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All TopicsForum: Second or Third Breast Cancer → Topic: Cancer in post mastectomy, reconstructed breast?

Topic: Cancer in post mastectomy, reconstructed breast?

Forum: Second or Third Breast Cancer — For those confronting a new primary diagnosis or undergoing treatment.

Posted on: Apr 22, 2008 05:30PM

tiinajk wrote:

Has anyone had or heard of anyone getting a new cancer in a reconstructed breast? 

On my "good" side I had a prophylactic, skinsparing mastectomy with LD flap reconstruction.  There was no sign of disease in the tissue removed.  Now I have a small spot (2mm) in that breast that while it looks benign in images, the surgeon wants to biopsy but its not visible under ultrasound.  I now have to wait 6 months.

Has anyone else been in a similar position?

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Oct 22, 2010 03:29PM beckward wrote:

Kadyann,  If you've read any of the "2nd timers" or "recurrence" threads, you know that we are never out of the woods.  I would say that we are all IN the woods together and you'd better keep your eyes open for the beast!  How poetic!!  My experience has proven that you must ALWAYS ask for a 2nd opinion, biopsy, new scan, if you have a gut feeling about a lump.   I've found radiologists that specialize in bc to be the most skilled and understanding people.  The've seen it all and know that a recurrence can be a reality, not just a statistic.   

Christy2, you're not going crazy, and I wish more bs's understood the feeling of "not knowing" and how crippling it can be.  Good luck with the PET scan...I'm fairly sure that fat necrosis can show up anytime after surgery, just like lymphedema, encapsulation.  

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Oct 22, 2010 10:05PM Ondagrow wrote:

Christy,

Did you have chemo...

‘FunNY hOW lIfE sHoWs uP WiTh nO nOTIficATion aNd I mUst aDjust’
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Oct 24, 2010 05:03PM CHRISTY2 wrote:

  1. thanks Kadyann. My fingers are crossed for necrosis! It is aggrevating that I had this bilat. for peace of mind and it just seems like there is always something anyways. Don't get me wrong i am glad that I did because I don't know my family history due to adoption I guess i just need to quit looking so often then these little lumps might just work their way out on their own.
CHRISTY Dx 10/25/2009, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Oct 24, 2010 05:04PM CHRISTY2 wrote:

No I did not have Chemo.

CHRISTY Dx 10/25/2009, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Nov 14, 2010 05:25PM char123 wrote:

Hello :  I had a Mastectomy 10 years ago,  I was diagnoised with a small skin BC lesion and have been successfully treated with surgery, chemo and radiation of the same breast 10 years later. It is frightneing and a re live of an unpleasant cituation, but very treat able and i am doing quite well!!

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Nov 16, 2010 04:41PM Kadyann wrote:

hoist123 how long ago were you diagnosed with the second cancer and was it considered a recurrence or a new primary?
Dx 8/27/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Dec 7, 2010 02:55PM mimi727 wrote:

I had  preventive mastectomies (never had cancer) back in Nov 2007 after being diagnosed with the BRCA 1.  Had the reconstructive surgery done within a year.  Just Friday I found a lump on one of my breasts.  Dr. is sending me for an ultrasound later this week.  Could I possibly get cancer now after all this?  Anyone in this situation? 

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Jan 28, 2011 04:41PM yorana wrote:

I am  going through something like this right now.  Several months ago, I felt a lump at the outer edge/chest wall of my TRAM resonstructed breast.  I had been diagnosed with IDC in 1999 and had a right mastectomy and reconstruction.  I went for a right breast ultrasound and was told that the lump looked like nothing but they saw something else in another part of that "breast" and to come back in 6 months.  I just got the follow-up ultrasound along with a right mammogram (I haven't had the right breast mammogrammed since the first year after the mastectomy.)  The radiologist told me the ultrasound shows that whatever they saw before is bigger now and he is recommending a biopsy.  So I get that Monday.  I am losing my health insurance after Monday so I hope it will turn out to be benign.  It's been over 11 years with no problems and I have been shopping for an individual health plan I can afford, but if this is cancer, that's going to be tough.

