Lump under sentinel scar and scare

Morning all,
I’m getting myself in a right old stew. I had a WLE which involved losing nipple and Sentinel Node biopsey on 13th September last. All went well and had the usual aches, pains and stabbing sensations on and off. Only needed 15 rounds of radiotherapy which I completed on 8th December 2017.

Examining myself 10 days ago I felt a lump under my arm and at first thought it was on the sentinel scar. 2 days later I realised it wasn’t on the scar but underneath as the scar was movable over the lump. I could only find lump when standing. I wasn’t too concerned as I was due to see oncologist yesterday for follow up and discharge to local care and would discuss it with him.


Saw oncologist and on examination of sentinel scar he said “That is also normal”. I reiterated I could only feel lump standing up and he replied “This to me on examination is normal”. After I got dressed he was writing notes and telling me at same time and re the armpit said “no lymph nodes palpable, scar is normal and aches are in local regional area, no evidence of palpable disease”. He then dictated letter for GP, surgeon etc and said “left axillery node scar normal only on lateral edge couple of mm of thickening likely due to surgical changes, no local or regional disease”.


Because he was saying normal, no evidence etc it clouded my thoughts and I didn’t think quickly enough. It wasn’t until I got home and going over what he said I realised he hadn’t mentioned the lump. I know it is there and can still feel it. Did he just dismiss it? Did he not feel it? I told him twice I can only feel it standing. Why didn’t he get me to stand and show him? I did lie down and put my arm in the position he had it and I could feel it when I had a good feel around but it took some looking. Of course I am now worried and scared he has missed something.


I have read about other people getting all sorts of lumps and bumps after surgery and is part of the course and pray and hope this is what is is but because it is underneath the scar and oncologist I don’t feel found it on examination I am getting scared. I can ring my BCN Monday but she will just say come over to the drop in on Thursday if you like. That is a long way off when I live on my own and letting the gremlins work overtime.


Sorry for long post.

Love Frances xxx

Hi Frances,


i found a lump under my sentinel node scar just before Christmas. Saw my BCN who said that she was really sure it was just scar tissue, but thought she’d organise a scan just to be sure. Had an US scan done a couple of weeks ago and biopsies taken. This put me in a total spin, so I contacted my BCN again to ask her to phone me with results asap. She reiterated that she was sure it was scar tissue, but the consultant who had carried out the scan felt it was something more and needed checking. She phoned me a week later with the fab news that it was indeed scar tissue. My point is that people who do physical exams are pretty good at gauging what are post surgical changes and what are not. But, if I were you I would phone my BCN and ask her to arrange a scan for you so that you can have peace of mind. I got myself in such a state when they took my biopsies because of things said by the consultant who took them, so I know that once you start thinking dark thoughts, it’s difficult to stop. Hope you find peace of mind one way or another soon. Big hugs, Ann X X 

Keep your pecker up Frances. I was in exactly the same position just two short weeks ago. I was convinced that the cancer had spread everywhere and was barely able to function. It’s horrible how our brains go into overdrive, isn’t it? Wish you could switch em off sometimes! If it’s any consolation, my scar tissue didn’t appear to be attached to my scar either. Feels like quite a smooth elongated lump that the actual scar glides over. Come back and let us know how you get on. Sounds very similar to mine, so hoping you have worried over nothing. Sending big gentle hugs Ann X X 

So glad that your BCN is helpful Frances. There are some awful stories on this site about nightmare BCN’s! I know it’s going to be difficult for you, but try and relax till you see her. I’ll be thinking of you on Wednesday and sending good vibes your way for equally good news. Let me know how you go. Love Ann X X X 

Awww Frances. That’s such a shame that you’ve not had the confidence in your team that you should. I can’t really complain about mine, other than I let them convince me to go for WLE rather than mastectomy from the off. But they came up trumps for me when I just couldn’t get on with my life and offered me a double mastectomy with DIEP recon. My BCN has always been so supportive and has contacted me quickly when I’ve had any problems. She even came in to see how I was getting on after my recon op. Think I’ve been one lucky bunny from that side. Take care and will look in tomorrow looking for some good news from you.  Ann X X 

Been thinking of you all day Frances. Not the news we wanted to hear, but please remember that it could still be scar tissue. The consultant radiologist at my hospital was convinced that my scar tissue was a lymph node “that was affected”. He added that whatever was there “shouldn’t be there” and then berated his colleague who had already told me that my lymph nodes were clear with the words “we are doing this for confirmation purposes”. As they left the room, one of the radiologists wished me “the best of luck” and the nurses in the room commented that there was still a small chance it might not be a recurrence. So I was 99% sure that my cancer had returned. But my report came back saying that there was no node tissue present in any of the biopsies taken, and that there was no evidence of malignancy either. 


They can see lymph nodes on ultrasound, although they can never be 100% sure that there they don’t have minute bits of cancer in them unless they’re removed. Can you request a core biopsy? The fact that they want to do a FNA rather that core would make me think that they don’t expect it to be cancer. My radiologist consultant also said that there was “no point in carrying out a FNA”. This convinced me that he was pretty sure what he was looking at and that it wasn’t good. But he turned out to be wrong.


I know exactly how you’re feeling, and no amount of advice saying not to worry will help. I hope with all my heart that your biopsy comes back negative. Sending you big gentle hugs and lots of love, Ann X X 

So sad to hear when BCN don’t live up to expectations. My BCNurses are unbelievably kind and nothing ever is to much trouble even 4 years on all I ever have to do is pick up the phone if I have a problem they should all be compassionate when dealing with patients it’s such a sensitive thing .

Hi Frances


Think it might be today that you’re going to get your results. Wishing you all the best and really hoping for a positive outcome. Take care. Ann X X 

Hi just wanted to add my experiences on this thread. I had a lump pop my armpit a few weeks ago 5 months since my WLE and SNB. Of course I was concerned. Decided to give it a few week to see if it settled and until my first review after radiotherapy treatments which was today. Just so relieved to report it’s nothing to worry about. The onco did a physical exam and she says it’s absolutely nothing sinister. She thinks it’s a reaction to a dissolvable stitch used during surgery. Phew!!! Hope everything is ok for everyone else too ??

Thank you Helena for thinking of me. Yes it’s a huge relief!!! I hope you are well too. Have you got your mammo results yet. ??? xxx

Well hope it’s all good for you. I will keep everything crossed!!! ???