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All TopicsForum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After → Topic: Soreness and hard lump in breast after lumpectomy

Topic: Soreness and hard lump in breast after lumpectomy

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Nov 14, 2007 09:26PM - edited Nov 14, 2007 09:26PM by jean5414

jean5414 wrote:

Help- Is  tenderness and soreness common after a lumpectomy? (3 wks ago) Concerned re very firm lump in breast, that does not seem to be getting better. Will it just dissolve? Thanks.

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Nov 15, 2007 12:04AM Marie853 wrote:

I have no soreness but still have hard scar tissue 4 1/2 months after my re-excision. My surgeon said it could take a year for everything to get back to normal. I sure hope he is right and it's goes back to it's original shape and feel!


Dx 5/1/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 6/7 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Nov 15, 2007 12:22AM Nanegge wrote:


Have you had a follow-up with your surgeon since the surgery? You certainly can call and voice your concerns, but I am five months past my recision and I have a small amount of hardness behind the incision. Mine is scar tissue and it has gotten progressively smaller as time goes on. This is completely normal - but if you are having a lot redness, excessive tenderness, significant amounts of swelling or your scar is oozing greenish, foul-smelling pus then you should call your doctor.

My scar is nothing more than a sliver, but I do have a dent that is noticeable when I lie down.

TCH q 3 wks til 10/31/2007 Herceptin q 3 wks til 07/15/2008 Dx 4/30/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Nov 15, 2007 01:44AM ravdeb wrote:

I'm over two years out since my lumpectomy. Though my scar is not that bad, I do have lots of scar tissue and hardness by the scar. I also think the radiation added to it.

I don't want to alarm any women, but a lumpectomy usually will cause your breast to be a different size or shape. The radiation will finish it off. My breast was actually slighly lifted because of the lumpectomy and it is much fuller because he moved tissue around to try to put it into a good shape. I think the rads then kept it fuller because it is bigger than the other one (not by a lot..but by MY eyes) and the nipple is lifted up a bit because the surgery was done at about 12:00.

IDC, 2cm, triple negative, grade 3, node neg Dx 9/5/2005, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 15, 2007 02:09PM myrenewal wrote:

I too have a much firmer breast after lumpectomy and significant hard scar tissue.  That being said, I just had a breast MRI which showed absolutely nothing of concern - and I was convinced that I would at least get false positives with all the swelling and lumpy hard places.

So chances are it is normal.  Have you had your follow-up with the surgeon yet?  I agree, voice your concerns to him, but try not to worry too much.  (I know, easier said than done.)

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Nov 15, 2007 02:37PM FitChik wrote:

I am also over 2 years out and have alot of scar tissue within the excision area and the affected breast is definitely harder. I had a lumpectomy, chemo and rads. I've had many follow-ups, mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs and everything, so far, remains cancer-free, as far as can be told. I also have fairly significant pain to the touch still and my doctors say that this can go on for an indeterminate period of time.

I'd say have it checked out and then try to forget about it. It's just yet another gift of breast cancer!


"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." ~Nora Ephron
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Nov 15, 2007 02:49PM blackjack wrote:

Hi I am new to this and want to say that your breast will remain swollen for some time after treatment. I found for me that if I massage it daily with cream it helps distribute the fluid better and appears less swollen blackjack

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Dec 28, 2007 05:10PM Annieirene wrote:

Hi, what was the outcome of the lump you found after your chemo and surgery, I have a friend who had just found what feels like a lump just 3 weeks after her surgery and chemo? - thank you

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Jun 24, 2008 11:43PM winnieyc wrote:

Hi,  I am finished with chemo and radiation, but still feel a lump in the area.  Should I be concerned?

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Jul 4, 2008 07:29PM konakat wrote:

I have a hard lump right under the scar area/incision too and have been told it is scar tissue.  I believe this is the most common reason for these lumps but I would ask your oncologist or surgeon to have a look just to ease your mind. 

 Assuming it is deep scar tissue, ask about massage techniques to break it up -- this is discussed on the boards too.  I've been doing circular massage with 2 fingers, pressing fairly hard but not painfully, for many weeks and have noticed a big improvement.

Elizabeth's Mantra: When in doubt, eat cake. When you haven't a clue, add ice cream. Elizabeth's Mets: Liver, bones, brain (yuck), and lungs (more yuck). Dx 5/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 13/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 25, 2008 10:56AM totaldo wrote:

I had a lumpectomy 2 wks ago.  Two scars under my arm, one to remover lymph nodes which is about 1 1/2" and hasnt caused me any problems but the one down from that where they took the cancer is very tender and is about 3" long.  Surgeon appointment will be on Monday.  No sign of infection just having problems sleeping because of the constant dull ache.

It would seem most women have hardness for a long time as mine is so large is very hard as well.  Just wondering how long after surgery you feel like you can sleep on your side again.  I am having sleepless nights due to be woken when I roll on my side to sleep.

Not a happy camper without my sleep.

Dx 5/29/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage II, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 18, 2009 04:41PM DiBrito wrote:

Dear Totaldo,

I too had my lumpectomy a few weeks ago.  They gave me pain pills/Darvocet and it seems to help.  I set myself up with lots of pillows and sleep elevated so that I do not roll over on my breast - I love to sleep on my stomach and my body knows it.  Anyway, I make a v-shape with my pillows - two one one side and two on the other with the apex at the top - then I wedge my way in.  I finally settle in with pillows that slip under my arms so that my head, my arms and shoulders all propped up as I am nestled in comfortably.  It really helps.  

