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All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: M-m-m-m-m-m-my Seroma

Topic: M-m-m-m-m-m-my Seroma

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 03:19PM, edited Feb 29, 2012 03:19PM by MizMarie

MizMarie wrote:

I had a lumpectomy 3 weeks ago, and still have lots of swelling.  I saw the surgeon today, and he said I have developed a seroma and wants to defer to the RO as to whether it poses a problem with rads.  He says it's too early to drain it, and it may resolve on its own, but if the RO indicates it needs to be done sooner, rather than later, he will.  I have to have a mammogram next week, and the though of applying compression to my poor breast makes me feel sick.  BS says it will not pose a problem with the surgical site, but ai-yai-yai..  Has anyone else had a seroma, and how long did it take to subside?  And yes, I have "My Sharona" stuck in my head....

Dx 8/4/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/18/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/18/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/7/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary, Left Radiation Therapy 3/24/2012 Breast
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Feb 29, 2012 03:31PM , edited Feb 29, 2012 03:31PM by Moderators

MizMarie,

First: we love the title of your post. Very creative :)

Second: you'll probably get some really good advice from the ladies here shortly. In the meantime, you should check out what the main Breastcancer.org site says about Seromas as a side effect of surgery.

Hope this helps!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Feb 29, 2012 03:31PM TifJ wrote:

Sorry, I have no info on seromas, but your post title just caught my eye- I love that song!!

Dx 8/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/14/2010 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 10/27/2010 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Feb 29, 2012 03:48PM irishdreama wrote:

Hi MizMarie!

I just had nodes removed from my right side (had breast cancer 5 years ago on left side) and my onc found 4 positive nodes during routine physical, all positive for cancer. I start chemo (again) tomorrow and then rads (again) after I'm done with that. I haven't posted here in a long time, as my ex found out I was here and was reading my info...anyway, to get back to your issue, after they removed the drains from this surgery, I went back for my follow up and was having a lot of pain and sure enough, was diagnosed with a seroma (You have my sympathies, they HURT!) Mine is directly in the crease of my armpit. I had the surgery on Feb. 1st, the drains were removed on Feb. 13th and the pain is just now down to a dull sting, but the swelling is finally gone, and in it's place it's a hard bump, maybe scar tissue, but not sure. You didn't say how large your seroma was to begin with, mine was about two inches all the way around, and was circular. If yours is larger, it may take longer for your body to absorb it. I put cool compresses to mine, that seemed to help. Good luck!

Chemotherapy 1/26/2007 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/24/2007 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 9/3/2007 Dx 12/22/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/31/2012 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right Chemotherapy 2/29/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/22/2012 Lymph nodes Radiation Therapy
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Feb 29, 2012 03:53PM , edited Feb 29, 2012 03:53PM by libraylil

Miz Marie
Same thing happened to me. the RO said the seroma would need to be drained before he started rads. The surgeon really wanted to let it subside on it's own. I wasn t having any discomfort. I am small and could not understand where a coke can of fluid was hiding. Anyway they drained it before I started rads. Lidocaine was involved so it was painless.

Dx 7/15/2010, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 8/3/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 8/6/2010 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 1/3/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary, Left Radiation Therapy 4/5/2011 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/4/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 29, 2012 05:13PM spendygirl wrote:

The title of your post compelled me to look!  I had a HUGE seroma two weeks post lumpectomy and had to have it drained....there was no way around it.  All the best to you.

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Feb 29, 2012 05:32PM DocBabs wrote:

I developed a seroma after my lumpectomy almost 4 years ago and if I remember correctly it took about 4 weeks to subside.I remember using a lot of ice for the pain and swelling.Any way you can talk them into holding off for another week or two?Why do they want to do a mammo so soon after your surgery.That's got to hurt,seroma or not.

DocBabs Dx 4/28/2011, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/12/2011 Mastectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 5/12/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Hormonal Therapy 7/14/2011 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Feb 29, 2012 05:44PM marilyn113 wrote:

I had a large seroma that was there throughout radiation.  I'm 6 wks post rads and the seroma is about half the size it was.

