I am 67 and had a lumpectomy almost 8 years ago. I did two yrs of tamox. and another 5 on AI's. (tumor was <2cm, had radiation, no chemo]. Completed arimidex Feb. 2010--7 plus months ago. For about a month, the quadrant surrounding the scar and area near the sentinel node biopsy scar are exceptionally painful when touched and give me a strained feeling most of the time. I have read some of the posts that say that scar tissue may harden over the years and become painful. But why these symptoms after 8 years! Is it possible for cancer to recur in the scar tissue? I am having a mammo and ultra sound in a few days. Is there any way of being sure the tissue is cancer free without a core biopsy? My memory of the core biopsy I had 8 years ago makes me wince, even still. It was pure torture. The absolutely worst part of the whole cancer ordeal. Thank you.
Scar tissue can harden and cause some discomfort. It can be surgically removed so you might consult a Plastic Surgeon regarding this possibility. There could also have been some permanent nerve damage during your surgery that might account for the "feelings" you describe. Cancer can recur in the skin also so that is another possibility but that would be at the bottom of my possibility list. There isn't any other way except some type of biopsy to diagnose a malignancy but there is no reason that a Core Biopsy should be that uncomfortable so if you are advised to have one I would be certain it was done under different circumstances this time. Regards ....
Perhaps you could ask for an excisional biopsy with some sedation? I've had three biopsies of five different areas in the past six years and all were excisional with sedation-
I just woke up and it was all over. I was sore and had stitches and some slight scarring,
but I made my surgeon aware that I have a very hard time dealing with pain while fully conscious and he understood that. I can deal with pain AFTER a procedure, but I am
a total "wuss" when it comes to lying there and having someone hurt me! After your US
and mammo, please consider discussing other possibilities with your surgeon. You've been through enough already to have to go through another awful biopsy experience.
Wishing you all the best and sending you a big hug ( ),
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