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Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

10 REPLIES 10
geordiedevon
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

I had surgery in July and massaged with E45 twice a day and did the exercises and it seemed to be ok -a bit swollen but not uncomfortable. Then since November my arm pit is tender, rash on from of breast,  a bit of swelling and it feels like there's an egg in there when I put my arm down. Definite lump on side /scar tissue. I rang my BCNurse who said keep up the exercises and massage (which admittedly I wasn't doing as much) and to contact my GP if it persisted . I contacted him 2 weeks ago and have Cetrabane to use and massage , steroid cream for the rash which has disappeared. I've no idea what is normal or what the time scale is. Though I was ok and it feels like a set back but nurse said don't think of it like that. 

ttyler
Community Champion

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

Hello everyone,

 I have not been on much lately as I have been busy with home schooling, but wanted you all to know I am exactly the same.

 

 I had a therapeutic mammoplasty in April, followed by chemo June to end of September and finished radiotherapy in November. I have not had too many problems other than my breast feeling bruised and tender, however a week ago it started to become really itchy and tingling. There is no rash, however it feels warmer to touch than my good boob.

 

 On Monday I went to be examined by the bc nurse and she said she could feel a lump. As you can imagine I thought here we go again and went go straight back into fighting mode. I need not have worried. I was sent for a ultrasound straight away and it was confirmed that there is no cancer there. I could not feel the lump before but now I can. Not sure if this is due to all the prodding lol 😝 What the radiotherapy doctor did say is that because I had a mammoplasty there is a lot of scaring in there, it’s a bit like spaghetti junction apparently. She assured me that there was no cancer but said that I will probably feel this thickened scar tissue from time to time. I have since thought that’s great I know I may be able to feel a new lump but how will I know if it’s cancer or not. I think everyone is in the same boat with these feelings and they are completely normal.

 

 I think if you are worried, it is always best to get it checked out, put your mind at rest. If you are struggling to convince your breast care nurse to agree to examine you then you could contact the nurses on the site and ask the best way to go about getting seen or just to get some support.

 

 My pain a still there and I still do feel slightly worried. I have my first mammogram in April, but know if I still feel worried I will contact my team before hand for reassurance.

 

 Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

 

 Lots of love ❤️ Tara xxx

Blackcat182
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

Hi, found this thread as I was looking for some reassurance myself. I finished chemo March 2020, then lumpectomy/mammoplasty in April followed by radiotherapy in June. I’ve healed really well but my boob is still tender and I sometimes get a few days in a row where I get sharp pains that come and go (which is what I have at the moment) I also have an area of hard sometimes painful skin along the scar line (I had an anchor cut / down from nipple and all the way under the boob) So it’s quite a big scar. I know radiotherapy can cause a lot of damage and will take time to heal internally but I guess I had hoped to feel better than i do by now. Plus I’m due to have my other breast reduced for symmetry in the next few months! Although it’s looking likely it’s going to be cancelled due to covid as not classed as urgent. I guess I’ll have wonky boobs for a bit longer!!

Anyway it’s nice to know I’m not the only one still tender and sore 9 months post surgery. 

Big hugs to you all x 

Badger16
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

Hi Judyjohns66

I would speak to your BCN if you're worried but I find it reassuring to know that others have the same symptoms. I was doing OK in terms of side effects until about 4 weeks after my radiotherapy finished! BCN advised this is normal as everything is settling down from surgery and radio. I have started to massage the area twice a day as suggested by another member further down this thread so will see if I see any improvement.

Take care x

Badger16
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

Hi GabyF, 

I have contacted my BCN on a couple of occasions and she has reassured me that it's scar tissue and can take a long time to settle. It's just good to speak to others with the same issues, at least I know I'm not alone!

Take care x

Ludlow66
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

Hi, yes have exactly the same , surgery was in early September , but recently the discomfort and lumpiness has got worse. Not sure whether to go back to the consultant?

GabyF
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

I'm almost 2 years on from the same surgery/treatment and also still have quite a bit of lumpy tissue around the scar. My surgeon has repeatedly reassured me that it's scar tissue and any pain I periodically get in that area is down to the longterm effects of radiotherapy. It's improved over time, though the occasional twinge can still make me panic. Whenever this happens, I get in touch with my BCN or surgeon and they really don't seem to mind at all. So I would strongly recommend you do the same: no need to worry about it on your own, your breast care team are there for you! I was told that this would happen repeatedly over time and not to hesitate in contacting them. Weirdly, whenever I've seen my surgeon and he's reassured me, the pain miraculously disappears within a day or so. All in the mind?

Gxx

Badger16
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

Thanks for taking the time to reply. It's reassuring to know that other people have had the same issues. I think I'm expecting too much too soon!

Take care 

dollymixture
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

I am exactly the same. I finished my treatment (chemo, lumpectomy and radiotherapy) at the end of September. I went to see the breast surgeon and Breast care nurse last month who said it was due to the radiotherapy. I stared to lymphatic breast massage( I found a video online) with an aquaeous cream twice a day and feel that this has helped quite a bit as well as wearing a sports bra. 

m123
Member

Re: Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

I've had that too. The pain settled down about a year after radiotherapy, but it's all still lumpy. I'm glad for yearly mammograms as it'd be hard to spot a new lump among it all.

Badger16
Member

Tender, swollen and hard breast after treatment

Hi, 

I've finished treatment (lumpectomy, chemo and radiotherapy) at the end of October. Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed that my breast is tender and there's also like a hard lump of tissue where the tumour was. It's also still a little swollen but that started during radiotherapy. Spoken to BCN and she says probably just scar tissue that feels hard/lump. 

Anybody else had similar symptoms?

Thanks