If you notice a new lump in your breast, it is normally safe to wait until you have completed your cycle to see if it disappears. If the lump remains, then you should see a doctor. Your doctor will refer you to a breast clinic for assessment. You should not wait until lockdown is finished.
Is the health service still seeing patients with a breast lump during the pandemic?
Yes. Both the NHS and private hospitals are still working to see patients with breast lumps during the pandemic. In fact, many private hospitals are helping to see and treat patients to keep them separate from people with Covid-19. If you have a persistent lump then you need to be examined. The doctor or surgeon will then organise some simple tests- usually an ultrasound (jelly scan) and/or a mammogram (breast X-ray). If needed, you can have a needle test (biopsy) of the breast lump on the same day.
What happens if I wait until after things return to normal?
Nobody knows exactly when the health service will return to normal. It may be a long time before we feel like life is back to the way it was. Unfortunately, if a breast cancer goes undiagnosed and untreated it can spread to other parts of the body. Once breast cancer has spread it is harder to treat.
Can I still get breast cancer treatment during the pandemic?
Absolutely, yes. The health service is keeping going with all of the main treatments that might be required for breast cancer: surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It can be a really worrying thing to think about but if breast cancer is found early it can be treated successfully. Survival after treatment for early stage breast cancer is excellent. Many women are cured and go on to live long and happy lives. Don’t ignore a new breast lump.