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Jan 30, 2011 01:23PM slmdavidson wrote:

Hi Yorana,

I'm hoping it's benign too - will you let us know?  Biopsy tomorrow?  

Mimi727 - What was your outcome?  I'm assuming negative since you haven't posted anything else.

Laura

Dx 12/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 5, 2011 07:03PM Ondagrow wrote:

It is so scary, to know you can get cancer in reconstructed breast...

‘FunNY hOW lIfE sHoWs uP WiTh nO nOTIficATion aNd I mUst aDjust’
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Feb 8, 2011 05:33AM Kristian wrote:

Hello,

I had breast cancer in my right breast, had bilateral mastectomy and lat flap reconstruction and then found another lump in my right breast-turned out to be a recurrence found 14 months after original diagnosis.  Now, on the road to recovery, I just found a pea size lump in my left breast (my left breast did not have any signs of cancer in the path reports).  I just don't know if it is anything because there is an implant in and I am not sure if it is some kind of defect in the implant or who knows what else.  I did have a rare form of breast cancer called metaplastic breast cancer and I know it can present itself in many dif. ways, so I can't help but worry.  I am not sure if I should just go see my family Dr, my oncologist is hard to get into and I would feel silly going if it is nothing, I just had my check-up with him in January.  I have an MRI booking coming up in May.  I would have had it sooner, but my radiation oncologist wants to make sure tissue has healed from treatment (last one was Dec 30) before they do the scan.  There has been no reason to think I should get an MRI any sooner.

I just wish this disease would leave me alone.  I am worried about every lump and bump and pain anywhere else in my body.  I have a head ache, or a pain in my back, or a cough and I worry.  I lie in bed at night feeling this "new lump" and it feels like it will never end. Sorry, just venting.

IDC Dec 2008, lumpectomy, chemo (FECT), bilateral mastectomy -lat flap reconstruction/tissue expanders Sept 2009, recurrent metaplastic breast cancer April 2010, chemo (cisplatin/gemcitabin), surgery Sept 2010, radiationx28 Dec 2010 Dx 10/6/2011, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 8, 2011 06:33AM slmdavidson wrote:

Hi Kristian,

I know exactly how you feel and I think any of us would feel that way.  My recurrence was 14 months after my bilateral mastectomy.  Actually, I found the lump only one month after my 4th surgery which was a revision to the reconstruction.  Boy did I feel "duped". 

Our cancers are totally different so I don't know if my advice is appropriate for you.  However, for me, when I found the lump, I called my oncologist.  He said for me to call my surgeon.  My surgeon got me in immediately and did a biopsy in the office.  He was convinced it was only a fatty necrosis.  It was a very small lump.  It rarely is cancer so the odds were with me.  Well, he was as surprised as I was that it was invasive cancer.  If it were me, especially since you've already had one recurrence, I'd call your Oncologist and ask if it would be appropriate to go see your surgeon for a biopsy.  It's not worth losing sleep over it for months.  Really, it's your body, it's your life, not theirs.  They can't tell you no, they can only advise.  If you want answers, get a biopsy so you can either put the worry aside or take whatever action you need to take.  I feel bad for you - having the constant worry sucks.  I just passed my 2 year point since my most recent diagnosis, 3 1/2 since my first diagnosis.  I do check these breasts about every day.  It's never far from my thoughts, but it doesn't occupy my mind like it did 2 years ago.  I still worry about every ache and pain too, in fact this weekend I had the worst lower stomach pain....even though I had my ovaries removed (thanks to the breast cancer recurrence) I know you can still get cancer in the abdominal area. So you know, that's where my mind went. 

Let me know what you decide.  I'll be thinking about you.  Take care!!  (HUG!)

