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Topic: Advice on possible reoccurrence

Forum: Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

Please respect that this forum is for members with stage IV/metastatic breast cancer only. There is a separate forum for caregivers and friends: Caring for Someone with Stage 4 or Mets.

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC; also called stage IV) is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, most commonly the bones, liver, brain, or lungs. Metastatic breast cancer can be treated but not cured. Metastatic disease is NOT hopeless. There are a wide variety of treatment options for metastatic breast cancer, and new medicines are being tested every day. More and more people are living life to the fullest while being treated for metastatic breast cancer.

Note: Please contact your doctor for any specific concerns about symptoms you are experiencing or your course of treatment.

Learn more about living with MBC.

Intro medically reviewed by: Brian Wojciechowski, M.D.
Last review date: November 22, 2020

Posted on: Jul 26, 2007 05:30PM

littleboop wrote:

Hi All,

I'm to start radiation next week. But the day before yesterday I found a very small lump right on the outer edge of scar tissue. I found my first lump which was only 5X8x9mm. This new lump is even smaller. But it feels just like my first. The radiologist said its probably scar tissue. The surgeon says maybe scar tissue or a node. And she'll see me in a month to see if it has changed.

I'm not sure what to do. When my surgeon did a second biopsy to get clear margins, there was a separate 3mm focal point of cancer also found. I'm afraid this new lump I feel is another new focal point. The start radiation and wait and see approach just isn't sitting well with me. I've heard comments about not being able to have rad twice. Can someone explain this further. Would I not be able to have radiation on the same breast twice? I also thought I heard that having a masectomy/reconstruction after radiation doesn't work very well. Does anyone know if this is true and why? I would love any advice/suggestions or comments.

Kathryn Log in to post a reply

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Jul 26, 2007 05:35PM LuAnnH wrote:

When you have rads it breaks down your skin tissue. You can have recon, it is usually where they take the tissue from your abdomen or back to make the new breast. Your question about rads more than once, too much radiation to any part of your body can cause damage to you. They only allow so much rads to any given part of your body. When my bone mets were discovered, rads was not an option for my sternum to help with pain because there was too much overlap that could have harmed my heart and lung.

I had a little lump years ago near my scar. My surgeon did a wait and see approach. We watched it for about 6 months before he decided we should remove it. Turned out to be a nerve that was cut during my masectomy, it curled up in a ball and caused a lump. Scared the pants of me at the time but was nothing in the end.

LuAnn -- Dx 7/2/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 26, 2007 06:58PM littleboop wrote:

Thanks for the reply LuAnn. I would really hate to go through radiation for the next six weeks and find out later that this is cancer. And then have to due a masectomy. But of course, with many situations it does turn out to not be cancer. Did you think your lump from the nerve felt like your cancer lump? I wish I could hold off on radiation to see if this grows. But I'm sure the dr. would advise against that. Maybe that would give other microscopic spots the time to grow. I feel like this whole process has been me trying to make decisions without knowing all the information. It was like trying to decide on a lumpectomy or masectomy before I knew if there was node involvement. Well goodnight. Tomorrow after my 2nd simulation radiation appt. I need to switch to birthday party mode for my daughter. She is turning 9.

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Jul 27, 2007 04:24AM LaurieL wrote:

I found a lump too about 10 weeks after my chemo and radiation was done. It felt just like the cancer tumor. They biopsied it and thank goodness is was a 'suture granuloma' .... it was an suture that didn't disolve after my mastectomy and my body was treating it as a foreign body and forming tissue around it... forming the lump. Whewww. Hang in there.

Dx 6/6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/23 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 27, 2007 06:44AM jpann39 wrote:

I also had a lump during/after rads....mine also was "suture granuloma", it was near the snb scar...when I brought it to the drs attention they also took the "waitinng and see approach" but only for 2 wks after finishing rads...they wanted to be sure my body wasnt reacting to the rads....not normal to have that type of reaction but if its "strange" I get it ....had it removed and all is well ...
'Gain strength by the positive and don't be sapped by the negative" Dx 11/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 27, 2007 11:51AM joanne1428 wrote:

I had a similar spot along my scar line..... I also found my first cancer, and the spot also felt just the same.

Indeed those lumps can be many things, scar tissue, inflammnation, fatty something or other...... but I was one of those for whom it was cancer..... suprised my whole team.

So.... Can't they wait on rads long enough to do a surgical biopsy?

Or..... There might be good odds, the rad guy could get that lump with his beams and/or a boost to that spot.

Worth asking before you decide
My hopes are not always realized but I always hope - Ovid Dx 4/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/33 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 27, 2007 12:04PM LuAnnH wrote:

You can push for the biopsy if you are that worried. It isn't going to hurt to put rads off for an extra week. Also a zap in the spot of the lump could also take care of it if it is in fact cancer. In this situation you almost have to do what makes you feel most comfortable.

LuAnn -- Dx 7/2/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 28, 2007 05:35AM littleboop wrote:

I just wanted to let you know that yesterday I called the surgeon and asked if we could do a needle biopsy. She said she really thinks it's a node but that we could do the biospy on Tuesday if I would feel better. So Tues. it is. I felt so relieved just to have it scheduled. Now if it comes up not cancer, I can start my rads feeling confident my cancer will be gone.

The Rad Dr. said rads is for microscopic cells. If its a palpable cancer,it should be removed.

Thanks for your advice and have a great weekend!
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Jul 28, 2007 08:27AM LuAnnH wrote:

Sounds like you have a great onc that has compassion for your feelings. I will be praying for B9 for you!

LuAnn -- Dx 7/2/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+

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