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"Fat Necrosis" six months ago, but its grown?

Hey everyone, <3

I'm TN IDC Stage 2 diagnosed back in 8/2017 at the age of 28, Chemo, Lumpectomy, Radiation.

Can ya'll talk to me about your experience of Fat necrosis? I want it all. Good bad ugly, info, experience etc.

I am 4 years out from finishing treatment and i just now 6 months ago was told a lump i found in my tumor location was a fat necrosis. In the six months (my next checkup is next week) since i feel like it has gotten larger. And as you can imagine that has my brain going crazy. Any info is great. I don't want sugar coated. Just the truth. I guess my worst fear of course is it was mislabeled and its actually a recurrence. I remeber talking to my surgeon and she had told me that fat necrosis usually shows up between a few months and a year or so after surgery. Has anyone else been told that?

<3 Thank you



  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 752

    Gosh you are so young! Did you have a biopsy of the lump?, or is it just from imaging and Birads 3 come back in 6 months?

    I have/had this and it started about a year post surgery. I also feel that exercising or accidently bumping your breast may cause it. At least that's what I think happened to me. Exercising in a class one day I dropped a weight on there and eventually my imaging was enhancing so had the biopsy and it was fat necrosis. Now it's noted but it is not doing anything The scar or dead tissue I was told can happen at any time. Isn't that wonderful?

    Good luck at your next appt.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 361

    Perhaps this is some help? I found this on-line - "After the area of breast fat necrosis appears, it may increase in size, decrease in size, or stay the same. It may persist for years or may resolve, leaving behind fibrosis and calcifications that may be seen on a mammogram."

    In other words fat necrosis isn't always going to be stagnant. What you are experiencing seems like it could be perfectly normal.

  • turbokitten88
    turbokitten88 Member Posts: 21

    ctmbsikia i did not have a biopsy last time as they told me it was fat necrosis. Im already on a every six month check Mri/Mammogram/Ultrasound rotation due to my age :( I think it bothers me so much that i know for a fact it was not there till six months ago. How are we ever supposed to know what normal is? If it can change at any moment? Radiation chnaged all my skin where i was treated too so nothing feels normal. It always hurts. Sigh. I hate cancer.

  • turbokitten88
    turbokitten88 Member Posts: 21

    kaynotrealname That actually is conforting. Why didnt i find anything like that in my searching? Its so frustrating. Just like. After so many years it should not have major changes like that. But to go from smooth to a lump. Talk about my soul leaving my body the first time i felt it.....cancer is the biggest mind game. And im so sad i will never be able to let this go or not think about it. Its so exhausting.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 361

    What you are describing I think the vast majority of us experience after a breast cancer diagnosis. Unrelenting anxiety. If you are not in counseling I highly recommend it and do not hesitate to treat yourself with psychiatric medication. Yes, unfortunately, this diagnosis isn't short lived. It's just not that type of cancer and for those of us who are still hoping for a long life despite it thanks to being so young when diagnosed it's a world view changing thing. That's not something human beings can handle normally without help. I am both in counseling and take anti-depressants and won't hesitate to do something else if I need to. Life is short even without cancer and needs to be enjoyed. Don't think that you can't have enjoyment and have to remain so fearful. But in regards to your very real and understandable fear over your nodule just remember that other things besides cancer occur frequently. Yes you need to get them checked out but the chances of them actually being something life threatening are not great even after a breast cancer diagnosis. I also know that fat necrosis is pretty easily identified even without a biopsy. If that's what they told you it was, chances are high that they are correct.

  • turbokitten88
    turbokitten88 Member Posts: 21


    Thank you. That hit home. Is it bad that im on meds and in counseling and i am still struggling this hard. I always thought as the years went on i would get less worried when in fact that has not happened at all. With the appointment coming up and then also the "breast cancer awareness month" im just feeling a lot. Other people only understand so much. And is another reason i hang out here more than i probably should honestly. But everyone gets it here. I know i will feel better after my appointments tomorrow and i get the all clear. At least for another 4-5 months. <3

  • meghann422
    meghann422 Member Posts: 3

    Hi @turbokitten88

    Congrats on being 4 years out from treatment! I'm having an opposite problem to you - I just had my lumpectomy a month ago for TN IDC, and now have a large, hard mass on my breast (that is very triggering because it is in the same spot and resembles the original size of my tumor) that my PS dismissed quickly as fat necrosis. Previous info I've read on the topic says fat necrosis typically develops a few months after a trauma - so I was worried that it developed too soon, and may be a recurrence. While googling, I found some info that may put both our minds at ease. From

    "Fat necrosis can be found at any time after breast surgery or an injury. Sometimes it develops without any trauma and many women with fat necrosis do not remember a specific injury."

    As for the general anxiety you're feeling, I'm still in active treatment and have no great advice to give, only to say "I hear you and I'm with you and this sucks." However, on the off chance you didn't already know, I wanted to share that one of the small silver linings (as if anything in the cancer world is a silver lining?) of Triple Negative BC is that, while the TN cancer itself is a beast, your chance of recurrence drastically reduces once you're five years out or more from the disease. Looks like from your bio that you're right around the corner from that milestone. Maybe hitting it will give you a brief moment to exhale?

  • scaredmominmi
    scaredmominmi Member Posts: 14

    Hi all,

    I am so glad I found this threat, because I am now slated for a biopsy to confirm fat necrosis after a lumpectomy I had back in 2020. 6 months ago what appeared to be fat necrosis and/or microcalcifications appeared on my mammogram in the quadrant where I had my lumpectomy. They decided to watch it and I just got back from a 6 month follow up mammogram today. Now I've being sent for a core biopsy next Friday to confirm that it is indeed fat necrosis. This whole situation is unsettling, and I was told that it was more than likely fat necrosis, but I agree with several of you that being called back after going through cancer or cancer scares already is the worst feeling ever. Thinking of you all.