Scar tissue like a pea???

Hope im posting in the right section as Im currently going through chemo, however, I found a new lump near my armpit (on the fatty bit that creases at the front). It is about the size of a pea and I have never noticed it before. I had my mastectomy in october, really neat job, smooth everywhere else. I phoned the hospital today (have an appointment with my onc on friday anyway) and told a doctor who said it was probably scar tissue?

Has anyone heard of this? I really hope it is scar tissue but its such an obvious little lump not really in the mastectomy area. Can scar tissue come up as an isolated lump in a different area??

Would appreciate advice/experiencies on this one


Hi Yvonne
I found a lump below my mastectomy scar in Nov '08 (had my mastectomy Dec '07) - telephoned my breast care nurse and she got me a speedy appt. Unfortunately it was another tumour. I had it removed a couple of weeks ago and, fingers crossed, it’s all gone this time!
I don’t want to panic you, but would advise you to get it checked out. You need to, for your own peace of mind.
For most ladies it is just scar tissue and I hope this is the case with you.
Best wishes,

Hi Sally
Thanks for answering, It must be horrible for you to go through that again- will you get any other treatment? After my mastectomy they were very hazy about the info on my margins but I do know there were two tumors in the breast and lots of calcifications hence full mastectomy.
I will tell my onc about it on friday and make sure that it gets checked out properly. The doctor I spoke to today said it would be very unusual to develop another tumor whilst on chemo- but then there seem to be lots of unusual things when it comes to c so we’ll see how it goes

Hi Yvonne
I am still awaiting the histology from my latest tumour - that will determine what treatment I should be aiming for next. At present I am on Herceptin (and have been since June '08) and my consultant wants to put me onto Lapatinib instead (as I have had this local recurrence), but the PCT have refused to fund it for me.
I was initially dx in May '07, had chemo Jun-Oct, mastectomy Dec, then radiotherapy in Jan/Feb '08, followed by Herceptin.
You are having your treatment in a different order to me, as we all seem to do! As you say there is no rhyme or reason with C - it just seems to be the luck of the draw.
My smallest margin, this time around, was 3mm - which sounds tiny to me, (but then human bodies aren’t that big)!
Good luck for Friday. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

Hi Yvonne

Sorry that you are having this worry especially whilst having to deal with chemo. A couple of years ago I found a small lump on my chest about 2 inches above the mast scar just a bit smaller than a pea. I rang my BCN and she said it was probably scar tissue but I felt that it wasn’t (felt too hard and symmetrical) so I was given an emergency appt with the surgeon. He felt it and to be on the safe side organised an ultrasound. It turned out that it was a fat necrosis which was drained (very relieving seeing the dark blob on the ultrasound screen just disappear in front of my eyes).

Hope this is the reason for your lump and good luck for Friday.


Hi Sally
Our treatment plan does sound similar I am also due to start herceptin when chemo and radio is over. Is there no trial to fund Lapatinib- they just wont give it to you because its too expensive? That sounds a really stressful situation. Im not too knwlegeable when it comes to c (but learning more all the time!)but I think 3mm is quite a good sign for a margin isnt it?

Hi Roberta
thanks for sharing your experience with me. My new lump does sound similar to what you found so I can only hope. Its just one worry after the other. We’ll see what they say

Yvonne xx

A little update on my day…
Went to see the onc and was told she didnt ‘think’ the lump had anything to do with the cancer? They didnt ‘think’ my original tumors were anything to do with cancer either- they talked to me like robots. I burst into tears and left the centre crying. Felt like an idiot I was so sure they would send me for an ultrasound or something so they could ‘know’ it isnt cancerous. I dont know what to do now


You need to go back and get a second opinion. You are not happy and not convinced and I wouldn’t be either if they used the term ‘think’. I too wouldn’t care what they ‘think’ as I would want to ‘know’.

Insist on an ultrasound or a biopsy and explain that they got it wrong before so you do not want to take any chances again. Even if, as I hope, it turns out to not be connected with your cancer, you need to have your mind properly put at rest.

If you don’t have any luck then contact the hospital and make an official complaint. Their response to you in the circumstances is not good enough.

Hi Suzanne
Youre right I think i do need a second opinion- I am seeing my GP first thing monday to give bloods for chemo so I will speak to him first to see if he can get me to the breast clinic again- dont know how helpful he’ll be but going to try to chill out over the weekend and get back into action next week. Thankyou for your advice and Im glad Im not the only one who thinks this info today was far to vague

Hi Yvonne
The response from your oncologist was unbelievable and totally insensitive - how dare they?! If there is any doubt they should do an ultrasound, then a biopsy if there is any further question.
I was told in Mar '06 that the lump I found, after breastfeeding my twins, was not cancerous - when I went back a year later (because I thought that the lump had grown), I was told that it was. Again, similar to you!?
Have you spoken to your breast care nurse? Like Suzanne I think that you should get a second opinion - good luck with trying to obtain one.

