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Topic: Tiny recurrence after mastectomy and radiation -- what's next?

Forum: Just Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastasis —

Meet others who are just facing the diagnosis of a recurrence of breast cancer or metastatic (advanced) disease. You are NOT alone.

Posted on: Dec 8, 2019 08:08AM

Kat104 wrote:

Hi all. I had a left mastectomy 3 years ago followed by radiation due to close margins (<1mm) on the front, outer side, and back. I had very small breasts with three small IDC tumors in the left side and a scattering of DCIS, so I think close margins were unavoidable. I've been on tamoxifen for 2.5 years, starting as soon as radiation completed. Unfortunately I was just diagnosed this past week with a very small recurrence of IDC in a small focus in the "deep dermis" above my implant. I check regularly, and this little peppercorn-sized nodule appeared out of nowhere. I have my implant above the muscle, so it feels like a very thin layer of skin covering it, and the bump was easy to feel. (for what it's worth, it showed as a small shadow using the flashlight test too.) It was 4mm on ultrasound, and pathology said the IDC focus was only 2mm. Still ER/PR positive, HER2 negative. No grade reported. (??) It was an excisional biopsy with negative margins, thank goodness. Two years ago my beloved breast surgeon moved, so I was switched to a general surgeon who I do like as well. But now I don't know what comes next. He is going to a conference "soon" and will consult with colleagues there and get back to me, but I have no idea when to expect his next call.

I know 2mm is teeny tiny, but it's scary that it started growing again. I assume my HT will be switched, but I don't know if anything else will be recommended. Have any of you had a similar recurrence? Did you have any treatment for it if it was removed with negative margins? The surgeon said since I had radiation before, I likely won't be able to have it again. I want to ask for at least a breast MRI, since the implant is above the muscle, and I have no way of knowing if any additional nodules started growing behind it. And does this warrant any full-body scans? I'm a little nervous of being somewhat dismissed since it's so small, but what if it started growing elsewhere? I am much stiffer nowadays (and only in my 30s, ha), but I chalked that up to tamoxifen. I do have rib pain, but it's been uncomfortable since reconstruction, so I assume that's from the surgeries there and perhaps radiation too. I just hate that fear is creeping back in. :(

I would appreciate any sharing of similar stories including if you had additional treatment or scans as a result. Thank you!

Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Dx 12/2019, IDC, Left, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Mar 18, 2020 09:24AM GraceB1 wrote:

Mudstick - Thanks for asking. I'm doing well. I finally got my first set of injections yesterday. I had to wait for the pre-approval to come through. I got there early and got put in quarantine with a mask on. It took 40 minutes for them to decide if I was going to be let into an exam room because I had gone to Virginia (out of state) for my DGD's first birthday. We left on Thursday before the s*** hit the fan. The shots were fine. The nurse said she had taken the faslodex out of the refrigerator as soon as I checked in at the front desk. No side effects so far. I have an appointment in two weeks to see if I get more radiation and another shot. I doubt it as I have lung damage from the first time and a pulmonary embolism last year. Now I just need to survive being cooped up for the foreseeable future seeing nobody but my doctors and family. They're not going to let me do the grocery shopping. I start to go stir crazy after 3 days at home. Wish me luck.

Grace B I'm just special - primary neuroendocrine, less than .001% of all breast cancers. Start each day with gratitude. Dx 6/10/2013, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/12/2013 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/8/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 2/12/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 3/4/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 5/18/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 1/29/2020, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 24, 2020 09:33AM Mudstick wrote:

GraceB1 - Good Luck!!! Sorry for the late response. I hope you are hanging in there and not going too stir crazy (yet). Have you had your appointment to see whether you do more shots or radiation?

I'm feeling squirlly at home, trying to work while my school aged kids are here needing direction and home schooling!! I'm also struggling to work...my anxiety and all the uncertainty with covid and treatment plans are making concentrating very difficult to say the least. I'm not allowed to go grocery shopping either :-)



Dx at 43 (2018) with multi-focal IDC (1.7cm largest) + microinvasive DCIS 7.5 cm. LVI + Positive Anterior Margin for DCIS. Local Recurrence February 2020 Dx 9/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/11/2018 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 2/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
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Mar 25, 2020 06:17PM GraceB1 wrote:

Just to make my life more interesting I fell in a pot hole Sunday while ona walk and broke my arm. I couldn't get up and needed an ambulance to get to the hospital. I get a CT scan on Monday to make sure it's not displaced. Tues is the RO appointment and second set of shots. Wed is my annual physical or my primary physician won't refill my meds. So much for staying home during the quarantine. I hope life is going better for all of you.

Grace B I'm just special - primary neuroendocrine, less than .001% of all breast cancers. Start each day with gratitude. Dx 6/10/2013, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/12/2013 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/8/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 2/12/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 3/4/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 5/18/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 1/29/2020, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 27, 2020 08:04AM Mudstick wrote:

GraceB1 - I'm so sorry to hear about your fall :-( I hope you aren't too painful and everything heals well. What an ordeal!! Just what you needed...more stress :-( I hope the CT scan is clear!

Dx at 43 (2018) with multi-focal IDC (1.7cm largest) + microinvasive DCIS 7.5 cm. LVI + Positive Anterior Margin for DCIS. Local Recurrence February 2020 Dx 9/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/11/2018 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 2/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)

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