Scar Tissue After Breast Cancer: What You Need To Know

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After undergoing breast cancer treatment, many women experience scar tissue formation, which can be uncomfortable and affect their quality of life. In this article, we’ll explore what scar tissue is, why it forms after breast cancer, and what you can do to manage it.

What Is Scar Tissue?

Scar tissue is a type of connective tissue that forms as a result of injury or surgery. It’s made up of collagen fibers and can vary in appearance and texture depending on the location and severity of the injury. Scar tissue can be thick and fibrous or thin and pliable.

Why Does Scar Tissue Form After Breast Cancer?

Scar tissue can form after any type of breast cancer treatment, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In some cases, scar tissue may form around the incision site, causing discomfort or limiting range of motion. In other cases, scar tissue may form in the breast tissue itself, leading to breast pain or changes in breast shape.

Symptoms of Scar Tissue After Breast Cancer

Some common symptoms of scar tissue after breast cancer include:

  • Thickening or hardening of the skin or breast tissue
  • Breast pain or discomfort
  • Limited range of motion in the affected arm or shoulder
  • Changes in breast shape or size

Treatment Options for Scar Tissue After Breast Cancer

There are several treatment options available for managing scar tissue after breast cancer, including:

  • Physical therapy to improve range of motion and reduce pain
  • Massage therapy to break up scar tissue and improve circulation
  • Topical treatments, such as creams or gels, to reduce inflammation
  • Surgical intervention to remove scar tissue or reconstruct the breast

Preventing Scar Tissue Formation

While scar tissue formation can’t always be prevented, there are some steps you can take to minimize your risk, such as:

  • Following a healthy diet and exercise routine to promote healing
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Staying hydrated to promote healthy tissue growth
  • Following your doctor’s post-treatment instructions carefully

Coping with Scar Tissue After Breast Cancer

Dealing with scar tissue after breast cancer can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Here are some tips for coping:

  • Speak with your doctor or a counselor if you’re experiencing anxiety or depression related to your scar tissue
  • Join a support group to connect with others who have experienced similar issues
  • Practice self-care, such as getting enough sleep and engaging in stress-reducing activities like yoga or meditation


Scar tissue after breast cancer is a common issue that can have a significant impact on quality of life. Luckily, there are many treatment options available to manage scar tissue and prevent future formation. By taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally, you can minimize the impact of scar tissue and focus on living your best life.