painful breast and arm

Dear all
A while since I’ve been on the site but could do with some support. I finished my chemo last Dec. and Rads in Feb this year. I had a clear mammogram in July this year, but have recently noticed a change in the shape of the breast that I had the excision and removal of lump, no spread to lymph nodes. My breast is painful and around the scar sight is now puckered and looks yuk. I do have lymph odema but not too much of a problem. I had triple negative disease, I am worried that it has come back, but can’t believe it would come back this soon? Anyone noticed a difference in the shape of their breast? Do you think it could be the radiotherapy still doing its job? I believe the effects of rads lasts for a long time?

Any advice would be great thanks.

Hi emeraldeyes

Sorry to hear you’re having problems with pain & swelling in your breast. I would advise you to arrange an appointment with your breast care or onc team, to get it sorted out quickly. Lymphoedema is very unpredictable: some of us never get it, others develop it very soon after surgery/treatment, and others – like me – develop it years after treatment, in my case 10 years later! And yes, it could be caused by further tumour growth, or as a result of damage to your lymph glands from your earlier treatment. Whatever the cause, it will be much better for you to get some support/treatment soon, rather than waiting and worrying.

Marilyn x

hi emerald eyes
you sound so similar to me but im grade 3 her 2 + had a wle with 2 lymph nodes involved, i finished rads in january, my scar was really neat and after my op my breast still looked ok, but a few weeks after radiotherapy my breast changed it went like orange peel , the shape changed and it felt really tender and my nipple was inverted, i had a clear mammogram in july , i developed lymphoedema in my breast and a little in my arm, i have visited my breast nurse a few times with these symptons and everything is ok, they blame the radiotherapy , my breast sometimes gets quite warm as well, i would not hesitate to go back as many times as necessary to get reassurance but i am reasonably happy it is effects of all the treatments .
love galen x

Hi Emeraldeyes

I am the same as Galen - affected breast has patches of hard orange peel skin and altho ok most of the time it does flare up and become warm and a bit painful. Was told it was classic oedema and not a lot can be done, gentle massage helps and anti inflamms if necessary. Apparently its rads damage with a fair bit of internal scarring. Had a clear mammo and physical exam in October.
Love Laine

Thank you all for your advice, I will go and see the BCN in January, don’t think I could face another visit to the hospital around Christmas time! My tumour was also grade 3, the area is warm and tender. Rational thoughts tell me its likely to be lymphodema, my paranoid thoughts tell me its something morry sinister.
Thanks for listening and have a happy Christmas!
Love emeraldeyes