Healthy reduced breast sore - now 6 months post surgery


I will try to keep this brief and will bullet point things:

I had triple negative breast cancer with full mastectomy.
Reconstruction Feb 23 and reduction on healthy breast Sept 23.
Discharged from Oncololy May 23 (no follow ups planned). Discharged by surgeon in Dec 23 as no ongoing problems or issues. No pain or soreness. I had healed very well.

Joined a gym in Dec 23 for first time. Go about 3 times per week and do a total of two hours over those three visits on treadmill, bike and rowing machine. I do about 10-20 mins on rowing machine each visit.

I am 52 and not menopausal yet. In January around the time of my period my reduced breast felt sore and firm at one side. I put this down to joining gym or my period. It resolved.

It came back again next period. Then resolved. Then it came back again but did not seem to resolve. I had my first post surgery mammogram booked not long after so waited for that.

At the mammogram I told them about the firmness. The radiographer went to speak with someone. She had spotted something and said they thought it was post surgery changes. She also explained that I was not being fast tracked (as it was not conisdered necessary). They conducted a further mammogram to get more tissue on the scan. The result were to take 7 weeks - we are still in that waiting period.

Since the mammogram I have been sore (3 weeks now). The breast is quite solid at one side - but not an actual lump. A couple of times it has been faintly red - not like an infection or inflammation, just slightly red.

Do I need to be worried. There are many things this could be - is it sore because of the mammogram. It’s three weeks now though.

My husband thinks it is not a lump and I should not worry as it is probably muscle I am building at the gym.

It is worse when I am on the go all day and wearing a bralette or sports bras. would my bra be causing the firmness and soreness?

Do I contact my breast care nurse? Or do I wait for the mammogram results? They would have fast tracked me if it was necessary.

I have contacted my breast care nurse a few times since treatment ended and I don’t want to be the boy crying wolf all of the time.

Do I contact my GP?

I am sure it could just be scar tissue or maybe fat necrosis. I am not concerned about recurrence as this is the healthy breast and triple negative tends not to recur in the opposite breast. But during my initial treatment I had assumed that my biopsy wound was infected but it transpired that the tumor had grown and thanks to the vigilance of my team it was spotted.

I am sure things are fine, but I am unsure what the correct thing to do is.

Advice please - thank you.

Hi Snookie

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Hi Snookie,

So sorry to read all your concerns and most of all your confusion.
I know from my own experience that it is so easy to overthink, over Google and then to feel you are being irrational and anxious. However, you have a right to worry as you have had TNBC. Unfortunately, cancer does not discriminate and TNBC can return to the other breast. As can other breast cancers. I had TNBC RB 2018 then again in LB 2023. Treatment both times was successful and I have been recovering now, treatment free, since January 2024.
Forgive me, for I’m not intentionally trying to scare you but believe being honest is very important. You can speculate so much with your husband and close friends but the real answers lie with the healthcare professionals and your MDT. You should be receiving follow up care for a 5 year window post cancer treatment- usually with oncologist and breast surgeon. Please call your BCN and ask to be seen asap so you can deal with facts rather than speculation and guess work.
I sincerely hope your symptoms are easily explained and nothing sinister. Good luck and take care. Tess xx

Hi Tess,

Thank you for your cadour. It doesn’t scare me as I know that there are many benign explanations still. But it was sobering and I have left a message for my BCN so we can discuss this.

Thank you,

Snookie x

Hi Snookie

Thank you for posting.

It’s understandable you’re worried about your new soreness in your healthy reduced breast. You mention it’s 6 months since surgery.

It’s not possible for us to say what may be causing the pain and whether or not it is related to breast cancer. The soreness you have described could have many other causes. This type of pain can be linked to your periods, or hormonal changes, or due to scarring from the surgery. You may also have stretched some muscles in the gym.

Waiting for scan results can be a very worrying time. As @Tess1963 mentions it’s good to contact your breast care nurse to explain your concerns and she may be able to see if the mammogram has already been reported.

We would always suggest getting any new or persistent symptoms checked out.

You may be interested in our information about bras after surgery for breast cancer. A well-fitting bra will often feel more comfortable and offer your breasts good support.

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in.

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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Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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