Surgery 8/30/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 11/7/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/22/2011 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Radiation Therapy 12/12/2011 Surgery 7/31/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Feb 29, 2012 05:56PM Chevyboy wrote:

Hi Miz!  I had a lumpectomy Dec. 4, 2009....  I noticed this "lump" after I had radiation with the MammoSite device.... they say it's pretty common.

I asked about it...after a check-up, and my surgeon said it would probably take care of itself, but could be drained if it was a problem.  After a Mammogram, and smashing my breast to bits again, it got much smaller.Wink  A seroma is a pocket filled with fluid, which should just be absorbed sooner or later.  A Hematoma is a pocket filled with blood. 

You can still "see" the pocket with further Mammograms, but it is probably empty by now.  I can't feel it anymore.  Hope this helps....and don't worry....

Don't walk ahead of me, I might not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not want to lead. Just walk beside me & be my friend. Dx 10/26/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 1, 2012 06:05PM , edited Mar 1, 2012 06:06PM by ptdreamers

M-m-m-m-m-my seroma, I had a large seroma after my lumpectomy. It had to be drained twice before I had radiation. It reappeared during radiation but the RO said not to have it drained during radiation and to leave it alone. He went on to say that it may take months to resolve if at all. I'm eight weeks out from radiation and there is a hard lump about the size of a golf ball. Hoping that it goes away eventually. A seroma is generally the body's attempt to fill a void left by surgery and it tkes time to readsorb. Like Docbabs I'm curious why they want to do another mammo so soon. Most posters have their mammo several weeks to several months after radiation.

ptdreamers, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. . Sail away. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Dx 8/26/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 1, 2012 06:43PM Pessa wrote:

I had a seroma after my mastectomy.  I had it drained about 2 or 3 times.The seroma didn't hurt much but the pressure was uncomfortable when it reaccumulated, as it was rather large.  Draining it didn't hurt at all, as the area was completely numb.  It eventually went away on its own.

Dx 2/20/2010, IDC, <1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/5/2010 AC Surgery 10/22/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/20/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 10, 2012 10:45AM Wren44 wrote:

I had mastectomy on 2/22 and a seroma developed. BS has drained it 3 times and thinks it may need one more. She threatened to put a drain back in, but didn't get enough yesterday to need to do that. I think my drain got clogged and it looked like I was done. The draining didn't hurt.

Lumpectomy & reexcision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Anastrasole. Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 2/1/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 10, 2012 02:36PM momof3sofar wrote:

I am glad to see this subject because I think I have a sort of chronic seroma issue.

 A little history; BMX 11/10/10 with DIEP, emergency hematoma evacuation 11/11/10 (right side) 12/8/10 emergency removal of failed DIEP on left side.  Aug 2011 LD flap reconstruction on left side.  Oct of last year I had a seroma that caused my incision to start to open up.  It was drained and all seemed better (well after 3 attempts a temporary drain was put into the area)  Late Nov and Dec I had 2 more seromas do the same thing only further down along the incision line, not in the same place as the other.  This past week I had done something VERY STUPID (I moved a stove by myself) and 24 hours later I knew I was dealing with another seroma.  INTENSE pain and much lower on my breast this time, I could tell this was going to open up the bottom side if not taken care of.  Surgeon said, no I don't think so, let me poke a needle into it and see what we get.  Well he did get much out and was trying to get the small sample ready to send to be cultured (just in case...always comes back norm) By the time he turned back to me the tiny hole from the needle was pooring fluid out.  He then proceeded to make the hole bigger and sent me on my way again with a small hole that leaks, and more antibiotics.

 Does anyone have any suggestions on how to treat chronic seromas????

~ Dawn Dx 9/13/2010, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 10, 2012 03:15PM gumshoe wrote:

Love the title of this post!

momof3sorfar: I am in the same boat. My first seroma absorbed with no issues.

The second one burst on its own in the middle of the night about 3 weeks ago. The hole still hasn't closed up but I was told just to keep a sterile pad next to it. It's still draining. It seems to be closing up slowly but it makes me queasy to look at it too closely. My husband gets that fun job!

In my case, I think it could have been that I had had three surgical procedures in a short amount of time and I didn't properly heal between any of them. That's just my own opinion though -- I don't know if that makes a difference. 

