Red swollen breast 8 weeks after mastectomy

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Hello….i am  a fit and healthy 72 year old diagnosed with Invasive Lobular BC in March . 8 weeks ago I had a successful mastectomy then lymph node clearance 2 weeks ago as 2 lymph nodes were found to be positive. Now waiting for pathology reports . Healed well after both surgeries but a week ago a strange thing happened…my breast has become very red, sore and inflamed…been to Breast Care nurse, Urgent treatment centre and A & E . Blood tests have shown a mild was initially prescribed Fluoxacillin . Saw my surgeons Registrar yesterday who was confused..changed my antibiotic to Clarithromycin . The only thing we can think of is an allergic reaction to E45 lotion which I slathered over my breast for the first time just over a week ago …it’s not getting any better..seeing surgeon again in 2 weeks . Feel physically well …not temperature, eating , sleeping and walking well 

Has anyone else experienced anything like this before .

yours confused! 

  • Hi CasaLavanda

    Welcome to the forum and I am sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed  with breast cancer and needed a mastectomy and a node clearance.  I had a node clearance on my right side last year and about three weeks after the operation my breasts became red, I went to A & E and they took bloods which showed I had an infection.  I was in hospital for nearly two weeks because of it.

    Hopefully it will clear up soon.

    Best wishes


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  • Hi CasaLavanda 

    Welcome, I was 70 start of this month - a week before surgery.

    I had a lumpectomy end of May and all nodes removed.  All seemed to be going well, just as yourself, although I did have a drain of the breast just over a week ago.   

    However  last week the one breast became inflamed, red.   I was given the same anti biotics by my own doctors last Friday as the Breast nurse at hospital could not see me until Monday.  Monday they decided to give me a scan and biopsy - that doctor suggested that all he obtained from the biopsy was old blood and I have to wait now for the results - they did say 48 hours but when I phoned today I was told it would be discussed in a meeting next week. 

    I was told it was possibly an infection internally as the scar from surgery has healed well.  Their worry on Monday was that if it became too swollen it could force the scar to reopen.  I have to be honest like yourself, I have felt physically well until yesterday when I got a double dose of hay fever. I have  to wait until next week to see the outcome.

    Hope it resolves for you. 

  • Hi Daisy53

    Thats sad - two weeks inside.  I was crossing my fingers that I would not be kept back as I have a lot on this weekend..... maybe my fingers crossed means I have the weekend to play with, before they put me in detention. 

    Best wishes


  • Hi CasaLavanda 

    I had this in my right breast and initially was given CefaLexin but when I finished them the rash came back and I ended up in hospital for 5 days as had high temperature and right breast was really red and swollen. Blood tests also showed  I had an infection. The doctors thought I had an abscess and I was treated with Co-Amoxiclav via drip and then when discharged by hospital in tablet form for 2 weeks. I had an ultrasound at my breast clinic and there was no abscess but the layers of skin had fluid in it. This cleared up and 2 weeks later I restarted chemotherapy and it triggered it off again so oncologist kept me on Co-Amoxiclav until after I finished chemotherapy which luckily was only a further 2 treatments. I was having weekly Pactilaxel and eventually it did clear.

    My breast surgeon is concerned that when I have radiotherapy this might trigger it off again.  I was lucky in that I only had a lumpectomy and apart from the biopsy of a lymph node this was clear.  I was diagnosed with cancer grade 3 last December and I am also HERS 2 positive so currently on Herception monthly injections which will be until March 2025.

    Ironically I also suffered with constant UTI's throughout the treatment.  I am 65 years old and was pretty active but all this has really knocked the stuffing out of me. I have managed to work throughout apart from when I was in hospital and for 2 weeks after but do worry but it has been a bit of a slog and feel like I am five years older.

    I hope this helps CasaLavanda and all the best.