I am wondering how long the hardness will last.  My breast is not only hard along the incision line but deep inside.  I too have a very long scar. 

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Feb 18, 2009 07:03PM plakatakr wrote:

I am 6 months out and had a lump near my incision site which I thought was scar tissue. I had my follow-up mammogram last Fri. They told me it is a seroma (fluid filled sac) which will resorb over time. It can take up to a year. There is no pain or redness associated with it.

Dx 7/14/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 8, 2010 12:46AM chargergrl55 wrote:

ok I am confused....my lumpectomy was on the top at the 12 o'clock and my pain and soreness is on the side of my breast close to my arm pit. So I have no harding on top but on the side of my breast I heard the water in my breast which is gone now....but now it is just sore on the side is that normal and a little hard....closer to the lymph node which was removed.  Surgury was two weeks ago? Please help?

Dx 5/13/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes
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May 1, 2012 09:45AM peachy-pie wrote:

I found a pea sized lump in the area where they removed my tumor 10 months ago.    I feel a little better about it after reading this thread,  but have an appt. with my oncologist in 2 days to have it checked.   I had a mammo 5 months ago which was clear and due for another on next month.   Hopefully it is just scar tissue,   my stomach has been in knots.

Dx 6/10/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/4/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/17/2011 Breast Chemotherapy 9/14/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/4/2011
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Jul 8, 2012 07:37PM Tamjammer wrote:

Hi. I'm totally new to this board. I have been searching for some answers. I had a lumpectomy in October 2011. Chemo followed by radiation. Tonight I found a lump about the same size and same place as original tumor. I am hoping it is just scare tissue. I will call me surgeon in the morning.

Peachy-pie? How did your appt go with doctor?

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Jul 21, 2012 12:49PM Alex12 wrote:

My lumpectomy was 5 months ago and I completed radiation one month ago. 

I recently began treatment/massage therapy for mild lymphedema in my arm, and I learned a few things (and I thought I was soooooo smart!).

 My therapists are teaching me to self-massage my lymphatic system, exercises to keep the underarm muscles stretched because they do experience trauma from the surgery (my surgeon told me he doesn't cut any muscle but it is pulled to the side so he could get to the lymph nodes) but, they have also showed me how to gently "pinch" massage the scar across my breast and the scar in my armpit to break up scar tissue forming underneath them.   The first couple of days the tissue felt really sensitive and tender again, but that has gone away and it's now just part of my daily shower/lotion application routine.  Some of the numbness on the back of my upper arm is now beginning to fade.

Once you've made sure that it's only scar tissue, talk with your surgeon about this and have them show you how to do it properly so you don't incur any damage to your skin or underlying tissue.

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Dec 31, 2012 11:42AM Sharon648 wrote:

I had a lumpectomy last april.4 rounds of chemo and 34 radiation .The area around the sugery is hard.i finished my radiation in Oct and having a memogram next march..the MRI end of the year..My oncologist told me the hardness might not complately go away..I like my oncologist but he not so good at doing breast exam .I thinking going to do fellow with a new breast surgeon cos my surgeon office is 4 hrs away one way..
i do self massage during shower and before i go to bed..on my breast hope to break up scar tissues..

Dx 3/6/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 18, 2013 04:48AM sheilascat wrote:

Had my lumpectomy 19 days ago.  About a week ago a lump the size and feel of a hard boiled egg appeared.  Contacted BCN who made me an appointment to see doctor in Xray dept.  While having an ultrasound she asperated the lump which was filled with fluid. Only took a few minutes.  No big deal.  ALWAYS contact your BCN if worried about anything.  That's what they are there for.  Good luck.

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Dec 28, 2013 11:12PM Dishgirl3967 wrote:

I am post-op lumpectomy 2 and a half months. This past week I have been experiencing sharp pains from the scar tissue at the beginning of the large incision. I have had nine surgeries throughout my life and I know about scar tissue, however I have never had this kind of pain. I was diagnosed with Triple Neg, 2.5 cm lump with no lymph node invasion. I have decided not to have any chemo or radiation. My question to you knowledgeable ladies is, does the pain from the formation of scar tissue become less painful?  I have been using moist heat every single night since the surgery and it is providing some relief.  I still wear a bra all day every day. 

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Mar 5, 2017 11:21AM thistooshallpass2010 wrote:

Hi Dishgirl396. I had lumpectomy 3 weeks ago and have to have another surgery in 2 weeks because they didn't get clean margins. The nodes were clear however. The tumor was 1.3 cm. ER/PR +, Her2 -. I plan to have hormone therapy and probably radiation but I strongly do not want chemo. I'm waiting for results of MammoPrint for risk of recurrence. Even if high I don't think chemotherapy will benefit me. I need my immune system to fight off any lingering cancer cells, not have them killed off. Are you happy with your decision to not have chemo?

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Mar 5, 2017 09:55PM MinusTwo wrote:

thistoo - this thread has not been active since 2013 so it's unlikely you'll get a response. If you go to the 'search' window, you can look for other theads that might be helpful in making your decision.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014

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