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Scar tissue, tumor how the heck do you tell

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bcslayer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bcslayer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Scar tissue, tumor how the heck do you tell
    Posted: Oct 29 2008 at 2:26pm
I am four months out from my surgery and finished rad about five weeks ago.  I was having so much pain I went and saw my surgeon, he felt around my arm pit and breast and said it felt like scar tissue.  I said do you feel that lump their, he said yeh.  He is a great surgeon and I love him.  He is kind and understanding, I broke down crying and huged me until I stoped.  Its not that I question his judgement.  It just feels like their is a lump in my arm pit again is it possible for that tumor to grow that fast?  I do not have a mam or mri untill January.  I am just freaked out, I wish I could get a mri every month.Angry  I have so much pain where they took the lumph nodes
I guess I am trying to learn how to live in between scans.  This is my first break since dx and I do not know how to move on.  I have been baking for two days, I ate five cookies yesterday.  And I ruined a huge batch of pumpkin bread todayLOL.
Just do not want it to still be their and growing
dx 1/10/08 age 37
stage 3 IDC postive nodes Gr.3
tumor 2.5 auxillary 5 cm
6 rounds of TAC
6/08 lumpectomy with lymph node removal and clear margins
35 rounds of rads and 7 dose 9/9/08 finished
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sicknurse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sicknurse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 29 2008 at 3:56pm
All I can say is trust the doctor for now. We're both still pretty fresh after treatment, ooh, I actually feel my incision site twinging right now, but I think the same thing too. Every twinge, pinch, ache, I wonder what's going on? I know that the radiation is still at work at healing and keeping those cancer cells away! No, I'm not a doctor. If you'll feel better, maybe seek a second opinion. I do know that lymph nodes can swell as they help fight any infections. How many did they remove? Btw, I'm still pretty numb in my armpit and my tricep. It's good you're taking comfort in cookies and I know you won't overdo it. Wish I can share your cookies with you. We're here for you, too!Thumbs%20Up
sicknurse
dx: 12/07 Left breast St.II,TNBC,BRCA neg
1/08-5/08 ACT chemo
7/28/08 Lumpectomy,3 nodes - NO CANCER!
9/08-10/08 Radiation
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myjourney View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote myjourney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2008 at 7:00am
I am so glad you asked this question because its something I've been wondering. I am half way done with chemo and I notice that near my lumpectomy site there is what sure feels like a bump to me. I'm a massage therapist so palpating things is fun for me. But its hard to feel the difference between scar tissue and a tumor. It sure feels like a tumor to me. I keep forgetting to mention this to my onc as I have so many other things to mention to him due to the chemo. I need to tell my husband to help me remember to bring this up. The other weird thing that happens is after chemo for a few days I have burning zinging pain in that area that radiates. I just imagine that its killing all those cells good/bad.
I am a baker too and have been busy doing so. Just imagine when your whipping up your ingrediants that you are healed, you are cured, and it is just your lymph nodes and the area healing. You are HEALED.
33 year old
1.8 cm tumor/Node Neg
Lumpectomy 7/1/08
BRCA 1 & 2 Negative
AC DONE!! 9/17/08 Four of 'em
Taxotere done! 11 of 12 ~1/31/08
33 radiation
My blog:
heathersjourneytohealth.blogspot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mainsailset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2008 at 9:25am
I'm going to apologise up front for throwing some negativity in here...
My first Ultrasound in late July showed a lump 2.2 x 5.5. MRI in late August came up with 6.6 x 14 cm...these suckers can grow fast!
My sister has just been re-diagnosed with a recurrence (she's not triple neg) and she has been on a study that was geared to limit recurrences. UltraSound Tech & Mamogram Tech both told her the lump was clean. She insisted on the biopsy. It is cancer.
See if you can get a scan or at best a biopsy NOW. Waiting until January is a long time and cancer seems to thrive on our stress and anxiousness. If you can definitively give yourself an answer isn't that better than months of being in pain and uncertainty?
Best of luck. M
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote myjourney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2008 at 9:42am
I will go to the other side, and agree with you, Mainsaliset. This is also a possibility. But BCSlayer, still believe you're healed just do your due diligence.
33 year old
1.8 cm tumor/Node Neg
Lumpectomy 7/1/08
BRCA 1 & 2 Negative
AC DONE!! 9/17/08 Four of 'em
Taxotere done! 11 of 12 ~1/31/08
33 radiation
My blog:
heathersjourneytohealth.blogspot.
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becca View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote becca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2008 at 10:48am

I felt what I thought was a lump under my arm right at the scar where they removed the nodes and it was just scar tissue...Tongue my dr. is great about doing the pet scans...i had one before surgery and one in the middle of chemo (to see if it was working) and another 2 months after my last treatment...she wanted the last one  before we took out the port. My insurance has paid for all 3 of them.

