scar tissue or recurrence?

Hi folks,
I have not been on here for a while. I found this site a godsend in 2008 when i was diagnosed. I had IDC 2.1cm, ER+,
HER2+, sentinal nodes were clear, grade 2. I had lumpectomy, chemo, rads and herceptin. I am 5 years since treatment this July.
I have a lump in scar, i think where tumour was. The doctor at breast clinic thinks it could be scar tissue but i remember being told my first lump was nothing when it was first felt at the clinic, so i am not convnced. I got a mammogram but my ultrasound is not until June by then i will have waited over 4 weeks. Is it normal to wait so long? I can feel a lump which feels different to the rest of the scar tissue i have.
Sorry for ranting but i know people on this understand. If it is scar tissue of course that would be a relief but i sometimes think i would be better with it off! I hate having these scares, i have had to date a fatty lump in my chest, a palpable lymph node which was thought to be ok, cording, bone scan which showed degeneration in my back and spine. I feel like a hypochondriac!
thanks for reading, any thoughts welcome

Hi Powejen,
I’m not in your situation as i’m only just starting my journey (had WLE and sentinol biopsy and waiting for onc appointment), but I completely understand where you are coming from in that you are worried about everything and anything that happens to your body. I have been having to wait between 2-3 weeks for my results because of all the bank holidays and things which was awful, so 4 weeks must seem ages. I know it has scared you when in your initial diagnosis they told you not to worry, but I do think if the doctor was overly concerned he woudld have said something. Is there anyway you could pay to have it looked at privately - I know its expensive but might be worth the money to put your ind at rest.
Take care


Just seen your post and thankyou for your comments on mine. MyGP sent me away for 6 weeks I think he thought I was imagining it and then when I went back I was seen by another GP and sent as a routine appt although was seen in 10 days. I think WE know best when it comes to lumps and stuff but wouldn’t necessarily worry about waiting til June for US. I had biopsy on lump on my scar last year which came back as fat necrosis! Lovely!
I do hope it turns out to be nothing but as people keep telling me you have done it before you can do it again! (not really helpful I know!)
Good Luck

Hi Powerjen,
Feel for you the wait is horrible. I have just been diagnosed with a new local reccurence on my mastectomy/recon. side. I felt a “ridge” which actually was painful so I rang BCN eventually got an appt. went off for bone scan, back again, mammogram, back again, then they sent me for an ultra sound and that is when the atmosphere changed and everyone stopped trying to reassure me. The whole process has taken for ever, so much longer than the first time round. Which as you will know plays havoc with your sanity. After 5 years I was assuming this was over, not necessarily looking forward to not having my safety net (Tamoxifen) but I could live without it especially as It makes me feel rubbish. I start my new journey on 6th June with my op ( a lumpecotomy from my chest wall) then rads maybe chemo. depends on histopathology and then Letrezole for next 5 years.
I will keep everything crossed for you and send good vibes that you do not join me on this journey.

Kat xx

Hi Powerjen
I was first diagnosed in 1997 and had lumpectomy, rads and Tamoxifen. 16 years later and things just didn’t feel right - lumpy and a bit sore so went to GP - she reassured me that it was the effect of the rads and scar tissue etc - but I still wasn’t happy but left it. A few months later I had the routine mammogram which showed a recurrence. Since then I have had mastectomy, chemo and now Anastrazole for 5 years. I’m not trying to scare you but you as yours may be nothing but isn’t it better to know and then get on with the treatment. I am still annoyed with the GP dismissing my concerns and in retrospect I should have insisted on a mammogram right away. I talked to my oncologist about it and he said that the tumour wouldn’t have grown very much in that time (1 year) but even so!! I reckon if you have the mammogram and something shows up surely they will fastrack you for an ultrasound??
Good luck to you and I hope it is just scar tissue - please let us know how you get on! By the way, I finished my chemo last June and am back at work, normal life etc - feeling good!
Jan x

Hi Faye, thanks for your reply. Sorry to hear you have just been diagnosed.Hope you get good results. I thought of going private but it was going to cost £650, So I decided to wait, tomorrow I have an appt for ultrasound.Jill you are right we do know our bodies best, you should not have been sent away for 6 weeks.Kat sorry about your recurrence, It’s sods law that it happened after 5 years, I wish you well for your treatment.Jan I have had a mammogram done 4 weeks ago and it has not been reported yet as they don’t have enough radiologists, so the bcn said anyway, glad your doing well

