Breast Cancer Recurrence

Posted by katrina123 @katrina123, Aug 12 9:21am

It has been 2 1/2 years since my lumpectomy. I am having an unusual swelling in my breast. It is not red, warm or hard. The only way I know how to describe it is that it is puffy looking. It is around the areola and comes and goes. (I am 76 and I have never had this before.)

I just wondered if any of you have had this happen. It is never there when I see my oncologist so she is not taking it very seriously.
Thanks
Katrina

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer group.

I have not dealt with this in particular, but the doctor not feeling it is serious is a good sign if you trust your doctor. If you continue to want this addressed, I might suggest photographing the area when it is normal and again when it is not. A cell phone is perfect for this.
I have absolute trust that my oncologist has my best interest at heart so if he says “no big deal” I believe him. This wasn’t true with other doctors I have encountered in the past.
Was your lumpectomy in this location?

REPLY

Chris,
My oncologist has never seen my breast when it was swollen so she has never given me an opinion about it. Your suggestion about taking a picture is a good idea. Because of past experiences I tend to question many things that doctors tell me. I had a 3D mammogram and I was told everything looked fine but 2 months later I felt a 2 cm malignant tumor. I had to argue to get an ultrasound and it turned out that I had a rare malignancy. We can respect our doctors and listen to what they say but question anything that seems unusual. I have had 13 surgeries and many instances where my instinct helped me get lifesaving help.
Thank you for your suggestion. I have taken a couple of pictures and I will show them to my oncologist during my next appointment. Katrina123

REPLY
@katrina123

Chris,
My oncologist has never seen my breast when it was swollen so she has never given me an opinion about it. Your suggestion about taking a picture is a good idea. Because of past experiences I tend to question many things that doctors tell me. I had a 3D mammogram and I was told everything looked fine but 2 months later I felt a 2 cm malignant tumor. I had to argue to get an ultrasound and it turned out that I had a rare malignancy. We can respect our doctors and listen to what they say but question anything that seems unusual. I have had 13 surgeries and many instances where my instinct helped me get lifesaving help.
Thank you for your suggestion. I have taken a couple of pictures and I will show them to my oncologist during my next appointment. Katrina123

Jump to this post

I totally agree! Doctors, like their patients, are just regular human beings too and can make mistakes. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the height of the covid pandemic. I was one of the lucky ppl who got in just under the wire for surgery. I had my lumpectomy in the morning and that evening, it was announced that ALL surgical procedures were being canceled due to the pandemic. I live in Canada. Anyways, I had my surgery and following radiation, but ANYTHING that wasn't deemed absolutely necessary for my treatment was canceled. There were several times that I had to correct the doctors and some things just never did get dealt with. Due to the pandemic and the and cancelation of so many services, I am now left feeling very uneasy and anxious. The support and thoroughness that normally would have been the standard just wasn't there. It wasn't that it was incomplete, it just wasn't there. I was pushed through at rapid speed, which don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful for, but I can't help wondering now what got missed in the frantic rush to get as many ppl as humanly possible thru the doors before everything shut down. As far as any kind of support or councelling, there was nothing available. EVERYTHING was shut down. After my treatment ended, I of course had time to actually read about and learn about what had happened to me and how my cancer would normally have been dealt with from start to finish and so much of what I think is important was totally forgone with. Note to self, try not getting cancer during a world wide pandemic. Not the best time to be sick.

REPLY

I forgot to mention, I am now sitting here with a swollen, lump in my armpit on other side of surgical site. I am trying not to panic. Also, my margin zone was positive, I decided not to do the hormone therapy.

REPLY
@karilynn007

I forgot to mention, I am now sitting here with a swollen, lump in my armpit on other side of surgical site. I am trying not to panic. Also, my margin zone was positive, I decided not to do the hormone therapy.

Jump to this post

By 'positive', do you mean the margins were not clear of cancer cells? [My margins were 'negative.' That is no cancer cells detected aka 'clear.']

Can you now get good care? A friend of mine had full cancer in Toronto, starting in 2020, but maybe that was because major medical centers in large cities had to handle cases when people had no services locally.

I hope you can get good and reliable care now as cancers hard enough to deal with under the best of circumstances. I'm someone who missed a routine mammogram during lockdown and wonder if a tumor found in September, 2021, would have been found in 2020 when I would ordinarily have had the mammogram.

REPLY

I was turned away during the lockdown for a mammogram in May 2020 and found my malignant lump in June 2021. So I too wonder if a smaller aberration would have been discovered earlier and I may have avoided IDC. Margins should be clear, or negative, of cancer cells. As far as hormone therapy goes, its aim is to balance the estrogen positive breast tissue environment that promoted the initial cancer. The more I look into this, it seems that an anti-cancer diet, exercise, and calm state of mind are helpful with, or without, an estrogen blocker. I hope your lump is not a new regional primary, but something minor and benign.

REPLY
@karilynn007

I totally agree! Doctors, like their patients, are just regular human beings too and can make mistakes. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the height of the covid pandemic. I was one of the lucky ppl who got in just under the wire for surgery. I had my lumpectomy in the morning and that evening, it was announced that ALL surgical procedures were being canceled due to the pandemic. I live in Canada. Anyways, I had my surgery and following radiation, but ANYTHING that wasn't deemed absolutely necessary for my treatment was canceled. There were several times that I had to correct the doctors and some things just never did get dealt with. Due to the pandemic and the and cancelation of so many services, I am now left feeling very uneasy and anxious. The support and thoroughness that normally would have been the standard just wasn't there. It wasn't that it was incomplete, it just wasn't there. I was pushed through at rapid speed, which don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful for, but I can't help wondering now what got missed in the frantic rush to get as many ppl as humanly possible thru the doors before everything shut down. As far as any kind of support or councelling, there was nothing available. EVERYTHING was shut down. After my treatment ended, I of course had time to actually read about and learn about what had happened to me and how my cancer would normally have been dealt with from start to finish and so much of what I think is important was totally forgone with. Note to self, try not getting cancer during a world wide pandemic. Not the best time to be sick.

Jump to this post

karilynn,
I had a similar experience. I had a lumpectomy in Jan 2020 and radiation in April 2020. I had absolutely none of the regular support they usually give to women with breast cancer. Communicating with doctors with a face mask on leaves a lot to be desired. I have only had one appointment with my oncologist without a mask. Maybe this doesn't bother others but it sure bothers me.
I hope that your swollen lump is nothing serious. Please keep us updated.
Katrina

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment