The info on radial scars is definitely limited. I've also seen conflicting information, even in medical journals. However, I have read a few articles that say radial scars cannot be prevented, but I'm not entirely sure how they form. I know they're somewhat rare.
When I went through all of my testing, one of my MRIs was outright denied by my insurance. They said it was not medically necessary. The previous MRI showed "moderate background enhancement," which can sometimes be simply from hormones, but other times it's a sign of cancer or pre-cancer. My breast surgeon did a peer to peer with my insurance company and got the MRI approved. It again showed moderate background enhancement.
The interesting thing about the radial scars and about the background enhancement is that one radiologist said the radial scars must be surgically excised. That radiologist ended up retiring, and the new radiologist didn't say anything about the radial scars. He basically said the MRI looked the same as the previous one. What I've learned is that there's a bit of subjectivity when it comes to radiologists reading MRIs, mammograms, etc. Some things are clear-cut, but other things are not.
My healing is going fairly well. My incisions are healing quite well. I have no signs of infection. My main complaint is nerve pain. Also, the expanders sometimes press on my ribcage and chest wall, which is very uncomfortable. My energy is much better, but I'm still not 100% better in that regard.
That's cool that you too are in California. I'm in So Cal.
I'm glad that you are not on pain meds any longer, and I hope the pain is less now and you are able to (slowly) get back to your outdoor lifestyle. 😉
I'm so glad the decision you made for you, was the right one. You are definitely on the road to healing and living a full life!
I would love to know the studies on RS... the info is so limited... how can we prevent it? etc...
I'm concerned so many womxn do unnecessary surgery... and I know its their journey, but if we could help educate better, even at a younger age, I think this would help so many womxn handle these issues better. Womxn carry so much more than men (I think), men have their fair share for sure, stress and hormones seem to effect us much more tho.
I'm actually in California as well! So, I don't know why its been a bit of a pain... maybe because I don't have family history.
After I had the genetic testing done, I requested a MRI, Genetic doc agreed it wouldn't hurt. She ordered the MRI, today I was suppose to have it done, but my insurance was pending... so I had to reschedule, such a pain, as I've been waiting patiently to do this.
I was hoping to get more clarification and try to move on with life a bit, 2021 was so stagnate with trying to get answers, grief and life in general.
I guess everything happens it due time. 😉
Anyhoo -- I have to wait until March now...
Be well... Keep me posted on your healing.
and as always thank you for your listening ear!
with love and gratitude,
The recovery from the surgery has been rough, but I'm definitely doing better than I was during the first two weeks after the surgery. I still have pain, but I no longer need the hardcore pain meds. I'm usually a really active person, so it's been rough being limited on what I can do. Needless to say, I've been more anxious lately since I can't go mountain biking yet or swim in the ocean. (The water is probably too cold for that anyway right now.) However, I can go for walks on the beach and hikes in nearby wilderness parks, so those have been helpful.
The pathology results from the mastectomy revealed multiple radial scars in each breast. The physician's assistant said when she saw the results, she felt very good about my decision to do the risk reducing mastectomy. The pathology results made me feel like I did the right thing. My breast surgeon said I would have definitely needed more biopsies in the future had I not done the mastectomy and also said radial scars can sometimes turn into cancer.
I don't know much about Evista, but I can see your hesitation about taking meds. I generally try to avoid meds, but for my recovery and try to be more holistic/natural, I have definitely needed the pain meds during this recovery.
That's interesting that your BS is hesitant about you getting an MRI. It was one of the first things the radiologist and the BS recommended for me, but things might be different where I live compared to where you are. I live in California.
Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have more questions.
I hope by now you’re recovering and doing well after your surgery.
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
Sorry for the delay, the holidays came up so quickly, and I realized I had a bit of depression.
I’m doing good now, just getting back to researching and understanding what to do.
I did do the genetic testing (84 genes including BRAC1/2) and had a call with genetic doc today on the results, I too had negative genetic mutations. With one variant as being Uncertain. I’m waiting on the report to be sent to me to understand it a bit more.
He recommends medication, Evista. As you said my risk is higher becuz of the RS; he did say the average womxn my age, (with no known family history) i’m about 1-6 vs 1-9 to developing BC.
I have always had a mammogram & US done simultaneously, I’ve asked my BS about MRI and she was hesitant as its typically use for High risk BC.
The genetic doc also mentioned these options and told him what she said, and mention another option is to do another genetic testing with a different lab that test breast cancer beyond the other genetic testing I did which could help determine if the MRI is necessary.
I’m not one to take medication, I live a holistic live as best as I can. So doing this other Test I think would help me decide on the MRI and the Evista.
I did ask him about doing a mastectomy - and he disagrees as did the BS, said it was too invasive for my situation.
I go in May for my 6 mos, and will do the other genetic testing — and try to live my life as best as I can so I don’t waste it in depression or concern. 🙂
Please let me know how you are doing.
