Breast Cancer Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Scar Tissue or Lump?

I am 47 and had a 4.5 mm area of DCIS removed 18 months ago after 2 biopsies (wire-loc then re-excision)with no follow-up radiation or meds (my choice0. Today surgeon examined my breast and said he feels a lump which he is 90% sure is scar tissue but wants to biopsy it to be sure. I have recurrent cyclical pain and recently some unusual discomfort in that breast. He will do an ultra-sound Monday to rule out cyst but says no point in doing another mammogram (had one 3 months ago). This is overseas in a military hospital. Is there technology in the states that could more clearly differentiate this as scar tissue vs. a lump? I can't clearly feel it myself. Should I wait?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Speechlady, Not really, perhaps an MRI might give a different picture but would still not be able to tell 100% whether what is seen is scar tissue or something else.
Avatar universal
This is interesting since my surgeon told me specifically that he would order a mammogram 3 months post surgery to establish a new baseline and identify any scar tissue that might develop.
Avatar universal
getting a new baseline mammogram 3 months after surgery is what I recommend, also. As to the lump in question, the simplest thing is to do a fine-needle aspiration; ie, putting in a small needle. If it's a cyst, fluid comes out, it goes away, end of problem. If it's not fluid, then the needle will be sampling the area and the material can be looked at under a microscope. If it looks totally innocent, and a mammogram is also innocent, the chance of missing tumor is really small. However, not every location has pathologists skilled in analyzing such small samples.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the comments. I am asking the surgeon about the fine needle aspiration. I have a feeling he will say they cannot do it here. Should I go back to the states to have it done and avoid another biopsy?
32864 tn?1212030257
i too have had a lump (directly on my incision) show up five years after the fact (surgery).  my doctor says "scar tissue."  i said how does scar tissue show up five years later?  they did a fnb -- missed the spot.  ignored me telling them this.  you said a cyst will bring out fluid.  what will scar tissue produce when using fnb?  thank you so much.
Avatar universal
I also had a biopsy 2 years ago.  Diagnosis was :Fibrocystic change including moderate ductal hyperplasia.  No evidence of atypical hyperplasia or carcinoma".  The original lump was just beneath the left nipple.

A couple of weeks ago I had my annual mammo...the radiologist said it was "okay", but I need to see my doctor for another exam and possible MRI in 3 months.  I can feel the scar tissue on the incision area...it is hard and right along the scar.  The doctor felt a "thickening" to the right of my left nipple and is concerned. My left breast has felt "full" for the past few months as well.

Now I am really scared.  My mother passed away from breast cancer 3 years ago....her mother died from it as did HER mother.

Avatar universal
A related discussion, bx done in oct and now aug.scar tissue or new lump was started.
Popular Resources
A quick primer on the different ways breast cancer can be treated.
Diet and digestion have more to do with cancer prevention than you may realize
From mammograms to personal hygiene, learn the truth about these deadly breast cancer rumors.
Breast cancer is not an inevitability. From what you eat and drink to how much you exercise, learn what you can do to slash your risk.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.