Skin Mets

Hi everyone
Following my lumpectomy, chemo and rads last June, I had a mastectomy for a local recurrence this June. Everything was healing fairly well and now, two months on, I have five or six different types of skin “things” - whether they are all at varying stages who knows. They are all on the previously bruised skin of the mastectomy and two very close to the scar. Three are like blind pimples, one is quite inflammmed but flat and all are no bigger than an insect bite.
Of course I am convinced it’s skin mets but can’t find much info or pictures to inform me.
I have had a biopsy on one which initially came back as “inconclusive” and I get the second results this Thursday.
Anyone out there have any ideas or experiences.


Hi JaneWoo

About 10 years ago I had a mastectomy and at my 6mth check up i had just what you are describing and I actually thought they were insect bites (even flea bites!) as i had 5 cats who were very willing to share their little visitors. The surgeon took one look at them and said he was afraid the cancer was back. He did a biopsy there and then on 3 of them and he was right. NOT skin mets but a primary recurrence as some of the cancer cells had got into the skin. I think different docs have different ways of dealing with it. Hope all goes well for you on Thursday.


Hi Jane,

I am sorry to hear you had a recurrence and had to have a mastectomy and am sending you my best wishes, that the results of the biopsy will be negative.

I have just seen my breast surgeon today for changes of the skin on my mastectomy site and have been reassured, that it may be an allergy rather than the first signs of skin mets.If you woul like to read more about skin mets or see photographs go to http:// and put “skin mets” in the search box. Then click on Re:Re:skin mets?Pictures of SKIN METS Kerubkeep (2005-01-03)

Hope all will turn out well for you.

Love, Brigitte

Thanks Dawnhc and Brigitte for your replys.
Dawn, how did they treat your recurrence ? I know that my first recurrence had already made it into the skin which is why I had a mastectomy. However, all the tissue they took away was clear apart from the cancer site.
It’s all very confusing!
Funnily enough I have an insect bite which has gone funny on my leg, so I am taking antibiotics for that and - ever the optimist - am hoping that they will help my chest spots!!
Best wishes to you all

Hi JaneWoo,

I hesitate to put details of the treatment re the ‘bites’ because I have also heard of people with a similar problem that was not bc at all. I hope that tomorrow you discover that yours have an innocent explanation. The way my surgeon at the Royal Marsden dealt with it was quite drastic because mine was quite an aggressive type of bc. I expect you have heard of a type of reconstruction called a TRAM which is similar to a diep in that it is constructed with the skin from the tummy area, but also includes muscle and blood vessels too. Mine was a VRAM op which meant the incision was vertical instead of horizontal because I had a hysterectomy scar from some years before. So all the skin etc. was removed from the chest area of the mastectomy site and replaced with flap from tummy area. You have to remember that this was some 10 years ago now and techniques have changed quite a bit since them. If they take this approach much will depend on how much spare flesh you have in that area :)Also remember that some Surgeons approach this problem in quite a different way. It was a long operation but I have had no further problems in that area. If after tomorrow you want to ask any more do contact me again.

Thank you Dawn for your reply. I must admit I was very encouraged to know that whatever the treatment is like, it is clearly treatable and has a good prognosis. I too had a hysterectomy with a vertical scar line. My bc was grade 3 originally, so aggressive but has been quite small in size. I am also triple negative.
I also had bone and body scans, mammograms etc in June when I had my previous recurrence, so I would have hoped they would have shown something then.
We’ll have to wait and see - I’m okay about it all really - I think cross more than anything as I would like to get on with my life!


No, part of my surname ! I end up using it on websites and car registration etc! Thanks for all your information - I’m everso together over this situation - been through so much in 14 months - think I’m quite numb really but always positive - and I realise very well off in comparison to some ladies. Will let you know how it develops.


Well …
I saw a registrar yesterday as my consultant is away for two weeks. The biopsy is now suspicious, so , after a tremendous bit of work by the BC nurse, I saw a senior consultant this morning. He has taken a sample under local anaesthetic but has said that he can be more or less certain that the 7 lumps I have are all cancer.
A lot to take in - breast cancer three times in 15 months.
Again, they pulled out all the stops and I am seeing my oncologist on Monday as they are planning treatment.
The options mentioned were skin graft or chemo or (a less favourite option of theirs) further radio of a different sort.
I get the feeling they will go with chemo first. Quite a blow but recoverable.
Thank you to Dawnhc for your information - you will never know how much better I felt having that and how confident I have felt when discussing this with the medical professionals.
This forum is amazing - we need to keep reading and posting every bit of knowledge we gain from our own experiences, because, once again, it has been such a huge support to me.


Hi Jane,

Your hospital team sound as if they have pulled all the stops out for you and given you very quick and thorough attention. It is very hard when this wretched disease can be so persistent. The sharing of knowledge and experience that we gain and can share here on forums like this is invaluable and I am so glad that what I was able to contribute has been of use. Hope all goes well with your onc. appointment on Monday Jane.


Just to let you know that it doesn’t always have to be bad news. I got up this morning and found what I thought was another very small lump in the skin close to my WLE scar. I was going for my next to last chemotherapy session this morning so I rang the breast care nurse who arranged for me to see my surgeon this afternoon. He assures me that the little pimply thing I found was in fact a skin cyst, which could either be left alone or frozen out. I’ve opted to wait to decide what to do with it until I see him again in December.

Good luck with your appointment.