Hello Yvonne,

Sorry you hasve this new worry.

I too had a local recurrence, just below my scar line, within 3 months of my mastectomy and actually while I was having my rads.

It was successfully removed, after being biopsied.

Please do go back and insist on a scan, hopefully it is scar tissue but you need to be reassured.
Jackie x

hi Yvonne, hope that you got some sense out of your gp’s today, its awful the way we are spoken to at times, it really can make you feel that you are just a number, i look forward to hearing about how you got on

hi everyone
what a day, feeling really drained now. I spoke to my gp this morning who said I should not try to loose any sleep over this and he felt it and thinks its probably just gristle or a stitch. I said he had been wrong before and he said to keep my eye on it and he would check it each time i go to give bloods and he said to mention it again when I get my next apointment with onc in april. Alison I know what you mean about feeling like a number.

It seems to me unless they check it through biopsy/ultrasound no one can be certain. I could really do without this right now as so exhausted from my chemos- well Im back in on wed to get chemo so I will mention it again and Im going to need to be more assertive and ask for a biopsy. Im not trying to be awkward and I really hope it is nothing but I want to be sure! Jackie did you have any problems getting checked out when you found your recurrence? Sally I find it quite tricky to get hold of my bc nurse I phoned 3 times (well left 3 voice messages- phoned more) when I found the lump last monday and heard nothing back (and Im being treated at a centre of excellence, I suppose if I had the choice I’d rather the treatment was of higher standard than the ‘cutomer care’!)
Yvonne xxx

I really think you need to get this looked at asap as its worrying you sick, and thats not going to help you whilst your under all the stress of having chemo, try to ring your bc nurse again, i know at my hospital if i ring mine and she isn’t there, well, another nurse will normally ring me back instead, try the main hospital switch board so that they can page a breast care nurse for you. as to gps, well, thats exactly what they are, any problems i have i just deal directly with my surgeon as i gave the onc the sack ages ago! maybe you could get hold of your oncologists secretary and tell her your concerns and they may bring your appointment forward, April is a long time to wait.

Hi again Yvonne,

I noticed the lump during rads and mentioned it to the oncs reg, who said they’d keep an eye on it, but he didn’t!

However, at my follow up appt, when rads were completed I saw my oncs new registrar and showed her the lump.
At first she said too that they would keep an eye on it, but as I was getting dressed, after being examined she changed her mind.
She went in and spoke to my onc and came back and said that for her piece of mind (bless)she would like it biopsied. She was incredibly kind to me explaining it was her job to be over cautious.

In the event the lump was cancerous.

I do also remember the surgeon (my own surgeon was on hols) said if I had presented in clinic with my lump he would have said they would keep an eye on it because it was so tiny, but as the biopsy had been done and cancer had been found he wanted to perform a WLE.
I have always been grateful to my oncs reg!!!

Best Wishes
Jackie x

hi everyone
just wanted to let you know I got to see a doctor today who sent me for an ultra sound (whopppeee, finally) and it showed a back mass under the skin which is apparantly nothing to worry about. She said most likey a hair folicle- so at least its been looked into now and hopefully its an end to it. thankyou for the advice and help youve all given me (and of course I’ll make sure I keep my eye on it just in case of any changes)
Yvonne xx

Hi Yvonne thats brilliant news xxxxx lets hope that thats the end of the worrying for a good while
lots of love

Hi Yvonne
That’s fab news - am so pleased for you.
Best wishes.

Hi there, I was wondering whether someone would be able to help me,I have been crying for hours now because I am so worried and thinking the worst! My mom was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer few years ago,the lump felt hard like a small pea! She ended up having Radiotherapy and a double mastectomy as this type of cancer can later show in other breast!Tonight she told me she has found another small pea like lump in almost same place on same breast so I know she is thinking it has returned and so am I, I know I must sound really negative but is there anything else that it could be? If it is a recurrence then what is likely to happen now? She will ring hos tomorrow morning and hopefully be seen asap…I just feel so upset and feel like its all happening again! once again I apologise for sounding so negative ,I have just joined this site tonight and read all your posts,you all see very helpful…any advice would be very much appreciated…

hope everyone is well

thanks Natalie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hi Natalie
Sorry to hear youre mum has found another lump, she is doing the right thing getting in touch with the hospital, I would think they will get her in for a scan and a biopsy if necessary. There are lots of other things that the lumps can be as I have found out myself. I dont know too much about recurrence but try and take things one step at a time and find out whats going on first. I hope it turns out to be nothing- these forums are a great place for information and support. Let us know how you get on
Yvonne xxxx