Breast Cancer Community
Chest Wall
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to breast cancer, biopsy, genetics, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, lumps, lumpectomy, lymph node dissection, lymphedema, mammograms, mastectomy, radiation therapy, reconstruction, and self exams.

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Chest Wall

I had Stage 1 (1.9cm tumour) IDC last year in my right breast.  It was ER and PR positive, Her2 negative, grade 3 and no node involvement.  I had a lumpectomy and lymph nodes removed, 4 cycles of AC chemo and 6.5 weeks of radiation.  I am now on Tamoxifen.  I am constantly examining myself to make sure there is nothing amiss, but sometimes I think I get a bit paranoid.  I have found nothing per say, but I always check the chest wall as well as my breasts and under my arm.  I have noticed that one the chest bones on my left side a little under the collar bone protrudes slightly more than my right side.  I have no soreness what so ever.  As I never used to feel my chest wall before I got BC, I have no idea if this has always been the case.

What is your view on it?

Thanks
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5 Comments
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I forgot to mention I was diagnoised 19th March 2007 and finished my radiation on 19th November 2007
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I had a CT scan and Bone Scan in April/May 2007 before I started chemo and all was fine, except for arthritis in my lower back and hips which was not a surprise.
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I had a full mastectomy, but I felt similar things...more things actually, than I ever did before.  I don't know if it is because they messed with the breast tissue and you can just feel more stuff or what.  I actually had to have a surgeon review a few smaller bumps which turned out to be necrosis along the scar line.  I still have some necrosis feeling stuff along the outer breast after my reconstruction.

I can tell the difference between the two sides along the chest wall, could be that it feels that way because of the removal of the tissue.  

Glad to know your scans are clean.  mine too.  let's keep them that way!  When is your next go-round for testing?  I just completed mine in december.
Lisa
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Hi Lisa,

In Ireland the protocol is initial 3 month check ups with Oncologist and Surgeon.  This then goes to 6 months and longer as the time goes on that I would be cancer free.  To my knowledge the only tests they do is a yearly mammogram.  I am due my first mammogram in March and to be honest I am dreading it.  I don't have any symptoms and cannot feel anything amiss but you know yourself, things can show up on the mammo even if you have no symptoms.  What tests do they do for you in the US and what intervals do you visit your Doc?  It may give me an idea of what I should be asking for.  You must be thrilled getting the all clear again in December.  How long down the 5 year survival road are you now?

Thanks for your encouragement.

Annette
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326352_tn?1310997895
Oh, let me find those brain cells..

It's every 3 months with your onc after chemo is completed for a year, then every 6 months with onc for what must be 2 years since I have an appt in June with my onc.  I'm at the 6 month appt point now, it'll be 2 years passed last chemo on June 6th.  I'll probably go to yearly onc appts in December.  I think that's what they said last time.

I see my radiation onc every 6 months also.  Her appt is coming up soon, but I lost the durn card, so I've got to call.  She's just an interested 3rd party now.  She is also watching out for things like lymphedema and other signs of issues with the skin more so than the onc.

I actually have 2 oncs, my original one who did my chemo and the one at UAB when I changed my surgeon and got my rad onc, he came along with a study they were doing on pre-menopausal women.  My original onc sees me more from a onc/reg doc and my UAB onc is the one calling for all the testing.

UAB (Univ of Alabama at Birmingham, btw) is a pretty top notch hospital (ranked in the top10 for cancer treatment).  They do a bone scan, CT scan of the neck, chest, and pelvis (or a PET scan if they can get the insurance to pay, which mine won't), mammo, blood work checking for the cancer markers and liver function, chest x-ray...all that is yearly.  I've had 2 heart sonograms since chemo checking for changes since I have a family history of some serious heart issues.  Don't know if they'll continue that test unless there are changes.  Bloodwork is done every time I go to UAB...ain't that fun!

Should I need a surgeon, I've got one on my list of docs at UAB now.  My original surgeon and I didn't get along, although he did a fabulous job with the mastectomy.  Our personalities were just like oil and water, so I switched to a surgeon at UAB (she's a female, too).

Testing is pretty extensive and most of the time all that gets done in one day.  It's almost amazing how quickly and organized UAB is for all that.  I show up around 7am and have my onc see me with the results around 2 or 2:30.  We're usually heading home around 4ish.  It's a long day, but only 1 day.

Most of that is standard regimen.  My mom's onc sees her once a year still.  She's 7 years out, I think.  She was only stage 1 or stage 0.  Very small DCIS, full mastectomy, very bad example of a tram-flap.  Things went wrong for almost 2 years.  Thankfully that's over now.  She gets yearly mammos and bone scans, but only other testing if there's a concern.  She gets a bone density test every 2 years, I think, too, but that is for her age, not her cancer.

My dad's prostate cancer regimen was the same, but not as much testing, either.

complicated enough???  But, I'm healthy and being watched by MANY MANY eyes.  I hope to stay this way.

You my dear, will be ok, too.  Right???  Attitude is 90% of it.
Don't dread the mammo, be proactive.  I just about tripped out the guy who read mine when he said it was ok and didn't do an ultrasound.  I almost had him worried that he wasn't all that sure.  That was probably the strangest conversation he's ever had.  I've never had a mammo that didn't involve an additional ultrasound.

Did I write a paper on this????  Ok brain cells, back to the vault with you!  I'm still trying to recover my technical brain cells.  I went back to work in October after 3 years off and it's been such a challenge to remember things.

Best thing to do with the lumpiness is get used to your new lumpiness and if THAT changes, start hollering at everyone who will listen.  That's my plan, at least.

Take care!
Lisa
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