 Laura

Dx 12/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 8, 2011 07:10PM , edited Feb 8, 2011 07:11PM by char123

Hi Kadyann; Sorry I just saw your post of Nov of this year.  My second diagnosis was January of last year and my docs feel it was NOT a new primary, but a recurrence of the original...

Simdavidson"  I totally agree with what you said.  I would go to the surgeon. A lump is a lump. get it checked.  why worry...

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Feb 9, 2011 06:32AM Kristian wrote:

Hi Laura,

I went to my family Dr yesterday and had him check it out (my daughter was sick so I thought I would take the opportunity since we were there).  He said it feels superficial, but to keep an eye on it.  He was not sure what to tell me though because he also thought my first "lump" was nothing and it turned out to be cancer.  The lump is very small, but so was yours.  I do have an appointment with my radiation oncologist in March, so I will probably book an appointment to see my surgical oncologist that day as well because they are at the same hospital.

Thanks for the encouraging words. Good for you being 2 years out, I can't wait to say that!

I'll let you know if anything comes of this, hoping it is nothing.  This was around the time last year that I felt my new lump and I think I am just expecting to find something again.

I like your "profile" pic.  I always had long hair before chemo and I am trying to decide if I should grow it out again. It has been growing like crazy since my last chemo ended in August. It only thinned out the second time around with chemo, I was lucky to keep it this time Smile

IDC Dec 2008, lumpectomy, chemo (FECT), bilateral mastectomy -lat flap reconstruction/tissue expanders Sept 2009, recurrent metaplastic breast cancer April 2010, chemo (cisplatin/gemcitabin), surgery Sept 2010, radiationx28 Dec 2010 Dx 10/6/2011, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 9, 2011 04:46PM Jenhaub wrote:

I had a bi-lateral mastectomy with a skin-sparing mastectomy.  I have a pacemaker and was told they might not be able to get all the tissue around the pacemaker site.  Since I was only stage 1, I was not concerned.  It has now been a year, and I just felt a medium-sized lump under my arm.  I'll be calling my doctor tomorrow, but I am now very concerned.

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Feb 22, 2011 09:05PM reba1cat wrote:

I am a 3.5 year post bilateral mastectomies w/ immediate reconstructive surgery and removal of ovaries.  3 months ago I had my nipple reconstructive surgery.

On my right side (the side of the orignal cancer) I found a hard lump on top of my silicone implant.  Also this side is just not feeling right, I can feel the seam on the side and a few nodules (probably scar tissue).  So I went to my oncologist and she spoke with my surgeron and they have ordered an MRI next week to determine if it's a reoccurence or a possible leak of the silicone.  I never thought that the cancer could come back on my breast.  I am still hopeful, it was very helpful to read some of your threads on the subject.  Thanks!

Dx 11/6/2007, ILC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Feb 26, 2011 09:46AM topflight wrote:

Hello, I had my mastectomy on my right breast in 1994, reconstruction surgery in 1997, in November 2010 I had to have my implants replaced, on February 23 2011 I had a mammogram, there was something unusual showing so they did an ultrasound, on March 1 I will go in for a biopsy. For the last three days I have tried to feel this lump again but I can't find it. I know the lump was there, I felt it the day of my mammogram. Has this happened to anyone else. I had no idea cancer could come back when there was no breast tissue. I am so happy I found this site, I've learned so much from reading here. Thank you for all your help!

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Feb 26, 2011 10:24AM Kristian wrote:

Hi Topflight,

I had a recurrence after a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.  Unfortunately it was only 14 months from original diagnosis.  I was quite shocked even though I knew there was a small chance of recurrence because there is a little bit of breast tissue left behind, and mine grew where there were cancer cells left behind in my chest wall (or maybe in my lymph nodes-they are still not sure).  The good news is that I have read a lot of posts where a lump has turned out to be nothing, but that does not change the fact that you worry until you know.  On a positive note, although my lump was very large, and my cancer was very aggresive - I was able to beat it a second time, so local recurrences, and even regional are curable.

Hang in there, hopefully it is benign!

