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Topic: Is tingling, itching around scar a sign of recurrence?

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY — A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only or those posting on behalf of a Stage IV patient. There is a separate forum for Stage IV Caregivers/Family in "Support and Community Connections".

Posted on: Nov 17, 2008 09:51AM

Linora wrote:

Hi,

In 2006 I had a lumpectomy and re-excision to clear the margins.  The second surgery pathology came back great...no cancer at all!!!  I also had 11 lymph nodes removed...all clear.  I'm two years out and just had my annual mammo and check up...everything was fine.  My lumpectomy breast looks just like my healthy breast, except that it hangs slightly higher.  The scar is now almost invisible.  Everything is healed except for a little numbness around the scar and under my arm.

Then suddenly, overnight,  I have severe itching and tingling around the scar and under my arm where the numbness was.  There is no visible irritation and I can't feel a lump, but the discomfort level is bad enough to keep me awake at night.  The only thing that seems to help is rub the area with a bristle brush...I know that sounds crazy but I was getting desperate.  This seems to spread out the tingling and leave me comfortable for a few hours.

I am thinking of making an appointment to see my surgeon.

Linora 

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Nov 17, 2008 10:28AM HeatherBLocklear wrote:

Dear Linora,

It's always a good idea to see your doctors when something new pops up. If nothing else, you'll know what's going on, and have a plan of action if it's needed.

However, this could very well just be part of the normal healing process. I know that whenever I have a sore or a surgery site that starts to mend, it will itch and tingle. This is especially true when nerve damage is involved. It won't itch so badly that I need to use a bristle brush on it, but I do scratch and rub to calm the itching.

Please see your surgeon to be reassured this is just a sign of healing and nerve regeneration. Don't forget a lot of nerves are cut during this type of surgery, and nerves typically take years to heal. But see the doctor anyway!

Love,

Annie

Annie Camel Tail

Dx 2/23/2008, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 17, 2008 10:35AM, edited Nov 17, 2008 10:35AM by Linora

Annie,

Thanx for your quick response...I did go ahead and make an appointment and I'll see my surgeon next week.  I have a feeling it is just the nerves coming back.  I do worry though because my Oncotype test score was very high and put me in a high risk category for recurrence.

In any case, my surgeon is the best and I know I'll be in good hands!! 

Kiss

Lin 

"Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable." George Bernard Shaw.

Dx 10/27/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Nov 17, 2008 10:49AM mrs_X_Sunneedazee wrote:

I have cancer in my breast skin, (Inflammatory breast cancer) so I have a lot of itching and burning.  I hope yours is just some skin irritation, but it is good that you are seeing your doctor.  Good luck!

Every day is a gift...........www.amberchase.weebly.com

Dx 5/10/2007, IBC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 2, 3/5 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 17, 2008 12:07PM wishiwere wrote:

I'm 13 months from my mast and just this winter it seems unusually itchy. I think it's again, the lack of estrogen and the pins/needles of nerves yet regenerating. I hear that can happen for a couple years. Hope it's what you are experiencing too. :(  Good luck and let us know what you find out!

wishiwere~ Path read stage 1C- 1st Primary was IDC w/DCIS 1.4 cm, ER/PR+ & HER2-

Dx 9/21/2007, ILC, 1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 17, 2008 01:06PM ravdeb wrote:

I'm over 3 years since lumpectomy and I have itching in the same area you do. It comes and goes. It's actually numb to some degree so scratchig doesn't really help. I think it's just the nerves. I'm not concerned. But it's good you are seeing your doctor about it...

IDC, 2cm, triple negative, grade 3, node neg

Dx 9/5/2005, IDC, 2cm, Stage Ia, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 17, 2008 05:24PM Isabella4 wrote:

I'm five and a half years out from double mast., and for the last year I have had itching along my scar, on the' bad' side, under my arm only. Under my arm its pretty well numb, but I have a tiny scar from a drain up under my arm, and that too itches. (this little scar is still ever so slightly open, and weeps a little, only a very little,now and then. My drain was in about 5 months, just would not stop running, so it seems that it didn't heal up completely.)

I too have to get out my bristle brush...its the only thing that eases the area. I got this from DD who had severe itching in the latter part of her last pregnancy....she wouldn't go anywhere without her brush, but mine is nowhere as bad as that.

Isabella.

Dx 5/14/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 17, 2008 06:58PM Linora wrote:


Ha...Isabelle, that is so funny about the brush!!!   I was utterly frantic last night.  Tried everything, but the brush worked.   It kind of reminds me how my arm felt week after surgery...it was soooo sensitive and full of nerves.  I couldn't wear normal clothes, only my husband's T-shirts.  Drove me crazy...until one night when he gave me a very thorough massage and that was the end of my troubles.  
 
Well, I am hoping this just means my nerves are coming back.  I didn't like having so much numbness.
 
Linora 

"Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable." George Bernard Shaw.

Dx 10/27/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Nov 17, 2008 07:43PM guitarGrl wrote:

I've had a bit of pain near my scar area for about a week - I can't tell you how happy I am that this thread was started. I've also been noticing for some time a pins & needles effect in the arm on that side, even when nothing was pressing against it.

But ... I went for my first followup mammogram today and it was clear. The tech was great and showed me the pictures of what the scars look like from the inside. She also said they cut a lot of blood vessels, so that might have something to do with it too.

susan 

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 17, 2008 08:05PM LuAnnH wrote:

I had my masectomy 8 years ago and I still have a numbness and irriatating itch that drives me crazy.  This is not mets but I know it can make you crazy!

LuAnn --

Dx 7/2/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 26, 2008 04:52PM Linora wrote:

Well gals..

Got my answer today.  Everything is fine!!!  The tingling and itching around the scar are *normal.*  Nerves do regenerate after a period of time, and a lot of the numbness I have from surgery will go away.

I also told the doctor about the blood vessels that break so easily in my hands and thumb when I sweep or vacuum, the lines of red bruises that follow the veins in my arms and legs occasional, and he says this is from chemo, that the chemo has thinned the vein membranes, and this will improve with time.  But this does not put me at risk for stroke because those are usually arterial (or so I HOPE so!!!)...

Thanks for all your well wishes and I hope this helps those of you who have also been experiencing this problem.

Linora

"Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable." George Bernard Shaw.

Dx 10/27/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+