Recurrence post mastectomy

Hello everybody. I have been visiting this site for a number of months now and have found it really helpful and hope you can give me the benefit of your experience on my question below.

I had a mastectomy at the end of 2007 and have had no other treatment apart from tamoxifen. I am very lucky and have made a good recovery.

Over the last few months I have noticed that where my ribs are is fairly lumpy - after the mastectomy it was just skin on bone with very little in between. I have raised this with my consultant on 2 occasions now. The first time he said I had knobbly ribs, the second time when there were more, bigger lumps he said it was probably cartilage growing and was nothing to worry about. He is an experienced man and I am fairly confident that he is right - but there is always that niggling doubt and I just wondered whether anybody else had experinced this.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards


Hello Barbara,
I also had a mastectomy towards the end of 2007, 10 days before Christmas, followed in my case by three weeks of rads.
Although the area is not lumpy it gets ‘puffy’ around the side and sore towards evening, there are still days when I take my bra off as soon as I come in or go bra-less around the house.
Simply removing the breast has created different sensations in the area and there are times when I am convinced that underlying muscles have been stuck between the ribs! I suppose we are still at the stage where any ache lump or bump is a worry to us.
I still massage the area about twice a day with aqueos cream which i think may help to break down scar tissue along the scar area, gives me soft skin if nothing else.
Hopefully this may give you some reassurance and I expect that others will be able to give you more info as the day goes on.
best wishes

I’m going to be asking my consultant surgeon about this in a couple of weeks when it’s time for my review as I’ve noticed a bit of noblyness around the surgery site. I had bilateral surgery and have noticed that while there are lumps and bumps that feel odd I do seem to have symetry, eg bumps on ribs on both sides. I’ve also noticed that it seems to be more pronounced after I’ve been excersising and I’ve been pushing myself lately.

I reckon it’s natural to be wary after what we’ve already been through, it’s good to get these things checked out. But this is a new shape and feeling to your body that you haven’t had time to get used to so I’ve been making a note of every little thing so when I see my consultant surgeon I can get all those little niggles at the back of my mind quietened.

Don’t forget you do have the right to a second opinion too and it doesn’t have to be awkward you could just explain that it’s still concerning you and you just like a second point of view so you can be sure, they’ll understand.


Thanks Angie - that’s really helpful and makes perfect sense when coupled with the exercise. I will keep an eye on it and seek advice if tis gets significantly bigger.

best regards


my ribs hurt all the time… especially when trying to sleep on mast. side and when wearing bra… i had surgery end of feb.

Just so you know I’m seeing consultant surgeon on Fri so will ask him about this stuff.

I wonder if the body tries to grow new tissue to make up for the breast, ie a protective layer between the ribs and skin? I will be asking.

that is interesting idea vert—
our bodies are truly amazing…I wouldn’t be surprized at all, would you?
I will keep an eye on this after op


Hi there,
I know this thread is months old but it is quite relevant to some symptoms that my mum has at the moment. So I just wondered if anyone had discovered what was possibly causing their ‘lump’ and how they are feeling at the moment.
Any help would be appreciated xx