IDC Dec 2008, lumpectomy, chemo (FECT), bilateral mastectomy -lat flap reconstruction/tissue expanders Sept 2009, recurrent metaplastic breast cancer April 2010, chemo (cisplatin/gemcitabin), surgery Sept 2010, radiationx28 Dec 2010 Dx 10/6/2011, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 26, 2011 11:13AM CoolBreeze wrote:

This thread makes me sad.  Did none of your doctors ever tell you that a mastectomy is not a guarantee of removing cancer forever?  It will dramatically lower your odds of course, but they can never get all breast tissue and cancers often come back in scars or remaining tissue.  That's one of the reasons I chose to leave my healthy breast alone.  The odds of cancer showing up in the healthy breast are very slim in the first place, and in the 2nd, you can still get cancer anyway.  If it wants to come it will come.

I think doctors ought to better prepare patients for this possibility. I've seen it happen enough times on this board so that I know it isn't horribly rare.  

I hope that for each one posting here it's just scar tissue!   

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 1, 2011 06:54PM Tonda wrote:

I had a tram flap done last September after saline implants failed, had two hematoma's on the left side so was hospitalized for those in Feb.  Two days ago I found a small lump (bigger than a pea but smaller than a marble) that hurts when I touch right near the bottom scar of my right breast.  None of my lumps that were cancer hurt, should I be concerned about this since it hurts? I had cancer in both breasts and lymph nodes at my initial diag.  I just don't know if I am worrying about nothing or if I should call my doctor, and which one? Surgeon? Plastic Surgeon? Medical Oncologist? I have so many it isn't funny.  Just looking for reassurance I guess.

Dx 5/1/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 1, 2011 07:33PM slmdavidson wrote:

Tonda,

So you surgery was in Sept and then the hematoma's showed up in Feb?  That's weird!  And the hematoma's were on the opposite side of this new lump? The pain associated could just be because you've had surgery recently? 

For me, I just wanted to get an answer and be done with the worrying/guessing.  When I found my lump, I called my Oncologist who told me to go to my breast surgeon.  My surgeon did an ultrasound and a biopsy right there in the office.  Just a few days later I had my answer.  In my opinion, you've been through the ringer, you have a right to be suspicious.  I'd call the surgeon and have him take a look.  If he is waivering on if you need the biopsy, then I'd push it if you feel you want one.  It's your body, it's your life, it should be your choice on how aggressive you want to be to find out.  If you do the biopsy and it's nothing, GREAT!  who-hooo!  We'll celebrate! Smile   If you wait another six month, and find out later it's a recurrence, you are going to wish you knew that when you first found it.   There are plenty of people who have scar tissue and fatty necrosis show up in lumps.  I certainly hope you are one of them..... keep us posted and take care!!

Laura 

Dx 12/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 2, 2011 05:00PM Tonda wrote:

Talked to my PT today at my Aquatic Therapy class, she also told me to call my surgeon.  Can't get in until next week so will wonder a bit longer.  Thanks for the advise Laura. I appreciate it.Smile
Dx 5/1/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 2, 2011 06:55PM slmdavidson wrote:

Hi Tonda,

I'm glad you made the appt.  Promise you'll post back on this thread when you find something out either way, ok?

Laura

Dx 12/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 4, 2011 06:08AM Kristian wrote:

Hi Tonda,

I'm glad you took Laura's advise, I would have offered the same.  I also got the best results from my surgical oncologist when I found another lump.  They reacted the quickest, and did the proper tests.  Good Luck!! Hopefully everything will be ok, but I do agree that you should get it checked out. You have been through enough, you should always be aware of any changes to your body and act on them, I think you made the right decision to see someone.  Take Care Smile

IDC Dec 2008, lumpectomy, chemo (FECT), bilateral mastectomy -lat flap reconstruction/tissue expanders Sept 2009, recurrent metaplastic breast cancer April 2010, chemo (cisplatin/gemcitabin), surgery Sept 2010, radiationx28 Dec 2010 Dx 10/6/2011, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 8, 2011 07:05AM Tonda wrote:

I had a biopsy this morning and will find out the results either late Friday or Monday.  My doctor thinks it is Fatty Necrosis so that is a good thing (not that it sounds so great LOL)  will post results when I get them, thanks for all the advice fellow sisters ; )

Dx 5/1/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 8, 2011 04:19PM slmdavidson wrote:

Tonda - glad that you got the biopsy done and that he thinks it's fatty necrosis.  It's pretty common I believe.  We'll keep our fingers crossed and please post back here to let us know.

