Can cording turn into lumps?


I had a right-side mastectomy and full auxiliary node clearance on December 19th for what turned out to be multifocal invasive lobular and invasive ductal breast cancer (after waiting 84 days between referral and the operation).

I developed cording soon after the operation and I’m still having physiotherapy for it. The cording is slowly loosening, which is great, but I’ve just found a lump in my armpit, which has alarmed me.

I know it can’t be a lymph node as they were all removed (cancer in two, micromets in two, 19 overall removed).

The very last thing I want is to go into the breast unit again, but I pulled my big girl pants on again this morning (I have rarely taken them off over the last seven months to be honest) and called the breast unit and they are going to see me within the next two weeks.

I finished radiotherapy two weeks ago (also very late). I didn’t have chemo due to an Oncotype DX score of 18 (it had to be below 26 for me).

I just wondered if someone could provide me with some reassurance. My understanding is that if breast cancer spreads it is to very particular places: liver, lungs, bones, brain, and not just to any old place. Is that right?

My main question is, as cording breaks down, can it feel like lumps?

Thanks in advance for any help


Hello casey4jc

Thanks for posting. This sounds like a difficult time for you and it’s understandable you would like some reassurance.

However, it’s not possible to say what is causing the lump in your armpit although cording and previous surgery can cause changes to this area. It’s good to hear that you have contacted the breast unit and are going to be seen within 2 weeks to be assessed.

Nearly everyone who has been treated for cancer worries about it coming back (recurrence) and you’re not alone in being anxious about this. You can read about the different types of recurrence in the link above.

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events.

For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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