderly gentlemen with no family nearby and neither has a computer etc. There are bound to be people out there all over the UK like this. Surely they must have some sort of system to cover them?? One system never fits all. Barmaid I hope your friend gets to see a GP/Consultant soon, very best wishes.
>>> What happens at your GP Surgery if a person does not have access to a computer etc?

You simply phone the surgery and a receptionist then completes an eConsult form on your behalf.
Thank you
We have the same system as Chris has described and it works very well. I have had several face to face appointments within two days, during Covid,using this system. Receptionists do not make appointments but they fill in the relevant forms for people who can't or don't want to use computers.

Barmaid. If it were me I would go to a and e, and expect a long wait. I hope your friend will be ok.
Our doctors surgery doesn’t have this face to face /e system yet and you can’t see a doctor for love nor money! It’s phone consultations only, unless you’re brave enough to physically turn up at the surgery, press the buzzer outside to see the receptionist and cause enough stroppiness for her to go and speak to the doctor who is inside and see if he will actually see you!
do we know the age?
it's so peculiar - my husband was given a telephone consultation on monday for a nebulous problem with our daughter that's been going on for years, (Ie NOT urgent IMO) and she has a face to face appt on friday! yet people with breast lumps cant get seen.
39 Peter.

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