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Red spot

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Debated which forum to ask about this. About 2 1/2 weeks after my exchange surgery I noticed a small red mark on my breast (about 1 to 1.5 cm in diameter). It is not near nipple (I had nipple sparing) or incision (inframammary fold). About 3 o’clock position. Went from completely clear skin to noticing this mark. No other inflammation, no fever. It doesn’t hurt or itch but not sure anything would because I have no feeling. It feels slightly harder underneath if you press but the mark is not really a raised bump like an insect bite/pimple/boil/cyst although you can feel a difference in skin texture if you run your finger over it. It doesn’t blanch except at the edges. Not ulcerated. Not an open wound. It’s easy to gauge size and change/lack of change because I have a normal freckle nearby. At first thought maybe I unknowingly hit it and it was a bruise but truly didn’t give it much thought. Pointed it out at my next follow up (5 weeks post op). No idea what it was but put me on antibiotics. No change. Told me to use an antibiotic ointment on it. This made it darker but otherwise no change in size. Followed up 2 weeks later. Still no idea what this is. Stopped antibiotic ointment which made the skin peel a little on the mark but otherwise no change in size. I have a previously scheduled appt with my oncologist next week and my PS forwarded photos to him and surgical oncologist (same office) and they said they want to biopsy it. Of course, they haven’t even seen it in person yet. I hope when they do they say “oh, that’s just x.” I have not seen a dermatologist. I really was not all that concerned until a biopsy was mentioned (curious but not worried and kept thinking it would go away as quickly as it appeared and hopeful it still does but I look first thing every morning and it’s still there). I have googled and stuck photos in AI imaging, etc and nothing comes up that looks remotely like this or that would stick around without getting bigger or smaller for 5 1/2 weeks. Sorry that was a very long explanation but has anyone ever had something like this?

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  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 517
    edited August 2023
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    Hi pjc5399,

    I didnt have a red mark like the one you described. But I am almost 6 years post diagnosis, and in my experience, any new mark or lump in the cancer area or nearby will be checked thoroughly, taken seriously, categorized and biopsied, as it should be. Given our history, everyone will be super cautious. Gone are the days of "oh, that's just x". Most of these scares turn out to be benign findings, so the numbers are with you.

    I just had a little lump removed in an excitional biopsy, turned out to be benign -fat necrosis. The fear and anxiety almost brought me to my knees. Your comment "I have googled and stuck photos in AI imaging, etc " is something I can relate to, sounds like you are worrying. In your feet, I would try to deploy any anti-anxiety strategies that work for you, until you get the biopsy and its results. Organize activities that will keep you busy, exercise, meds, limit the time to worry and search online….

    Best of luck -hoping for benign results for you. You are not alone. We all go through these scares periodically.

    LaughingGull

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,062
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    Hi @pjc5399 , I haven't had a strange skin lesion on a reconstructed breast but I have had several skin punch biopsies. They are not too bad, easier than a core needle biopsy. Your skin is numbed and a small circular needle takes a sample a couple of mm deep. Once they had to put a stitch in but the other times the area was just bandaged. I had to wait 48 hours before showering and a week to 10 days before taking a bath or swimming but it was pretty pain free. Unless it's something common (which this doesn't seem to be) going to a dermatologist would not make much difference because he would follow the protocol your doctors already have. Antibiotics and antibiotic cream usually make a difference if it is a simple infection. Cortisone and antifungal creams are sometimes tried if they suspect it might be inflammation or a fungus. A biopsy should give you the quickest answer.

    I hope it turns out to be something inconsequential which is easy to treat. Let us know how it turns out.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
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    I had a fungating tumor (somewhat rare here) which my oncologist prescribed antibiotics for. I went through three rounds of antibiotics before anyone suggested a biopsy or scan. Eventually the small bump was joined by two others. Finally got my diagnosis and went with radiation, which completely cleared up the lesions.

    It's good that your medical team is concerned (although I hope your red spot is found to have a simple, noncancer cause).

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
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  • pjc5399
    pjc5399 Member Posts: 32
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    LaughingGull…I’m actually not too worked up about it. I didn’t even photograph it for the first 2.5 weeks (stupid!), that how unconcerned I was at first. The exchange surgery was so easy and I had otherwise had no issues and felt fabulous (still do). Last week when they said they were stumped and wanted to biopsy it, that did give me pause and got me researching (which is my normal thing, I research everything for everyone). Of course, the last time I was completely unconcerned about a biopsy and thought they were overreacting, I ended up here. I did finally find a photo of a dermatofibroma that looks very similar so maybe that’s what it is. Hopefully, I’ll have an answer in a week.
    Maggie15…thanks. I was kinda wondering how they do a biopsy with a prepectoral implant. I guess the answer is very carefully!
    ninetwelve…not something I had heard of! Hope you are doing well. ❤️

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,062
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    pjc5399, A shave biopsy where a bit is taken off the top with a blade is another option. I had a few of those also and the bleeding was stopped using electrical cauterization. I guess having spent summers as a open water lifeguard in my youth is why I've had so many. All except one were benign and the SSC lesion was easily treatable by excision. I hope you get good results!

  • pjc5399
    pjc5399 Member Posts: 32
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    Just an update. Had my appt on Monday and got another “hmmm, no idea what that is.” Didn’t think it was anything concerning though so gave me the option to continue watching it and come back in another two weeks or biopsy it right then. I had her biopsy it. What’s another scar on my breast? I will post again with results when I get them. I have an appt to remove stitch on Monday but hopefully I hear before then.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,062
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    Hi pjc5399, It was a good idea to have the biopsy so you can end the stress of watching and waiting. Those skin biopsy scars tend to fade pretty well with time. Here's hoping for benign!

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 517
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    Hi jcp

    Thanks for the update. Hopefully, this will come back as benign, and you won’t need to even think about it at all anymore. Even if you weren’t worried, it will be nice to get that confirmation.

    Best of luck,

    LaughingGull

  • pjc5399
    pjc5399 Member Posts: 32
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    Biopsy back. Still no good explanation but it’s not a malignancy.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
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    Thanks for updating. So glad it's not malignant!

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,062
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    Good to hear the spot is not malignant even if they are not sure what it is.

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 517
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    Excellent news!