Doctor insights on:
Scar Tissue After Breast Cancer Surgery
Lump in surgery scar: When surgery is performed, many hair follicles in the area are disrupted in the area and new cysts can form. Cysts are not a problem. However, in the area of previous breast cancer, we would be concerned about a recurrence, so any new lesions must be seen by a dermatologist or the breast surgeon. ...Read more
Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more
Usually yes: If you have a lumpectomy, you still will have feeling in your breast. If a lot of tissue is removed from the area behind the nipple and areola you may loose some (or all) sensation of the nipple. If you have a mastectomy you will have numbness of the skin adjacent to the incision where they made the skin flaps to remove the breast. ...Read more
Not really: The horse is out of the barn so to speak; but you should avoid foods and supplements with phytoestrogens [plant estrogen compounds] if your tumor is er positive. That includes a lot of soy although small amounts are fine. Also, being overweight or obese is associated with a worse prognosis. ...Read more
More details?: The location and severity of post op pain varies depending on the type of surgery (for example lumpectomy vs mastectomy, lymph node removal or not, reconstruction or not). The most comfortable sleeping position for each patient will vary depending on the type of surgery, so there is probably not a one-size-fits-all pillow/cushion. ...Read more
Hi, I want to find out about radiotherapy after breast cancer surgery, is it necessary? I don't know if I want it, thanks maxine
Depends.: Multiple factors affect a recommendation for rt including the characteristics of the breast cancer, its stage (size, lymph node status, presence of metastases etc), the type of surgery, your personal medical history (e.g. Xeroderma pigmentosa), age, accessibility and personal preference. Discuss this before embarking on therapy. ...Read more
Hormonal blockade: Depending upon your age and menstrual status your oncologist will help choose a medication to block the receptors for estrogen and Progesterone or one that will block the production of those hormones. These drugs minimize the ability of these hormones to stimulate the growth of breast and breast cancer cells. Some of them are associated with a risk of endometrial cancer but it is minimal. ...Read more
Not really: The major side-effect of radiation to the breast is development of skin irritation (somewhat like a sunburn) the radiation itself causes no discomfort (like getting a chest xray). The radiation only affects the area irradiated so there are no effects outside of the radiation field. ...Read more
Flap or implant: Basically - you can use your own tissue or reconstruct with a breast implant. There are several options when your own tissue is used including tram (uses the rectus muscle in the abdomen with attached skin and fat), latissimus (the muscle going from shoulder to back - usually for relatively small defects), diep (uses skin and fat on abdomen, but preserves the muscle). ...Read more
Lymphedema: An essential part of breast cancer staging is the removal of some of the lymph nodes under the armpit. The lymphatic system's job includes draining tissue fluid and bringing it back into the circulation. Lymph node removal short-circuits this process leading to the risk of chronic swelling, or lymphedema. The less nodes removed, the lower the risk. ...Read more
Lymphedema: The arm swelling you are describing occurs secondary to disruption of the lymphatic circulation draining the arm, either via lymph node removal and/or radiation therapy. When we used to remove 10-20 lymph nodes, the lifetime incidence was ~25%. Nowadays, with sentinel lymph node biopsy alone, the risk is closer to 5%. Hopefully, in the future we won't have to remove any lymph nodes. ...Read more
I know that some women have arm swelling and pain after breast cancer surgery. Why does it happen?
Pain happens after: Most surgical procedures. In mastectomy, a nerve that exits the side of the breast is usually injured or sacrificed and irritation of is causes pain or noxious tingling especially when the arms swing during walking. Swelling is independent of that and can be caused by removal of lymph nodes and exacerbated by not putting the limb thru frequent adequate range of motion- usually out of fear of pain ...Read more
Vital: Breast cancer is a surgical disease under most circumstances. Surgical choices include lumpectomy (removing the cancer) followed by radiation vs. Mastectomy (removing the whole breast) vs. Bilateral mastectomies (removing both breasts). Each of those options has its merits and indications. Both the doc and the patient should have a say in that choice. ...Read more
Depends: Whether is is lumpectomy, mastectomy, mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, and method of reconstruction, and of course your general medical condition. If it is lumpectomy, 0-1 days, mastectomy 1-3 days. ...Read more
12 weeks: Studies have shown that benefit from chemotherapy doesn't begin to drop off as long as it is started within 12 weeks of surgery. I take the type of cancer into consideration, though. For more aggressive breast cancers, I like to start chemo within 4-6 weeks. For the slower growing er+ cancers, within 12 weeks is fine and supported by data. ...Read more
Post surgery neuropa: This is likely normal post surgery. You are described post surgery neuropathic pain. This is typically a result of "cutting" of the nerves in your skin from the surgery. Most people will have improvement over time, but some will have continued pain in the region. Some patients have "phantom" pain post mastectomy because their body still thinks the breast is there, even though it was removed. ...Read more
My mother had a breast cancer surgery 3 months ago and is now taking arimidex (anastrozole). She has lost about 2kg of weight. Any problems?
My throat hurts I smoke one cigarette per day I had breast cancer/surgery radiation/chemo in 2009?
Quit smoking: Quit smoking.Get a more detailed answer ›
O had surgery for positive breast cancer. Is sentinel lymph node biopsy accurate for breast cancer surgery. Node was negative.
Twin sister has breast cancer. Says she has ductal AND lobular cancer. Surgery, chemo, radiation And hormone therapy after. Prognosis for this type?
Prognosis is Stage-b: The prognosis of breast Cancer is dependent on stage of her Cancer at the time of diagnosis. Most breast cancers are stage-1 or 2 and patients do very well, living near normal lives. Check in case she had stage-3 cancer....which does carry risk for recurrence in the future. I think she will do well over the next 5-10 years but needs to remain under surveillance as there is always some unpredictabi ...Read more
Yes: This was a more common occurrence before modern tangential fields that avoid the lung. However, if the lung receives significant radiation, then pulmonary fibrosis can develop. ...Read more
Occurs when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. Often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...Read more
Most breast cancers are carcinomas. This is a type of breast cancer. These cancers start in the cells that line organs and tissues. In fact, breast cancers are often a type of carcinoma called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells that make glands (glandular tissue). Breast adenocarcinomas start in the ducts (the milk ducts) or ...Read more
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