Three different malignant tumours in the same breast

Good Morning 

I wonder if you can help me with any information you may have about my condition. I was diagnosed with TNBC following a mammogram and biopsy in November 2019, commencing Chemo in January 2020 which finished at the end of April. A MRI scan/biopsy  in February discovered a 2nd tumour Lobular.

I underwent a mastectomy with diep reconstruction 2 weeks ago. My surgeon contacted yesterday via phone to inform me that my lymph glands are free from cancer but that they discovered a 3rd tumour- micropapillary. He informed me that the chemotherapy had had an effect on the tumours and I will be taking Tamoxifen for 5 yrs. With yearly mammograms / clinic appointments 

I am pleased that I had a mastectomy and that these have been removed but am unable to find out anything about having three different cancers in the same breast and am now worried about my other breast., given only one of these tumours showed up on mammogram (TNBC) and only 2 were seen by n MRI. Should I request a further mastectomy? 

I am 61 yrs old and all the tumours were stage 2 

many thanks 

  • Hi Bsthbsm,

    Thanks for getting in touch with us, and welcome to our online community. I see you’ve already had some wonderful responses from others here.

    You’ve certainly been through a lot, and I hope you’re recovering well from your treatment and surgery. As @Lesleyhelen said, it is very unusual to have 3 different types of cancer in your breast. However, it’s very good news that your lymph nodes were clear.

    It’s understandable why you’re worried, especially as only one of these tumours were found on your mammogram. However, a mastectomy is not usually offered to the unaffected breast unless your doctors thought you were high risk of developing second primary on that side. You would be deemed high risk if you were found to have the BRCA gene, for example.

    For most women, the risk of developing a second primary breast cancer, is relatively low. Around 4% of women with breast cancer go onto to develop a second primary in the other breast. It is considerably lower when you have an ER positive cancer and are taking Tamoxifen.

    Worrying about cancer in your remaining breast is perfectly normal, and I’m sure most survivors of breast cancer would tell you the same. Sometimes, it’s about being able to manage these feelings of anxiety, and asking for help and support when you need it.

    It might be worth speaking to your breast care team in the first instance and explain how you’re feeling and your worries about the mammograms. They may be able to put your mind at ease or offer some additional scans at least for the first couple of years.

    You might also find Someone Like Me helpful as you can speak with someone who has gone through similar experiences to you and can listen to your concerns. You could also look for a breast cancer support group in your area, as having support and advice from those who are going through or have been through the same can be invaluable. Mission Remission also offer some help and insight into coping with life after treatment.

    I hope this information has been helpful, but please don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you need to. You might also find it helpful to talk through your concerns with one of our nurses on the support line.


    Best wishes

    Alison P

    Cancer Information Nurse

  • Hi Alison

    Thankyou so much for your prompt and helpful  reply

    Its helped me get things into perspective and been a great support. Especially about the 4% of primary breast cancers developing in the other breast. I thought this would be much higher. I do have a family history of breast cancer with aunts on my fathers side but as they were all over the age of 50 when diagnosed we haven’t fulfilled the criteria for BRCA testing. None have had TNBC or the other cancers I’ve had

    Your suggestion regarding contacting the breast care team is something I plan to do.

    kind Regards and thank you again