Topic: Any advice, same breast 2 yrs later, small nodule near surface

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: Jun 10, 2022 08:31PM

Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 08:31PM

happyhiker1 wrote:

So 2 yrs after my stage 1 left breast cancer treated with partial mastectomy and radiation daily for 3 weeks, to my surprise what seemed like a minor small nodule in same left breast, was just found cancerous. My Dr says surface ones like this tend to be aggressive, I am afraid to search the internet to confirm this. Just last Dec my mammo and ultrasound said everything was fine. I noticed the tiny lump very recently and wouldn't have brought it to the attn of the Dr, but she noticed it last week during the 6 month check up. So she has prescribed a CT and bone scan, says I cannot escape those to see if there are traces elsewhere in my body, and I certainly hope not. 2 yrs ago there was no trace in my lymph nodes, so again I am surprised that it seems to have come back. Does that mean small cells somehow remained after the tumor was removed? She says that this means I will have to have a full mastectomy of that breast after the scans. This is a big shock, after 2 years of thinking I had escaped after that first cancer diagnosis and treatment. I had also had the genetic test that indicated I was not at a high risk.

Does anyone have a similar reoccurrence experience, or a cancer diagnosed from a small nodule close to the skin surface?

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Jun 10, 2022 10:00PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

happy hiker,

I’m sorry you find yourself back in bc world. I can only address a small part of your post.

- Breast cancer cells can travel through the blood stream as well as the lymphatic system. It’s also possible that a stray cell escaped your original tx. Neither of these scenarios is super common but neither are they unheard of.

- I have a family history of bc and I belong to an ethnic group that has a higher likelihood of having BRCA genes than the general population. I have been tested for over 30 gene mutations and nothing has come up so far. There may be other genes related to bc that simply haven’t been found yet. Those diagnosed with bc as a result of genetic mutations are in the minority, 15-20%, despite what most folks believe.

Hoping for an easy time for you and take care

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 11, 2022 01:49AM parakeetsrule wrote:

Recurrences are pretty common unfortunately. Treatment is never a guarantee that the cancer is gone. Hopefully your scans show no cancer anywhere else! And sorry you've found yourself back in cancer land again :(
Stage 2 at 37, Stage 4 at 41. Cancer is dumb. Cookies are good. Dx 3/21/2017, IDC, Left, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/15/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 12/8/2021 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 12/13/2021 Piqray (alpelisib) Dx IDC, Other, Stage IV, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 28, 2022 03:07PM happyhiker1 wrote:

I am trying to find statistics on local recurrences and can't seem to find any. I've heard that it is fairly rare and that it is relatively common.

I don't see any precise info at any of the breast cancer medical websites.

Many thanks if anyone has sources where I could find this info.

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Jun 28, 2022 05:14PM moth wrote:

happyhiker, you can use this site for recurrence stats

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External Local Metastases 3/3/2021 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 1/1/2022 Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) Chemotherapy 6/1/2022 Other
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Jun 30, 2022 11:28PM - edited Jun 30, 2022 11:43PM by racy

Happyhiker, yes it is a big shock but take one step at a time.

I want to mention that I recently saw a post here about the possibility of being able to avoid a mastectomy in the case of a second cancer if you are over 55 and depending on the characteristics of the new cancer. I don't know if you are in this age group but wanted to mention it anyway.

Here is the link:

Wishing you the best possible outcome.

Dx 2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2022 01:19AM graceb1 wrote:

i had a recurrence 2 years ago in the scar line of my mastectomy - 5 years after my mastectomy. I had all the tests run again but a simple lumpectomy was all that was need. That and going back on a AI. I had a repeat PET two months ago and all is clear.

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+, FISHISHCISH Chemotherapy 7/12/2013 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/8/2014 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; 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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Jul 1, 2022 09:11PM happyhiker1 wrote:

Thanks all for your feedback and comments. My scan results don't show spreading so I am grateful for that. It will have to be a total mastectomy since there is skin involvement, apparently potentially problematic ac to my surgeon. And depending on whether she can find a sentinal node to examine, might have to have all nodes removed. Not sure how there could still be a sentinal node, when she removed 8 nodes the first time around (2.5 yrs ago with lumpectomy).

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Jul 1, 2022 09:55PM exbrnxgrl wrote:


The sentinel node is simply the first node to show an uptake of blue dye or radioactive tracer. It is not different than other axillary lymph nodes it’s just at the “top”, closest to breast tissue and where the tracer/dye is likely to drain first. I am not an expert nor do I have medical training but my guess would be that the remaining node or nodes that are closest to the breast tissue have now become you sentinels. Sentinel just means watchman so any node that’s first in line is now your sentinel.You still have remaining nodes so those will be what are biopsied. If I am barking up the wrong tree, I hope someone will correct me.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 3, 2022 01:47AM happyhiker1 wrote:

Many thanks exbrnxgrl for the very clear explanation about sentinel nodes! I wish my surgeon had been as clear; knowing that it is the tracer that indicates the sentinel makes it all much more understandable (something the surgeon didn't mention). So I guess if the tracer doesn't show up in any nodes then that is what she was explaining, that she would have to remove all the nodes for examination. I hope the tracer finds a sentinel!

Again, many thanks for taking the time to explain this!

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