Tethering means breast cancer too

PamelaPPamelaP Mornington Peninsula, VictoriaMember Posts: 9
Hi all, I'm new to this website and new to having breast cancer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in June.  I just wanted to let people know you don't have to feel a pea shaped lump to have breast cancer.  What I found was like a hole under one breast where the skin was pulling tight.

Turned out to be "Tethering" has anyone heard of that, did anyone know of that ??

My story is I was trying on bathers in Melbourne in June because we were going to Darwin with the family for school holidays & I noticed the "tethering" as a tight sort of hole under my left breast.  Not sure what it could be I checked Dr Google & was shocked to see it was sign of a breast cancer. I'd had my mammogram 12 months before & got the all clear so a bit slack in checking myself after that.  Now I feel very lucky to have seen this tethering & checked it out straight away.   I've since had a left mastectomy & lymph node clearance and just had my second dose of chemo.

I'd also be interested to talk to anyone whose had a single mastectomy without an implant to discuss life with one breast.

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Comments

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 751

    Hi Pamela

    Welcome to the site, sorry you have to be here but it's also good that your observation led you to get medical advice quickly.

    I had a single mastectomy five years ago, no reconstruction - my surgeon wasn't keen to do it straightaway and I have long since decided not to have one at all. I wear a prosthesis, I find it no problem although I am aware that some women in the tropical north find they get hot (I am in Melbourne). I don't have any issue with how I look (a bit scarred and lumpy!!) and when In Iceland a year or so ago, I took a deep breath and stripped off in front of lots of strange women to shower before a hot tub. It was truly liberating!  I will be 72 next month, most of my body is in somewhat better shape than before I was diagnosed (I have taken a greater interest in exercise since) so while I am no Helen Mirren, I feel good about my decision. A prosthesis should last about 2 years, then needs to be replaced. Mine have both been fully rebate-able ($400).

    Wash it like you would wash your own skin. Keep overnight or when not using it in its shaped case. You can get special ones suitable for swimming. I find mono-boobed fine, so for that matter does my husband. Best wishes.

  • DeanneDeanne Sunshine Coast QldMember Posts: 1,811
    edited August 31
    Hi Pamela,
    So sorry you are going through this too. My story is very similar to yours. I was getting changed and noticed a dent at the bottom of my left breast. I was due for a check-up so this hurried me along. A mammogram and ultrasound showed area suspicious of malignancy and biopsy confirmed this. Yes, breast cancer does not always present as that pea size lump we all hear about!

    My diagnosis was 41/2 years ago and I also had a left mastectomy with no reconstruction. It honestly never bothers me and, like @Afraser, I actually feel like the rest of me looks better than precancer days as I too exercise much more now. I am 51 (47 when diagnosed) and feel just fine with a prosthesis in my bra. 

    I live in Queensland and never find the prosthesis makes me hot. I mostly wear the type designed for swimming in a comfortable exercise type bra but have some pretty bras and a more expensive proper prosthesis too.

    I wish you all the best with treatment. I had chemo and then radiotherapy after my mastectomy. Now on hormone therapy. It was tough but life is good again now. Deanne xxx
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,237
    @Pamela Pearce thanks for you story and Welcome! I think in most cases actually there is never a lump, I've had 2 diagnosis without lumps, so it's quite common, in the other ways it presents.

    After my 2nd diagnosis in 2015 I had a lumpectomy, lymph nodes removed all clear. 5 months of chemo and now on Aromasin and Genetic Testing negative. Feb 2017 14 months after finishing treatment due to a recurrence I opted to be safe and had a left breast mastectomy and immediate Diep Flap reconstruction. I couldnt have an implant due to radiation treatment 4yrs prior, but to be honest I never wanted an implant either thank goodness! For me if I couldnt have had the immediate reconstruction I don't think I couldve done the Mastectomy as mine was preventative. Of course pathology on the breast was perfect :/ 

    Im in Melbourne and met a fabulous lady last week Genevieve Gort and her company is Breast Care Victoria & Surgical Garments. She was fantastic, deals only with Women who have had a Mastectomy or reconstruction and stocks surgical bras too. She has the fillers for bras all sorts. I cannot recommend her enough, she also does Skype for women who are not in Melbourne. 

    Hugs Melinda xo
  • Summerhill38Summerhill38 Regional Vic Member Posts: 483
    Hey @iserbrown
    Where on earth do you find the things you post ?   All so inspiring and helpful in their own way.
    THANK YOU !
    Hugs  Summer  :-)
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 751
    So true about the pea size lump - my first warning was a pink and slightly tender whole breast!  No lump, bump, orange peel, but redness, yes!  I was lucky that a new doctor I had never met before was on the ball and she referred me straightaway to Melbourne Breast Clinic.  Great chart!
  • brightspacebrightspace Member Posts: 157
    DCIS  often has no physical change to surface
    Other indications can be itchiness
    DENSE BREAST CAN PREVENT  LUMP BEING FELT OR EVEN MAMMO DETECTION
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 2,801
    I had a clear mammogram then found quite a firm lump when scratching. I know when growing up they did self exam TV commecials and brochures were given but it doesn't seem to be around now. 

    Great it was found  and lucky you were in tbat changeroom.

    Hope all goes well and ask away. We are here for support.  Kath x

    The pic below is very similar to what I saw as a young woman. 