Becca
Age58 DX 12/07
Grand Junction, Colorado
Lumpectomy 1/08/08
Stage IIIA grade3
5/19 nodes
chemo 5/08 radiation 7/08
clear pet 9/08
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Jessie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jessie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2008 at 11:28am
bcslayer,
I also had a lump close to one of my mastectomy incisions, about 6 months after the surgery.  The surgeon tried to biopsy the lump, but it was too solid to get material.  He was 99% sure it wasn't a problem, but offered to remove it to satisfy me.  When it was removed and the pathology came back, it turned out to be a fancy word meaning "dead fat".   Never been so proud of a lump of fat !  LOL
 
Do whatever it takes to satisfy yourself.  We deserve some humoring, don't you think ?   99% isn't the same as 100% !  Wink
 
Jessie    
IDC,Stage I,Grade 3,dx 4/06
dbl mast 5/06,
systemic MRSA post surgery
septic shock, heart attack
triple bypass 1/07
no chemo due to infections and heart issues
so far NED!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sicknurse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2008 at 10:05pm
Becca,
Thanks for sharing. I've been wondering about getting another PET scan too. Especially now that my treatment's over. I figured my docs know what they're doing, but I guess it never hurts to ask, especially since insurance covers it too! I had my first PET last December right after my initial diagnosis. Better to know than not, even tho' everything feels ok now.
sicknurse
dx: 12/07 Left breast St.II,TNBC,BRCA neg
1/08-5/08 ACT chemo
7/28/08 Lumpectomy,3 nodes - NO CANCER!
9/08-10/08 Radiation
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trip2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2008 at 9:35am
Hi bcslayer,
 
Yes these TN tumors can grow very fast.  I would suggest you either get another opinion or ask that it be checked sooner for your own sake and hopefully it is just scar tissue but waiting until January to find that out is a long time and if it isn't scar tissue than you need to know.
Stage 2 2003
Stage 1 2007
BRCA 1+
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cheryl51 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2008 at 10:49am
I think it's just a good idea to be cautious and lie down for that ole scanning machine one more time.....sigh.  
I still have lumpy spots and occasional pain and my surgery was in 4/07. 
Cheryl51
Diagnosed 3/07, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/10 nodes positive
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 02 2008 at 9:51am
I was reading your post nodding..I know, I know. Oh, I so feel the same way! How do you know when its just scar tissue, how can the drs know just by feeling!? It is all so scary. Confused
I am constantly checking my one remaining breast, I was given a reduction on it at the same time as my mastectomy on the other as I was large to say the least, I'm regreting not asking for a mastectomy on that one too! I feel changes all the time but recently found a definable lump! I cannot describe to you the hell I went through waiting for the ultrasound. the Dr tells me its a thickening due to hormonal changes! PHEW!!!...but there will always be that worry, when I even begin to think about it i get panicy & I have to stop and BREATHE!!! I have to trust in my drs, they have got me this far, I was dx TNBC Oct 5th 2007.
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bcslayer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bcslayer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2008 at 6:00am
Well I called my Onc this morning and said I can feel a lump in my armpit.  Talked to the nurse and she said I could come in and they could feel it but they would probualy say it feel like scar tissue.  She suggest I see doc on Wednesday morning to rule anything out and that stressing about it no good for me also.  I told her I was stage three triple neg(she normally did not treat me so she couldnt rememer me, I said I am the young one with dark auburn hair, and then we laughed when I said before it fell outLOL I was probualy bald when we met) anyway she said come see doc on Wed.  I told her being triple neg and only 38 I did not want to wait and in January they say gues what it wasnt scar tissue.  I would just freak out if that happened.  If something funny is going on I wasnt it out of there and if I have to loose my breasts now then I will deal with that when it happens.  I do not want to cross over to that stage 4.
Can I demand they do a mri, how does that work
What if she brushes me off I do not think she will but I want to be prepared to fight if I have to even with her.  She is great doc so I do not want to be rude
Advice?
And hugs to all you sisters you have so much helpHug
Today I am baking homemade bread, someone said to take good care of my husband so that is what I am doing.  He works from home sometimes so I am going to fix him lunch now.  What a good little wife.Approve 
dx 1/10/08 age 37
stage 3 IDC postive nodes Gr.3
tumor 2.5 auxillary 5 cm
6 rounds of TAC
6/08 lumpectomy with lymph node removal and clear margins
35 rounds of rads and 7 dose 9/9/08 finished
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 04 2008 at 1:54pm
Hi bcslayer,
 
You are right, you do not want to wait until January to find out what the lump is under your armpit.
 