Sending you lots of healing love.
The genetics testing can seem rather complicated and overwhelming. They tested me for around 90 different gene mutations. It obviously wasn't just for BRCA and also wasn't for only the breast cancer gene mutations. I tested negative for all gene mutations, but I was told I've got a higher risk for melanoma, but that's just based on family history.
It turns out I have had five radial scars identified. I reread all of the pathology reports. It sounds like only one was totally removed. The plan was to closely monitor me, but I've actually decided to proceed with a risk reducing mastectomy to radically reduce my risk. I too have very dense breasts.
As far as the RS, I don't even know they're there because they are so small (around 4mm-6mm). These are considered high risk lesions, but the link to breast cancer is unclear. Pathologists & radiologists are sort of on the fence about these as far as whether they do turn into cancer, but there's definitely at least a slightly higher risk of breast cancer for women with RS. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost two friends from BS. My cousin died of BS several years ago, and her daughter ended up testing positive for BRCA. She had a risk reducing mastectomy and has not regretted it one bit.
I agree that the biopsy is extremely uncomfortable. I feel rushed in my response to you, and I'm sorry about that. I'm dashing off to my pre-op appt.
Thanks for responding.
I just had a consultation with a Genetic specialist. Will do the genetic testing since I have no relationship with my biological mother and do not know my biological father. I need to call him back, as I have more questions now that I’m digested the info.
Trying to understand the gene mutations better, with testing, you did a major testing that tests all mutations? What are the mutations?
Agreed on on the negative testing, I know I’m in the “higher” risk bracket… I have had a lumpectomy (Fibroadenoma) when i found my first lump in 2006, at 35, was benign and have continued to find lumps, monitor them and they go away… which I’ve read most likely due to hormone change. I’m 50 now, and in perimenopause, and have read these issues will most likely disappear… but who knows.
I recently my annual MM & US, I have extremely dense tissue, they found suspicious area, so this time, I did the biopsy and they found RS. I don’t want to have surgery if I don’t need to, or another biopsy, it was not comfortable, as they couldn’t get the needle towards the area, becuz of the dense tissue.
So you still have 2 RS and they removed 2? Have you seen any changes in size of the remaining ones? There isn’t much info on studies about womxn who opt out of doing surgery, or I cannot find them.
Do you have 6 mos check ups then? And why did they remove the one and not the others?
Sorry for all of the questions… trying to get a better grip on understanding what to do. I lost my girlfriend 4 years ago of BC, and one 7 mos ago, one diagnosed recently, — and I know many friends who has lost someone or survived BC…
I’m glad I found this forum, I don’t feel so alone.
Thank you again or responding.
Please keep me update on your health.
With love & gratitude,
I did have genetic testing. I'm negative for all gene mutations. It's true that most surgeons want to remove RS, but some research shows that close monitoring is an acceptable plan. It's odd that I've had four radial scars identified. I've only had two removed. I still have one in each breast, but I suppose I could have more than that because when the surgeon removed one, the biopsy results showed that there were two radial scars in that same area.
It's probably a good idea to get genetics testing, but from what I've learned women who test negative can still have factors that put them at high risk for breast cancer.
Have you had a genetic testing done yet? I have been blessed with a RS. I’m investigating on what I should do. Most surgeons want to remove RS, because the likeliness of cancerous cells underneath it is 10% or more depending the size of the RS.
I’m in looking to get a genetic test done soon, as I do not know my biological father’s family history and really my mother’s side as well.
sending you love.
with love & gratitude.
Hi Binca, I just thought I’d acknowledge your post and the issues you are having. very scary, I imagine, but good that you are being so carefully monitored.
I’m hoping that one of the nurses picks it up as I’ve never heard if radial scars. Perhaps you might think about the posting on the ‘ Ask the nurses’ thread? Im sure someone will come along soon with a bit of help. In the meantime, best wishes. Ann x
I'm totally new to this forum. In fact, this is my first post. I found this site after doing extensive research online about radial scars. I've had a total of five radial scars identified and removed. A bi-lateral MRI showed four areas of enhancement. A couple months ago I had MRI-guided biopsies that resulted in two radial scars being identified. Then I had surgery two and a half weeks ago to remove a RS that had been identified from a core needle biopsy. When the pathologists examined the tissue, they saw three radial scars. So, this all adds up to me having five radial scars, which from what I have read is a lot. They're all pretty small. The largest one was around 5-6mm. I can't find anything online about whether having more radial scars is cause for concern as far as the link to cancer. The biopsy result showed no cancer, but my surgeon said I am at high risk for developing breast cancer in the next five years. My breast surgeon will monitor me closely with a bi-lateral breast MRI every six months and a mammogram every six months. I just wish I knew more about why my breasts seem to produce so many radial scars.