 Take care!

Laura

Dx 12/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 10, 2011 06:15AM margaret61 wrote:

Hi, I had originally been diagnosed 12 years ago. I had both breasts removed and lymph nodes in right side removed. In december I felt a lump just below where my port had been. I figured it was probably scar tissue or something. I set up an appt with my surgeon and went in. They did a PET scan and a punch biopsy. Surgeon said it was probably scar tissue, but due to my previous history we better check it out. I went back and the results were that my breast cancer had returned. Puzzled, I looked at him and said I don't have boobs how could it have come back. He said that sometimes it just takes a couple of cells left behind after the masectomy. So I had tumor removed. He got a clear margin when it was removed. Surgeon said I would probably do radiation and take arimedix. He scheduled an appt with oncologist. Well,,the oncologist told me I was the topic of the meeting with the radiation, surgeons and oncologists. They were not sure if I should do chemo or not. Oncologist recommended I do the oncotype test. The test came back that I have a good chance of cancer returning and that chemo agents would work on the cancer. So here I am 12 years later doing the whole thing over. I am doing cytoxan and taxotere. Had severe bone pain, thrush, yeast infection, infection in port. And if all that wasn't bad enough I had to get a shot of neupogen because counts were so low. That caused bone pain too. I seem to be fighting depression. My second round of chemo is June 16th. I am so scared because the first one was a nightmare. Wish me luck. I hope second time around isn't so bad...

margaret61 Dx 3/3/2011, DCIS, 2cm, Stage I, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 13, 2011 07:00PM slmdavidson wrote:

Hi Margaret,

I am so sorry to hear what all you are now going through!!  It was SO smart of you to get that lump checked out when you did.  So you had DCIS and negative lymph nodes the first time?  Did you take Tamoxifen or anything like that after your mastectomy?  Just curious as to your oncotype score.  

Certainly seems reasonable for you to feel depressed with going through all that you are.  Are you having any hot flashes with the Arimidex?  I know there are some antidepressants that do double duty - helps with depression and lessens the hot flashes that go with some of these medications we take.  

I do hope your second chemo goes much easier.  How many rounds do you have to do?  

Send you hugs and prayers,

Laura

Dx 12/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2011 12:14AM annie06 wrote:

Hi Margaret

I could just say "ditto" to what you wrote. So sorry. I too am doing TC. Started June 9th. Dealing with all the issues as you are. Trying to hang in there. I'm hoping each day herein gets better? Day 5 was rough! Up until then I was doing well. I think I had residual DCIS (in addition to the IDC, DCIS, LCIS in original path), that didn't respond to tamox. I was dx'd 5 yrs ago. Stage 1. O nodes. AC dose dense, bilat mast, with bilat recon eventually and tamox. We can do this together!

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Aug 1, 2011 01:22PM mylouie2 wrote:

Hi ladies,

 Not sure why I finally registered with this site as its been there for me throughtout my entire breast cancer experience.   I had non invasive DCIS in my right breast with bilateral mastectomy and immediate reconstruction in Dec 2009.  In between then and now of course a couple of lumps/scares.  I've recently developed a hard mass on the LEFT breast and was wondering if maybe it couldn't just be something hardening on my silicoe implant.  I don't want to jump to the normal conclusions since it isn't the original BC breast.  My surgeon is moving up a future breast MRI but am trying to not jump to the usual conclusions.  Thoughts? Worried in Vegas.

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