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Waiting on biopsy results and imaging tomorrow...

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Last weekend (the 22nd) I developed painless, non-itching skin changes (redness, flat and kind of spotty) over the site where my tumor was with a spread counterclockwise around about 1/2 of my breast into the inframammary fold. I had a regular follow up appointment with my MO last Tuesday and brought it up. I had a surveillance appointment with my BSO on Thursday, and the MO wanted me to get a punch biopsy while there. After googling terms related to that I was totally freaked out. I felt better after my BSO appointment where I did get the biopsy when I learned she thought it was related to radiation and vascular. Very strange that I've been the owner of two color matching breasts for the past year (post rads changes were healed by this time last year) and that this suddenly popped up.

The BSO said she has seen this one other time and that the change went away as fast as it arose. She thought it was related to radiation. Nonetheless, she is following all best practices and I'm going for an ultrasound and mammogram on that breast tomorrow morning.

I thought I'd be calmer about this sort of situation, and mostly I've been okay, but at the BSO, my blood pressure was non-typically sky high.

And the MO put me on a round of steroids, so in addition to being worried, I'm also grumpy and impatient as I get on steroids. I'll update here with findings as I hear them.

Comments

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 226
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    I had a similar thing about a year and a half ago. The change popped up overnight more than 3 years after finishing radiation. I had a biopsy at that time, which turned out to be scarring of various kinds, and then six months later another biopsy after my MRI, which revealed more scarring. It was all related to the radiation and surgery, but the waiting and testing and waiting were incredibly stressful. I’m glad you’ll have answers soon.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 336
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    So strange! There isn’t a lot written about this kind of occurrence, and it is stressful, but great to hear I’m not the only one having a sudden pop up. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 336
    edited November 2023
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    Mammogram and ultrasound were uneventful this morning. No results officially, but I was released without a biopsy appointment or any discussion. They said MO would have the results tomorrow.

    Ultrasound tech said that in 34 years she'd never seen skin changes like mine. I think they are fading/resolving. Not sure if the Medrol pack has helped or just time.

    The mammographer made an a comment that they don't even necessarily do ultrasounds on lumpectomy patients as everything is so distorted, which made me feel confused. With heterogeneously dense tissue, mammography is already compromised, so what the heck?

    I should get pathology tomorrow also. Not sure if I've been disabled from online path results or if there is a patient portal issue with pathology as I can't even see my old info from 2022 though all the radiology and microbiology are visible. I called the IT help desk and they were…unhelpful.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 336
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    All is well! Radiology was Birads 2 - Benign. I go back for my regularly scheduled programming in February. (They only looked at the colorful left side this time).

    Pathology came back with Benign Vascular Telangiectasia, Extravasated Erythrocytes, and Reactive Dermal Changes. It's already about 80% resolved visually. Don't know if the steroids helped or not. The stitch came out today.

    Not sure what triggered it, likely something to do with the radiated skin, but I'm glad to see it going away and to know it's not cancer.

    So we can happily add this to the "it wasn't cancer" stories.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 852
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    Good news! These are the stories we all like to hear.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,900
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    Awesome news, @sarahmaude!

  • 70charger
    70charger Member Posts: 591
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    10 yrs out, have always had RRD (radiation recall dermatitis).Punch biopsy confirmed. Radiated area is always light red. Can be triggered by meds, heat or sunshine. Goes Very red with sunshine or even too many clothes in the winter. Very rare, hardly any info on the web. But it happens

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 226
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    So glad, saramaude! Those are all different big words from the ones on my 2 reports last year — who knew there could be so many different kinds of scarring? 70charger, thanks for sharing your experience. I agree that there's not much info out there, and even my experienced PAs at the cancer center always comment on my pink spot — which sounds different again from what you have — in a way that makes me feel like I must be some kind of outlier. So, it must be fairly uncommon.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 336
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    @70charger that is really interesting! I'm really surprised there aren't more publications on this phenomena. Everything I found in journal articles was scary…even the benign conditions were sclerotic and could result in my breast withering away. Mine has been absent except for this flareup, and now it's gone. I did have both a flu and COVID booster two weeks prior, so maybe my immune system triggered this. I wish I could remember what my breast looked like during rads and where it there was a rash, but I can't imaging this is anything else. I think it's also so strange that it had absolutely no change in feeling associated…no itch, burn, or pain. But I've no complaints about that!

    Most of what I found published related radiation dermatitis or erythema was contemporaneous to the rads. I had that! I will say that the new skin in my inframammary fold that replaced the moist desquamation was untouched by the "rash." I wish I'd taken photos of this flareup. As far as the terminology in my path report, the teleangiectasia translates to spider veins. What was biopsied did look like that, but that vein has disappeared.

    @purplecat I've lived life being an outlier in a lot of ways, and some of these examples are positive, but this is one I'd prefer not to be. But I'm really not complaining. I got great response to my concerns and answers from my medical team within a week of bringing it up. And it seems to be benign and harmless. So on we go!

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206
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    I saw there here posts here with names I like remember, so here I am. What I will add under the "I wish i had pictures" is this.

    I have dozens of breast pictures during my journey. The first time by the plastics doctor who took the before picture, I thought "What". He also took one to mark what he would do, after I had my first side removed and an expander put in. Another number during the check up, so the MO office and plastics team could verify the healing. In my second surgery to remove both with implants, I ended up with a hematoma. Again, I posted pictures to the portal. If i had a problem in the 2 months after the 2nd surgery, I posted pictures in my portal.

    It was always nice for them to check and say all in person looks good. I will add though, that with all the backing up of our computers one of my "boob" pictures popped up. Also, my bald hair with old man wisps i took 2 years ago. My portals COH pictures are probably safer and more private, then the ones I took!!!