Dx: 1/20/2012, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3; Tx: lumpectomy, re-excision, skin-/nipple-sparing mastectomy (right), tissue expander placed, tissue expander removed due to skin necrosis, graft taken from thigh to replace lost skin.
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Apr 2, 2012 07:49PM Pelicangirl wrote:

I had BMX with recon on 2/1/12 and second surgery on 2/29/12 to remove axillary nodes and revise my breast and abdominal incisions. I have continued to struggle with the same seroma after both surgeries. After surgery 1, the seroma burst through a small hole between sutures...it soaked thru two large towels before it stopped. After second surgery, I had even more swelling under my arm and sure enough about six days post op the seroma created another little hole for the fluid to leak through. The hole gradually got bigger and plastic surgeon had to go in last week to debride it. Problem is oncologist is not keen for me to start Chemo with an open wound; PS says ok to start chemo bc it is not infected and the fluid needs to come out. PS will check the wound and seroma again tomorrow and decide whether to stitch the opening or let it on its own, which could take months. I asked surgeon why this side has been so problematic with the seroma...he says they are more common on the cancer side. Meanwhile I just keep the open area clean and covered with gauze to catch the seepage.

Pelicangirl Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 2, 2012 11:17PM MizMarie wrote:

Wow, Pelicangirl, what an ordeal!  Hope things start to resolve soon.  I'm 8 weeks post-surgery, and the seroma is still there, although most of the discoloration has cleared up.  RO told me that she does not recommend having it drained due to the risk of introducing bacteria inside the breast.  She said it might take 6-8 months to subside.  Nothing throughout this entire journey has been routine, so I guess I shouldn't expect things to change at this point.

Dx 8/4/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/18/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/18/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/7/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary, Left Radiation Therapy 3/24/2012 Breast
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Apr 3, 2012 09:43AM Maja2213 wrote:

I have a seroma that developed almost a year after surgery (and 4 months after finishing radiation.)  They don't want to drain it now because the risk of infection, especially since the area had radiation, is too great.   I have had two diagnostic mammograms 3 months apart so they could see if the thing was growing in size, stable, or shrinking.  I was told it had to be mammograms not just ultrasound because the ultrasound cannot show any calcifying tissue or fat necrosis as well as the mammogram can.  The seroma is stable which they consider good but the pressure on my skin is constantly painful (though mildly so) 

Dx 10/1/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Apr 4, 2012 07:24PM , edited Apr 4, 2012 07:26PM by chawkins

I am 5 weeks post op tomorrow BMX with tissue expanders.  Last week PS was going to start fill but told me to come back in 2 weeks because I had two places that were not healing well and he didn't want to risk opening up incision.  Last night around midnight, I woke up with a wet nightgown.  I panicked thinking it was blood.  When I looked in the mirror,  my "wound" was dripping a clear liquid like a dripping faucet. I sat up all night with a wash cloth to absorb the liquid.  I called the PS office this morning to talk to the nurse and the PS called me back.  He said he wasn't really worried about the drainage but about the wound.  Said if something could get out, something could get in and if it did it could ruin everything.  Soooo........I am having out patient surgery in the hospital with general anesthesia to redo the incision with new stitching tomorrow morning.  Has anyone heard of this before?  I wonder how long this will delay my recovery.  Dang it!!!  I felt like I was doing so good.  Thanks for any info you may have and happy easter and chunukka to everyone!

Dx 9/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 4, 2012 08:07PM minkarejn wrote:

Mine took three months.  It was awful.  I had surgery in August (wide excisional lumpectomy) and a mammo/ultrasound in February.  They noted on ultrasound the seroma was still there but small.  Sure enough, after the mammo, HUGE-painful boob again.  It's finally starting to subside which is good and bad.  Good because it helps the pain, bad because my breast looks awful again.  SO freaking sick of this.

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Apr 6, 2012 05:58PM bdavis wrote:

Compression, compression, compression... I think that is the best solution to seromas (aside from aspiration)...

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 25, 2012 05:31PM , edited Jun 25, 2012 05:31PM by ptdreamers

Bumping this back up. Has anyone had multiple aspirations and the seroma keeps filling back up? If so did you finally resolve it and how?

ptdreamers, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. . Sail away. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Dx 8/26/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 7, 2013 11:25PM cc90118 wrote:

I had seroma on both sides. After the drains were removed the regular mx side was only drained once but the stubborn radical side had to be drained about six times. The last time it was drained there was only about forty ml so surgeon said i should wait and watch it took about another month for it to go away. But i have a separate compartment that was never drained and i still have swelling now months later.

