Together we will beat cancer


Scared every single day about getting cancer, need advice

9 Nov 2019 11:48



I am 26 years old and I have been for two breast examinations including an ultrasound screening, I cant get a mammogram or anything else as I'm too young for that screening. I find it very difficult to self exam as i already have a few movable lumps in both breasts, these have been not a cause for concern by the last breast surgeon I went to see, but even he agreed that it would be hard for me to self exam, so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do except every couple of months go to the same guy for a breast examination to make sure theres nothing changer or concerning.

I recently was told by a genetics consultant that I probrably wouldn't need early screening. My mum had breast cancer at 41 and the only other person in my family is my great great gran, she died of breast cancer in her thirties, with all that info I was still told that I couldn't get tested genetically unless there was a known gene in my family. However, I recently found out that my mums gran died from bowel cancer in her 60's, I just feel like all of these are linked to some kind of gene and I'm terrified I have it and never know about it. My dads dad had bladder cancer at 59 but I'm not massively concerned about that as that's the only case of cancer in his family. I have emailed back the genetics place with that new information


Does that count as a strong family history? 

On my mums dads side:

My mum - 41 breast cancer 

My great gran - 60+ bowel cancer 

My great great gran - breast cancer early 30s

On my mums mums side there is no cancer

On my dads side there is only one case of bladder cancer diagnosed over 50.


I'm really struggling and this is worrying me every day. Does that count as strong history? Is my plan to go back every two months to get examined ok as I dont know what to look for myself? Any advice is much appreciated 





Scared every single day about getting cancer, need advice

9 Nov 2019 12:59 in response to Nats1505

Hi Nat

Sadly only experts in the field of cancer will be able to tell you whether your family history is "strong" history.  

I have been told I have strong history, my mother, maternal grandmother, sister, two maternal aunts all had breast cancer and last month I was diagnosed too.  It is all males on my fathers side and the family are not close so we have no idea from them.

All I can say is get yourself checked as often as they suggest (it seems two monthly from your post above), at least you will know quickly then if there are any changes.

Sincerely wishing you all the very, very best.  Rosie   


Scared every single day about getting cancer, need advice

9 Nov 2019 14:10 in response to Nats1505

Hi Nat, 

Did your mother's cancer have a genetic component? Cancer is caused by many things and you would only be likely to have BRCA if your mum has it.

Regardless, your risk at 26 remains low and all you can be offered is regular screenings. There is no scientific evidence that self exam increases survival rates.

Maybe CBT or another form of therapy might be helpful to deal with anxiety. We all have a lifetime risk of cancer and other diseases and we have to learn to live with it as best we can x

Scared every single day about getting cancer, need advice

9 Nov 2019 14:25 in response to Kajena

Thanks for the replies I really appreciate it

She was never offered to be tested and I am unsure if she carries the gene.


All I know is that her mum and dad never had cancer, nor have her brothers and she has no sisters.


Her gran on her dads side had bowel cancer aged 60+ and her great gran had breast cancer in her thirties. 


So, to me from my point of view (family to me)

Mums dads side:

My great great gran - breast cancer in 30's

My great gran- bowel cancer 60+

No cancer in my grandpa or his brother (they were the only children from my great great gran)

My mum - breast cancer at 41 


My mums mums side:

No cases of cancer 


My dads dads side

My papa - bladder cancer aged 59

My great aunt - pancreatic cancer in her eighties 



Natalie x