Infection after Radiotherapy

Hey I’m new here,I didn’t know where to begin or turn to.I was diagnosed with triple negative and lobular breast cancer last October I went on to have Chemotherapy then had wide local excision mammoplasty lumpectomy and then 19 sessions of Radiotherapy.Finished Radiotherapy in July and started to notice a lump forming in my breast small at first then started to go bigger,I contacted my bcn about it and was seen they said it’s nothing to worry about so off I went,So now 5 weeks later I’ve been back 5 times been on 4 different antibiotics had needle aspiration which excreted pus out the lump,the pain I have been feeling throughout these past five weeks have been surely a 9/10 I’m a wuss and can’t do pain.And last week on Tuesday I went back as it was still oozing and my consultant decided he wanted to slice my breast where the lump is to drain the lump which was still hard and very painful,so he did and then left it as a open wound. So it was packed and dressed and had to go back Thursday for dressing change.It’s now Saturday am and I have woke up and the dressing is saturated.

I know district nurses are coming today to change.
So after all my waffling I’m wondering if anybody has had this done and can give me advice,or even tell me what is wrong with my breast because I’m in limbo as all I know from my doctor is it a infection with pus? I don’t know how it got there I don’t know if it’s serious I don’t know when it be better……all I know is it really hurts x


Hi @tweed77
Not breast surgery related but my Dad had similar following surgery many years ago. He had to have the wound packed and dressed every day for some time. It eventually cleared up. Don’t know what caused it other than it was an infection.
Hope that helps a little.

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Hi Tweed77

Thank you for posting your question. It’s understandable that you would like to know more about what to expect with the infection you have.

Although infection after surgery is most common in the first few weeks after the operation, it can happen at any time while the breast is still healing. Having radiotherapy can also impact on how the breast heals. The cause of an infection is not always clear, but your team will look at the fluid they have taken to make sure they give you antibiotics that work for the type of infection you have.

As @KazED has said, infections can take some time to get better and this will be different for everyone, so it’s not possible to say how long this will take. You can talk to your district nurse about how things look when they come to change your dressing and ask for advice on what to do if the dressing is getting saturated between appointments. Do make sure to let them know that the breast is painful, they can advise on the best way to manage this while the breast is healing.

You may also find it helpful to talk to your breast care nurse about how you are feeling. They may be able to answer your questions based on your individual circumstances.

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. Sometimes talking to someone who has been through a similar situation can be helpful, and you may find our Someone Like Me service helpful for support.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. 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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