Re-excision of WLE

Hi there

I had a WLE and axillary clearance in Jan (diagnosed 24th December) - followed by chemo which has now finished (thankfully) - unfortunately marjins weren’t clear so having to have further re-excision in two weeks - feeling very concerned about this for various reasons ie. will surgeon be able to locate remaining cancerous cells, if not cancer cells under microscope will worry that this is because it’s still in there and ultimately if still unable to obtain clear marjins will I still then have to undergo mastectomy.

Obviously just feeling really tired six months into treatment and the anxiety makes things more difficult to put into perspective. Just wondered if anybody else had re-excision after chemo and able to offer any comments. Of course after that I have twenty rads to experience - great!

Have been advised to start taking Tomoxifen this week - but to be honest really don’t feel inclined to - emotions feels like they need a bit of a rest (only finished chemo two weeks ago) so think I will put on hold the swallowing of this little pill until after rads.

Really feel like I’m moaning - sorry - but any comments would be gratefully received.

Janey x

Hi Janey,
I had to have a re-excision but mine was 2 weeks after the first one.
I am sure that there will be plenty of scar tissue for them to locate where the first lump etc was so they will just cut away healthy tissue from the outside of this area.
I had 3/10 nodes invovled and then the margins weren’t great, well actually were non existant at one side of the tumour so that is why they went back in.
They said they only had to remove a small sliver of tissue and it all came back clear.
I am sure that even 6 months down the line there will be scarring for them to see where they did the removal originally.

I start my chemo next week, apprehensive yes but ready to start it now cause who knows where any wee rogue cells have gone to.

Good luck and you aren’t moaning, you have concerns and you just want support.

Keep your chin up
Love and Hugs

Oh Janey what a horrible time for you, I do hope you will soon feel better, can’t shed any light on the op but do wish you all the best.

BTW my onc said do not start taking Tamoxifen or any other stuff until 4 weeks after my last chemo

best wishes

Louise x

Hi Janey - You are not moaning at all, just going through a really tough time. Poor you, how horrid it must be facing more surgery and uncertainty. As far as I know, you don’t need to worry if the path result doesn’t show any cancer cells in the extra tissue that is removed. If the margins were not clear, the surgeon just has to remove more breast tissue to be on the safe side. There may or may not be cancer cells in what is removed next, but they have to ensure safe, clear margins. The radiotherapy afterwards is a further “insurance policy”. As is the chemo you have already had. I had WLE then chemo now rads, but was fortunate to not need further surgery. I hope some others will come along and share their experiences with you. As for the Tamoxifen, I will be having it later, but oncologist that I have starts his patients on it after the radiotherapy (everyone is different). Over the next two weeks you will hopefully begin to feel well again after the chemo, and more able to face the surgery. I’ll have everything crossed for you that they get clear margins this time. Please do let us know how you get on. Don’t be hard on yourself if you feel really low some days - you have been through a lot already, and have a lot more to deal with. It can seem overwhelming and so unfair sometimes. Take one day at a time and remember that we are all here for you. Sarah x

Thanks girlies - you are all great and have cheered me up - well I’m blubbing as well of course - but generally cheered up. Only we know how we feel - those of us that are experiencing this thing - those that are not just see the cheery smiley face that I manage to portray 98% of the time and so, consequently, think everything is hunky-dory - little do they know how we really feel. Probably my own worst enemy because I try to minimise everything so therefore those around me perhaps don’t see the harshness of one treatment after another.

Lisa - good luck with your chemo - I hope that your side effects are mild and manageable.

Sarah - thank you for your kind and wise comments - helps to put things into perspective once more.

Louise - thank you for taking the time to offer words of support.

Onward and upward - have also been to the gym which always helps me sort my head out - nearly kill myself of course but hey!!

Take really good care all.

Janey x

HI Janey - Good to hear back from you. Well done for getting to the gym - quite puts me to shame! It might just be time for you to not worry about being cheerful and smiley, but to explain to those who care enough to want to know how it really is for you. That, and what support you would like from them. I am sure lots of people will be wishing there was something they could do to help - don’t hold back from letting them know what you need from them right now, whether a listening ear, a hug, or practical support. This is a tough. long and sometimes lonely journey - do let yourself be supported, loved and cared for. You know that you would do the same for your friends and loved ones. Big hug and do keep posting. Sarah xx

Hi Janey,

I had a further WLE, but like Leelow above mine was before chemo. I found the second one much easier as it didn’t affect the armpit, and it healed fairly quickly - so hopefully you will be the same.

Did you go to the gym whilst you were having chemo? I’d love to go … on the days I don’t feel like sleeping … but am not sure if I’m allowed!

