In two thirds of cases where cancer recurrence occurs in the same breast, the cancer is found usually in the same place, or immediately next to this place. The remaining third of the recurrence of cancer - a new tumor. Also, if the tumor has arisen in another area of the breast, where it was cancer, or in the opposite breast, even in this case we are talking about a new disease, not a relapse.
About a third of local recurrence of breast cancer detected by mammography alone. Another third of recurrences detected during routine physical examination (palpation breast self-examination with a physician or a) and, finally, the remaining one third of recurrences detected by mammography combined with physical examination. Almost 80% of women with local recurrence of breast cancer is not observed any more signs of cancer anywhere else.
Local recurrence after lumpectomy and radiation therapy
If, for breast cancer was carried you lumpectomy (removal of the breast with the tumor), and subsequently had a course of radiation therapy (or not), you have the risk of local recurrence. Such a relapse is shown by the fact that in the thickness of the breast there is a new tumor that is greater than or sealing area of tissue cancer.
But do not immediately panic if you find the seal in the area of "former" of breast cancer. It is possible that this is one of the following conditions:
Adipose tissue is destroyed as a result of the treatment,
Scar tissue that enveloped a small knot in the seam thickness of the prostate (the so-called ligature granuloma)
Scar tissue, which developed after removal of the breast tissue.
Redness and swelling in the breast can also be symptoms of cancer recurrence, but usually the reason for this is different. The fact that the entire area of the breast may look red and swollen for several months after surgery and radiotherapy. As time passes, and redness of the code assumes its normal color, but usually it takes some time.
If after a few months and even years in the field of breast cancer, a new area of redness, especially if it is accompanied by irritability and pain, a fever, it is likely that the symptoms of inflammation of the prostate - mastitis. For the treatment of this disease antibiotics. * If the antibiotics do not lead to a positive result for one - two weeks, and the mammary gland is a swollen and reddened, the doctor will recommend a biopsy. Sometimes such changes of the skin of the breast can cause non-cancer diseases - for example, psoriasis (skin disease).
However, redness and swelling of the skin of the breast and may be signs of cancer recurrence. At the same time the skin thickens and may look like orange peel. If the doctor suspects a tumor recurrence, it is usually assigned to mammography.
The following signs of local recurrence of cancer can be detected on a mammogram:
Increasing the size and increasing heterogeneity in the location where the tumor was removed,
The new tumor or tissue heterogeneity,
New accumulations of microcalcifications in breast tissue.
If the mammogram obtained with similar results, usually conducted additional research methods: ultrasound, MRI or PET. If the results of these methods allow you suspect you have a relapse, the next step - a biopsy.
Local recurrence after mastectomy
In that case, if the woman for cancer was performed a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast with surrounding lymph nodes), local recurrence of cancer can be:
in the breast skin,
in soft tissue left on the chest wall,
in the reconstructed breast.
In very rare cases, after a mastectomy can develop a new tumor. This cancer arises from normal cells of the remaining breast. These cells may remain either under the skin of the breast, or in front of the muscles that are located behind the breast. An experienced pathologist can usually determine whether a given tumor recurrence or a new cancer, comparing cells obtained from biopsy samples of the primary cancer. New breast cancer more treatable than relapse.
Different types of tumors
If a woman after a mastectomy performed reconstructive surgery to restore the shape of the breast, usually it can detect some puffiness or swelling - the so-called fat necrosis.
The reason for this - the scar tissue or deposits of dead fat cells. Do not be afraid - these swellings have no relation to cancer. These "cancer" are usually less frequent, if the reconstruction was carried out only with the help of implants. These lumps are usually detected after a few months after reconstructive surgery when the swelling is a common post-operative breast cancer. Over time, these tumors may shrink in size. If there are several such "tumors" together, they can merge into one big one. Be sure to consult your doctor if these lumps started to increase in size, although most likely it does not mean anything serious.
If the thickness of the skin or under the skin of any new tumors, is suspiciously take in the event: This tumor is heterogeneous, dense to the touch, pink or red, painless.
If the reconstructive surgery, you used your own fabric (patchwork technique TRAM, GAP and DIEP), is to clarify the changes in the breast mammography done.
Unfortunately, if used in the reconstruction of silicone implants, the mammogram is useless in this case, because the implant obscures all kind of fabrics. In this case, it is important to physical examination by a doctor, as well as techniques such as ultrasound and MRI. If the doctor doubts the presence of recurrence, it can sometimes be applied even a pet.
Various types of rash
Sometimes the skin may be a rash that is not associated with cancerous tumors. For example, psoriasis. However, sometimes the skin may appear red velvety rash on the background of swelling. This may be a relapse of inflammatory breast cancer. In case of non-healing sores rash join, the more likely it says it is a recurrence of cancer.
After radiation therapy for breast cancer is usually redness, swelling and sores in the area of cancer. These manifestations are progressing slowly, their peak at the same occurs in the first - the second week after irradiation, after which they gradually disappear within a few months. However, if such changes occurred in the weeks after treatment, it is more manifestations of inflammation. In this case, antibiotics.