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All TopicsForum: Moving Beyond Cancer → Topic: AFTER Lumpectomy - self breast exams

Topic: AFTER Lumpectomy - self breast exams

Forum: Moving Beyond Cancer — Getting on with the rest of your life, from rediscovering intimacy to coping with hot flashes.

Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 10:14AM

Shayne wrote:

I have always been diligent about self breast exams.  

But now I feel a bit lost - my breast does not feel the same and actually feels like it changes a lot.  I have no idea what normal feels like in this breast.  

Just wondering if there are others who feel this way after lumpectomy, and what did you do?  thanks!

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Posts 1 - 9 (9 total)

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Dec 1, 2012 12:58PM Shayne wrote:

bump

I am not a doctor, scientist or expert. My comments are based on my own experience with my own individual diagnosis. Do your own research, get a second opinion, choose the best professionals/specialists and be your own health care advocate!

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Dec 2, 2012 12:55AM ruthbru wrote:

I found my tumor in a self-exam. It felt like an eraser, and I knew, for sure, that something was wrong. So when I'm checking now, that is the same thing I'm feelng for.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche

Dx 2/2007, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 13, 2012 11:39PM ToriGirl wrote:

I'm with you Shayne....I wonder the same thing. I had radiation so things feel so different in that breast than the unaffected one. It's hard to explain....things feel tighter in the breast that had the lumpectomy and the other breast is so not tight...just more loose....I wish I had a bit more guidance.

"Sorrow carves the opening for joy later..."

Dx 6/4/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 24, 2013 11:43PM ToriGirl wrote:

Bump

"Sorrow carves the opening for joy later..."

Dx 6/4/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 5, 2013 01:19PM ChemicalWorld wrote:

I struggled a lot with this one since surgery.  And in the couple of months after radiation, I was constantly finding stuff in there that was just regular breast tissue.  Everything was lumpy.  And then I'd think I'd find something in my good breast, and have nothing to compare it to on the cancer side because half my breast tissue was gone. Ask me how many times I've felt a rib or what not and nearly leapt up out of my chair. It's nerve wracking.  I admit I wasnt so good with SBE's before surgery, but I did find my lump myself, and I knew. 

My radiation oncologist told me that things would continue to shift and change in the radiated breast for a good while after treatment.  I guess what we mostly have to look for are major changes, things that don't move around when you push around on them.  I try to do a breast exam shortly after my mammo when I know things are good, and try to use that as my baseline.

One thing that sucked for me though was when I told my then-therapist during a discussion about trusting doctors with BE's and myself for SBE's that I was afraid I was going to forget what my lump had felt like and she gave me this "oh come on now" look and to my recollection even said something along those lines. I was not impressed. Sorry, but that was and is a legitimate fear for me, that I'll forget and not notice something similar.  I mean the lump I did have practically jumped up and bit me before I finally got around to noticing it. 

Dx 9/28/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 10/13/2010 Lumpectomy (Right)Chemotherapy 12/06/2010 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracil, TaxotereRadiation Therapy 05/04/2011 ExternalHormonal Therapy 07/07/2011 Tamoxifen
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Feb 5, 2013 01:47PM BilateralBeauties wrote:

I was bilateral at diagnosis. One found on mammogram and one found on pre-op MRI. My breasts have both been through radiation now and I have no idea what normal is. I am almost avoiding them, because if I start checking, I lose my mind. Everything feels abnormal. I did have a followup bilateral MRI in November that gave me peace of mind, but I haven't checked them since. I'm hoping I can count on the six month screening. This is an interesting topic and not one well addressed anywhere. BSE after radiation.

Dx 8/23/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 09/07/2011 Lumpectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Both)Chemotherapy 10/13/2011 Cytoxan, TaxotereRadiation Therapy 01/09/2012 ExternalHormonal Therapy 03/09/2012 Tamoxifen
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Feb 5, 2013 02:24PM gillyone wrote:

I really don't worry too much about SBEs. I certianly don't do a thorough systematic exam. I see my oncologist twice a year and he checks. I have mammos and my PCP checks once a year when I have my physical. So if I spread out the visits, I feel pretty well covered.

Dx 6/5/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 9/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 8, 2013 09:55PM ToriGirl wrote:

Thanks for posting you all...I like that we are getting feedback and different opinions on it...Maybe we will get a few more!

Take care,

Tori

"Sorrow carves the opening for joy later..."

Dx 6/4/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 8, 2013 10:43PM fifthyear wrote:

Yes, SBEs after lumpectomy is problematic for me. I had internal radiation, so there are THINGS inside that breast, this and that, that were created during the five days nuking. I still do it but it certainly not normal. 

Dx 2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Radiation Therapy Internal