Best wishes,


Hi Janey
I feel sorry for you. I had a re-exicion three weeks after my WLe and that was bad enough to have to wait until after chemo must be awful.
If its any help I went back to work two days after my second op (although only for few hours)

Hi Shelagh
Just back from a meeting with my bcn and she told me to try and do exercise when I have my chemo as it helps.

Regards Liz

Hello Janey

I have also got to have another WLE, but my surgeon has given me the option of a mastectomy so I have a difficult choice to make, the WLE which as you say may lead to another operation if there are no clear margins, or go for broke and take the lot off. Had the last of 6 FEC last week so brain not able to make decision yet. Good luck with your operation, thinking of you.

Hi Janey,

I really feel for you, because you thought surgery was over, but better to get rid of all the dodgy cells once and for all.

I had chemo first Aug 07 then WLE, margins not clear so I had 2nd op to clear and a full clearance done at the same time, sure they will know where to go from previous scar tissue and mammograms or ultra sounds. I asked about what would happen if not clear 2nd time and consultant said should be fine but we can look into that if that happens and all was fine. Sometimes they go in a third time , but I think it depends on surgeon. I would of had masectomy if any further worries.

After lymph node removal I a had a prob with seroma which would not heal and I had to keep having it drained and unfortunately I had to have 3rd op to clear it out and seal it. All ok now and I waiting for 3o rads which are beginning 7 th July. I have started Tamoxifen, all be it reluctantly, I kept leaving it and leaving it, wondering about side effects etc, finally took the plunge 2 weeks ish ago. I have put question on rads link, because some people have to stop for rads, but I told ok to take but not when having surgery so I would ask your BN cos they told me as Tamoxifen can cause more risk of DVT no one is allowed to take when having surgery.
Hope you get sorted soon
Take care
Dawn x

Hi Janey
I had a WLE in June 07 followed by chemo, and rads. I have just had my 1yr Mammogram and ultra sound that found a suspicious lump in an area where a benign lump was removed at the same time as the WLE last year. I had 3 core biopsy’s done on Tues this week and am now awaiting results. Am on Tamoxifen.

Kim x

Good luck with your results Kim


Thanks Liz Good luck with chemo. I walked almost every day during my chemo, about 2.5 miles, still doing it now, it really helps.

Kim x

Thanks to you all for your useful comments and support. Now 6 days post re-excision - not half as bad as first time around as obviously this time no lymph surgery - results due next Monday so holding my breath until then - finding it hard to believe that those horrid little cells have all gone - intuition tells me otherwise (not being negative just realistic) - hey-ho here we go again - think I may have a difficult decision to make ie. another WLE or mastectomy.

SheLAgh - go to the gym if you feel like it - no contrainidications as long as within your limits - I am sure you will find it therapeutic.

Kim - so sorry to hear your news - keeping everything crossed for you for a good result.

Dawn - your comments re Tomoxifen resonate so much with me - was advised to start within two weeks of finishing chemo - I too put it off as really didn’t want to start it - can only say I’m glad I did because when I did finally get my prescription - read the info to find it increases the risk of DVT and of course would have been increasing risk again with surgery - so incorrect info given by docs. Of course haven’t started it still as I may be having yet more surgery dependent on results next week. Hope your side effects aren’t too bad.

Had my hair cut (well a number one all over) for the second time today - spent an hour in the salon - it only took three minutes to do hair but spent the rest of the time gossiping and drinking tea! Felt nice to do something that is usually taken for granted - of course it would be nice to actually be able to use half the products and equipment (dryers, straightners etc) in the place tee, hee.

Thinking of you all and wishing you all lot of luck always.

Janey x

Hi Janey

So glad to hear that you are making a great recovery from your operation - and have even had the pleasure of going to the hairdresser! It must be so hard for you now waiting for the results, and I can understand you preparing mentally for the possibility of further surgery. However, will be crossing everything for you that they have clear margins this time and that you get the all clear. Will be looking in to see how you are. Thinking of you. Love Sarah x

Ah thanks Sarah - you are great!

Janey x

Hi Janey

Everything crossed for your results next week big hugs

My results showed benign tissue, feel very lucky this time, we really are on a roller coaster.

Thinking of you

Kim x


Glad your results were good
take care

Liz x

Hi Kim

Soooooo pleased for you - you must be so relieved - really glad that the result was good.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Take good care.

Love Janey x

I wanted mastectomy not re-excision but my surgeon said he isnt getting this far to fail at the final hurdle …well let’s hope I don’t have to have a 3rd op! (re-excision 18th August)