Hi There Guys,
I had my first Mastectomy in Sept 2011, followed by Chemo then Rads, in 2012 Sept had another Mastectomy as had abnormal cells in right Breast, since then been taking Tamox, I seem to have developed a swelling Thickening along my firsy mastectomy scar line towards the middle of my chest, first noticed it as the area became painfull to touch, saw Gp last week and am seeing Breast Surgeon on Thursday. Feel really upset about it… Have not told anyone. family or partner because they have already been through the mill with the rest of it. Just hope it turns out to be nothing. least said best mended and all that. Keep Fingers Crossed x I understand what you mean about the waiting, awful. Reminds me a bit of being Pregnant, with the first you want to know everything, with the Second you want to know but can wait. cause you know what your in for !!! x

Hi folks,
went for ultrasound today. Radiologist thinks its nothing to worry about. The lump did not show on the mammo but did on the ultrasound. She said if she was worried she would have biopsied it but she wants a an MRI done just to be sure.I guess the fact she said she is not worried is hopeful, what do you guys think?
Goseberry girl, lets hope you get good news, you deserve it!

I hope it is good news on Thursday, Had 14 cancerous Lymph nodes so I think Common Sense tells me I must be at high risk of reocurrance, fingers Crossed x The area in the middle of my sternum is painful and around the new (lump) area x
I hope Kat I will not be joining you, but the way my luck goes that seems too much to hope for x

Hi there , you could always ask for a biopsy. I had bc in 2008 recurrance in scar area in oct 2012 now have small secondary in lung, gone at present due to second lot of chemo but please nag them to do the necessary tests, you know when something is not right.
Hope you get a positive result
Sarah x

Hi folks,
thanks for your replies. gooseberry girl lets hope its your turn for some good luck.
Sarah, thats brilliant that the chemo has worked for the lung met. where you on here in 2008? i think i remember you , i was diagnosed then also
According to the doctor i seen on saturday it is unusual for breast cancer to return in the scar due to the boost of radiotherapy you get. she also said it would be unusual to get a recurrence just before the 5 years. i thought she would biopsy the lump but she didnt , to have mri now.
Sarah if you don’t mind me asking what type of breast cancer did you have?
regards x

Hi folks,
does anyone know if you can tell if a lump is malignant or benign on the mri, or do you need a biopsy to be certain?


I think the medics have a pretty good idea of whether a lump looks innocent or malignant on MRI and other imaging.
However, my understanding is that these are not ‘diagnostic’ - that’s why biopsies are done, to be absolutely sure.

Hope this helps.

Hello powerjen

I agree with wintersocks above.
This is worrying you and will probably continue to do so until they do a biopsy. I know what it’s like to worry all the time about recurrence - it’s dreadful. If I were you I would ask them to do a biopsy to put your mind at rest.
Best wishes - Anthi

When I went for my appt everyone thought it was benign lump! Had ultrasound and lady who did it said she was on the fence but did 4 biopsies anyway and also put marker in and re mammogrammed as I had only had “clear” one in Jan. Consultant had actually written in his notes that he thought it was benign! He showed me after telling me that it was cancer!!! So I do think a biopsy is the best way to tell and would be asking for one if I were you. Was also told only 10% have BC bilaterally and I think that was why they had all thought it wasnt! I obviously didnt look the type to be in that 10%??? Was then told there were subtle changes on the Jan mammogram! I have op tomorrow to remove lump so will know more then but they think it is only DCIS so fingers crossed!
Good Luck for your MRI and I do hope you get some answers but would push for biopsy I am only 2 years from original dx so not sure what she meant by unusual to have recurrence before 5 years?
Jill xx

Hi Powerjen,
Cripes they are dragging it out for you!! but I know that one. My Dr was very reassuring and convinced mine was nothing and like you I was diagnosed in 2008 so things can pop back on the 5 yr anniv. Go for the biopsy and find out once and for all and then you can move on.
Wish me luck for tomorrow as Im having my " I would call it a lumpectomy but I’ve already had a mastectomy"!!
Kat xx

Hi there,
Wintersocks and anthi thanks for your advice, if i am not offered a biopsy i will push for one. i have to get bloods then the mri, it could take 2-3 weeks then another 2 for results!
Jan, hope your op went well, let us know how you are x
Kat, wishing you well for tommorrow, x