Express your concerns to your Onc and ask for a mri and see what she says.  If you are not happy with her answer I would get another opinion.
We can't worry about being rude to our docs, we have to worry about saving our lives, that is the most important thing.
 
Let us know what she has to say.  Maybe she will suggest a different type of test.
 
The homemade bread sound just delicious.  I'm sure your husband was a happy camper.
Stage 2 2003
Stage 1 2007
BRCA 1+
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AustinCarol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 04 2008 at 6:34pm
Hi bcslayer and Shely,

I found myself fretting about my lumpectomy scar for months. I would poke at it and ask myself, "Is it the same? is it bigger?" etc. Finally I would examine it with a quarter on top of it. The scar lump was smaller than a quarter and bigger than a nickel. Since I figured this out, my worrying levels have gone down a lot. Approve

Now, if it ever does gets bigger than a quarter, I'm out of here heading for my onc office. I'll call 'em from the waiting room. Wacko

Try finding something common you can compare your scars to so you can have something objective to judge if it is changing or not

-Carol
Dx 01/06 DCIS LB (age 47) TN Stage 2a; High grade; MBRS 9/9; 4 cm; nodes neg; BRCA-
Tx neoadjuvant AC4 + T4 dose dense; Lump 06/06; 35 rads (7 boosts) 08/06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2008 at 7:41am
Now that is a good idea AustinCarol!
Stage 2 2003
Stage 1 2007
BRCA 1+
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Diane in AZ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Diane in AZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2008 at 7:56am
I'm going in for an MRI this afternoon for this very reason.  My PET/CT scan in September was great, marker numbers in October nice and low, but the mammo and ultrasound showed scar tissue that my medical onc wants to make sure is just the normal kind and nothing we don't want.  My radiation onc looked at the same results and said I was fine and he'd see me in six months.  So, even though I'm going to have yet another test, I prefer to stand on the side of "better to be safe." 
 
I tell people I sometimes feel like the Golden Gate Bridge . . . having grown up in the Bay Area, we were always told that, by the time the workers finished painting the Golden Gate Bridge, the other end was ready to be painted again, so it was an endless cycle.  I'm looking forward to a month (or two, or three) where I don't have a doctor's appointment and I don't have a test.
 
Here's to you, ladies!  Reluctant warriors all, but we shall prevail. Clap
 
Diane
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2008 at 7:18pm
My saga of scar tissue vs. tumor started a few months ago with an irregular mammo. It was my first after finishing tx in late April. I went in for a more detailed diagnostic mammo then an ultrasound. They said I definitely had a "mass" so I was sent for an MRI. Talk about torture! The wait was so scary but the MRI was interpreted as scar tissue by a very good radiologist and my surgeon. I felt like I had a stay of execution from the governor!!  
Terri
IDC DX 8/17/07 (age 41)
Stage 1 Grade 1-2, 1.35 cm
2 nodes neg, Lumpectomy 10/07
Chemo: FEC 100 x 6, 35 rads
BRCA 1/2 NEG
PET/CT & Brain CT Nov 09
Brain MRI Aug 2012 NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2008 at 7:21pm
Diane,
 
That is such a good analogy. I feel like the Golden Gate bridge too! It seems every month I have to see one of my Drs. But at least it seems I am being watched closely.
IDC DX 8/17/07 (age 41)
Stage 1 Grade 1-2, 1.35 cm
2 nodes neg, Lumpectomy 10/07
Chemo: FEC 100 x 6, 35 rads
BRCA 1/2 NEG
PET/CT & Brain CT Nov 09
Brain MRI Aug 2012 NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2008 at 7:26pm
My social life consists of doctors and tests and alternative therapy. Smile
and
having lunch with Ronda and Sadie.Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 06 2008 at 6:41am
Krisa,
 
Well what a neat break from the docs and therapy to have luck with Ronda and Sadie!  You ladies have fun.
Stage 2 2003
Stage 1 2007
BRCA 1+
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