  • UnicornkissesUnicornkisses Central CoastMember Posts: 273
    Hi @Pamela Pearce I did not find a lump either.
    Mine felt like a tight hard band across the top of my right breast. I did not feel the one at the lower part of my breast at all and it was 2.2cm. 

    I had had a right breast mastectomy 4 weeks ago.
    I was very worried about feeling lopsided and how it would affect my work and hobbies (I ride horses)
    I am a large C/D cup on my left side. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how it really isn't noticeable to me. I am currently wearing a Berlei soft form in the other side with a little rice in the bottom to weigh it down and I feel very comfortable.
    Even when I came home from hospital and could not wear a bra, the unevenness was not an issue.
    I am going to get a proper prosthesis in a couple of weeks, because I have had back and shoulder problems in the past and don't want to make them worse, but I thought I would notice the unevenness far more before now.

    The only thing that does bug me is getting the fake boob into the bra every time I want to wear a different one, and finding a mastectomy bra that is comfortable, but then I am very hard to please in that regard.

    I am going on the public list with my Plastic Surgeon for DIEP flap reconstruction though.
    I am going to see how I cope with being one sided for the next 12-18months before I decide whether to go ahead with it.

  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 145
    iserbrown said:
    Hi Pamela - here is an egg carton that you can show your friends so they understand what to look for


    Wow haha! A good one so visual!!!
  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 145
    Hi all, I'm new to this website and new to having breast cancer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in June.  I just wanted to let people know you don't have to feel a pea shaped lump to have breast cancer.  What I found was like a hole under one breast where the skin was pulling tight.

    Turned out to be "Tethering" has anyone heard of that, did anyone know of that ??

    My story is I was trying on bathers in Melbourne in June because we were going to Darwin with the family for school holidays & I noticed the "tethering" as a tight sort of hole under my left breast.  Not sure what it could be I checked Dr Google & was shocked to see it was sign of a breast cancer. I'd had my mammogram 12 months before & got the all clear so a bit slack in checking myself after that.  Now I feel very lucky to have seen this tethering & checked it out straight away.   I've since had a left mastectomy & lymph node clearance and just had my second dose of chemo.

    I'd also be interested to talk to anyone whose had a single mastectomy without an implant to discuss life with one breast.


    @Pamela I had a left mastectomy last Dec, very soon after diagnosis as it was very close to Xmas and surgeons would be away...although thankfully my surgeon was around at xmas... I spent xmas in hospital. I was thinking of reconstruction before surgery but needed to see a cosmetic surgeon for it and I did not want to wait. I just wanted to get into surgery asap. I could do a reconstruction later but in the end I decided against it. I did not want to have an artificial thing in me. I had small boobs and the skin is tight anyway and I am skinny so I am not sure how they would find any extra skin for me anyway! Also, should there be a recurrence I think it will complicate things with an implant. So all these factors made me decided against it. I am very happy to have just one boob. In fact next year when I undergone surgery to remove my port, I may remove the right. That way I would just wear a double prosthesis and I can choose my size lol!!! I don't care. It doesn't make me love myself less. And my husband is perfectly fine with it. I guess I learnt to accept it (one boob or no boobs) quite easily. xx
  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 145
    Hi @Pamela Pearce I did not find a lump either.
    Mine felt like a tight hard band across the top of my right breast. I did not feel the one at the lower part of my breast at all and it was 2.2cm. 

    I had had a right breast mastectomy 4 weeks ago.
    I was very worried about feeling lopsided and how it would affect my work and hobbies (I ride horses)
    I am a large C/D cup on my left side. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how it really isn't noticeable to me. I am currently wearing a Berlei soft form in the other side with a little rice in the bottom to weigh it down and I feel very comfortable.
    Even when I came home from hospital and could not wear a bra, the unevenness was not an issue.
    I am going to get a proper prosthesis in a couple of weeks, because I have had back and shoulder problems in the past and don't want to make them worse, but I thought I would notice the unevenness far more before now.

    The only thing that does bug me is getting the fake boob into the bra every time I want to wear a different one, and finding a mastectomy bra that is comfortable, but then I am very hard to please in that regard.

    I am going on the public list with my Plastic Surgeon for DIEP flap reconstruction though.
    I am going to see how I cope with being one sided for the next 12-18months before I decide whether to go ahead with it.


    Sounds like mammograms aren't very useful just from reading this thread. And I wonder about the yearly exposure and crushing our boobs just to get them checked. I am thinking of checking up on thermography. I think it's out of pocket but if that's safer and harmless and more effective, I would pay for that instead of doing mammograms. xx
  • JenvJenv Hamilton 3300Member Posts: 61
    I had a small sausage shaped lump towards my underarm on the left breast when i was 38, went to a surgeon and he made me strip off and he checked me over umming and ahhing just to tell me that it was fatty tissue,  now, we are guided by doctors etc and i thought okay.  Fast forward another two years, i have a hole forming in my skin where the lump was and yep on my 40th birthday in 2000 got the diagnosis that it was stage 3 DCIS....mastectomy, radiation and 5 years of tamoxifen.  That was 17 years ago. I have since had a recurrance from 2015 with mets in spine, liver and possibly left lung.
    I have never worried how i look so have been happy with a prosthetic.
    I didn't want to have more operations.
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