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Jul 8, 2013 11:12PM MizMarie wrote:

I'm 17 months out from surgery, and it's STILL there.  Smaller for sure, but by no means gone.  I also developed lymphedema, which I am sure was not helpful.  Buuuuttt, I'm alive to tell the tale.  :-)

Dx 8/4/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/18/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/18/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/7/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary, Left Radiation Therapy 3/24/2012 Breast
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Jul 9, 2013 10:05AM pmoore56 wrote:

Had my drains removed a week ago. Double mastectomy 6/20. This morning I notice some fluid buildup in rt breast where they did sentinol node bx. How long should I wait to see if it resolves on its own & would increasing activity help? I laid around past couple of days & now this.

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Jul 9, 2013 10:42AM ballet12 wrote:

Hi Mizmarie,

I heard that seromas can last up to three years.  I'm not yet one year from the last surgery (October 2012) and definitely still have it.  The radiation actually plumped the breast out further.  The seroma and swelling from rads gave me a cosmetic improvement, which has actually been helpful (got the confidence to wear bathing suits). Sorry that it's still painful.  In my case, the surgeon recently said that the surgery is blocking the fluid from exiting and she didn't actually label it as lymphedema, but that's what it probably is.

Surgery 7/27/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 8/2012, DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR- Surgery 10/5/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 10/26/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 1/11/2013
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Jul 10, 2013 12:51AM ptdreamers wrote:

I had my seroma drained twelve times and it is just kept filling again. I finally went to a plastic surgeon who said that it was encapsulated and the ony thing to do was surgery to remove the capsule which had formed. He said that he could do that and not place drains or put drains in,my choice. he explained that the drains would probably insure that the seroma would not reform but that there would be definite deformity. After twenty two months of discomfort and swelling I chose to have drains put in after surgery. Surgery was June 18th. Drains were removed June 27th. Yes there is a huge dent where all the tissue was removed from the the two lumpectomies, but I finally feel that it is as it shoud be. I no longer have a lump the size of a golf ball. If you have had several aspirations then you need to ask if your seroma is encapsulated.

ptdreamers, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. . Sail away. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Dx 8/26/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 28, 2015 04:01PM epsjoice wrote:

I had a lumpectomy on the left side about 5 weeks post op this week. Right after surgery I developed

a hematoma under the arm where the lymph nodes removed. However, that started to ease away and

two weeks after surgery I developed a hematoma in the breast but it is only 2 cm by 3 cm. The problem is

my breast has turned bright pink like infection and they put me on antibiotics, but now it starting to look like

there is no infection and they are wondering about it. The color of the breast changes to almost normal when

I lay down as if it is a blood flow issue. The surgeon mentioned possible seroma but didn't really see fluid away

from the hematoma sight. Has anyone had this happen? I go for an ultrasound again next Tuesday. It is tender

all around the bottom of the breast and nipple area.



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Apr 28, 2015 04:53PM fizzdon52 wrote:

I had one that came up a week or two after surgery. It was like a golf ball, it would become big during the day and go down a bit at night. I kept my Breast Care Nurse informed but she wasn't at all worried about it. It ended up bursting one Saturday night while I was asleep. Because my nurse wasn't worried, neither was I and it ended up getting infected. I was put into hospital on an IV drip as I developed Cellulitis. Anyway it ended up healing just fine and 1 year down the track I haven't had any problems. Good luck to you.

Dx 2/8/2014, ILC, Right, 3cm, Grade 2, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/29/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right Radiation Therapy 5/31/2014 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 29, 2015 03:10PM kickingcancersbutt wrote:

I had a lumpectomy 3 years ago and developed a seroma near the surgery site. At my post-op appt my surgeon aspirated it-got 30cc and said to leave it alone -no more aspirations cause you are just introducing a chance for infection. I still have it-no problem at mammos cause I'm stage 4 and they say no further mammos at that point. Its tender sometimes but after 3 yrs its just part of me but luckily no infections

Dx 11/20/2012, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER-, HER2- Surgery 12/5/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/1/2013 Breast Surgery 3/21/2015 Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)