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Topic: Cramps after Mastectomy

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Mar 7, 2012 12:28AM

KathyNSW wrote:

Just wondering if anyone suffers from cramps under there arm after Mastectomy. It is not all the time  and could it be to do with lymph node removal. I have told both of my doctors , they checked me out but didn't seem to concerned. Its like a tightening and sometimes when i am in the wrong position it brings it on, catches me by surprise. Was wondering if anyone else suffers with these.

Thankyou

Kathy

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Posts 1 - 13 (13 total)

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Mar 7, 2012 02:48AM Nordy wrote:

Hi Kathy. I don't have cramps, no. But I do have tightness through the axilla - even this far out from treatment (6years). Did you have radiation? Rads causes quite a bit of tightness as it causes damage to all the tissues, as it is not specific to cancer cells. Sometimes even with just the axillary dissection a person can develop quite a bit of scar tissue in the armpit. Have you considered asking for a referral to a good physical therapist (preferably one with a background in treating lymphedema and breast cancer patients) that can help release some of the scar tissue? I believe you may benefit greatly from this.

Do or do not. There is no try. (Yoda!) 2 large positive nodes before neoadjuvant chemo - all nodes negative after chemo

Dx 4/21/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 7, 2012 03:09AM chrissyb wrote:

Kathy I too suffer from time to time with the cramps under my arm and around the ribs on my mastectomy side.  I take magnesium every day and this seems to help a great deal.

NSW?  New South Wales perhaps?

Love n hugs.  Chrissy

I found my peace which gave me strength. 52 at dx. (Sugar Glitter Cheeks)

Dx 12/8/2003, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/12 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 7, 2012 04:23AM ma111 wrote:

Consider getting some pt for it. If I don't do the stretching for a while I start getting problems.

Dx 8/4/2009, IBC, <1cm, Stage IV, 19/19 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 7, 2012 05:00AM KathyNSW wrote:

Thankyou to all of you for replying so quickly.

Nordy, Yes I did have 5 weeks radiation and I will try to find a good Physical therapist, I think maybe this is what I need.

Chrissyb, I will look into taking magnesium as I am not taking it now. Yes I am from near the snowy mountains in NSW. Where are you from?

ma111,  I will make that appointment as I don't do any stretching or anything. I think I will start.

thanx again

Kathy

Dx 8/6/2008, ILC, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 7, 2012 07:08AM chrissyb wrote:

Kathy I'm in country SA, a little town called Burra, population 1500 and about 40km north east of the Clare valley which is a wine region. 

There is also on the an Aussie Girls thread as there a few of us here.  Come on over and join us!  They are a great bunch!

Hope you get some relief soon!

Love n hugs.  Chrissy

I found my peace which gave me strength. 52 at dx. (Sugar Glitter Cheeks)

Dx 12/8/2003, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/12 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 7, 2012 10:55PM KathyNSW wrote:

Thankyou Chrissyb,  will do that.

Dx 8/6/2008, ILC, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 8, 2012 03:36PM mrscrj wrote:

I'm glad to read someone posting on the cramping. It's been almost 4 years since my surgery and 3 years since completing radiation. The cramping was occasional until about  six months ago and has become more often and a little worse. It just about takes my breath away for a moment. Usually happens if my side gets cold or I move my affected arm the wrong way. According to the docs, this is probably from the radiation. I was hoping that PT could show me some way to massage my side to break down some of the scar tissue, but all they offered was for me to go to the office at least 3-4 days a week for unlimited time and said it would probably eventually return. Since the PT is a 40 min drive with a $40 visit co-pay, I declined. I've been trying to work on the stretching exercising I was shown after surgery, but they don't seem to help it.

If anyone has found any method of massage that might break down the scar tissue or relax the muscles, that would be very helpful.

Dx 4/29/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIa, 11/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 8, 2012 06:50PM crystalphm wrote:

Yes, I have cramps...and I did not have radiation. Just a mastectomy. The entire upper edge where my breast is missing cramps, or spasms, and I gently massage it and be sure I am getting enough magnesium.

There is a myofascial release that can be taught to you by a therapist where you gently slide your skin in a small circular pattern to break adhesions and massage.. it has helped. It is such an easy thing to do, your hand does not slide on your skin but rather your hand moves the skin so you are addressing what is underneath. gentle and not too much movement.

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Apr 12, 2012 10:25PM bethen wrote:

Hi

I had my mastectomy in 2006, but another re-diagnoses in 2009 with cancer in two lymph nodes in the pectoral muscle.  I had chemo again and believe it or not radiation again.  I have now been diagnosed again with another lymph node in the same area and am currently undergoing chemo again,  I started having cramps in my side below my armpit after the second round of radiation,  And yes sometimes it takes my breath away, almost feels like a charlie horse type of cramp, only lasts for a few seconds but it really wakes you up.  As well I have a sensation that parts of my scar are attached to my rib cage.  How does one find out what is going on?

Thanks

Betsy

Betsy

Dx 9/27/2005, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 3, 3/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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May 21, 2012 03:58PM Linda-n3 wrote:

Just a quick note - yes, I have started having cramps in the muscles above the mastectomy scar. My BS sent me for myofascial release by a PT for cording and the PT worked the entire armpit, upper arm, and chest and helped somewhat. She showed me how to do the release, so it might be worth seeing a PT who has experience with cording and LE to see you and get you started on some "self-care" techniques. Best wishes.

Linda - "Loving to learn; learning to love." "Gratitude leads to joy. Joy leads to prayer. Prayer leads to gratitude." "Oh, what fresh new hell is this???" - Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

Dx 7/14/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 2, 19/23 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-Dx 8/2011, IDC, Stage IIIcDx 9/2012, IDC, Stage IIIcDx 12/2012, IDC, Stage IV
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May 23, 2012 11:04PM KathyNSW wrote:

Thankyou for all your responses, thats awesome. Will go and see a PT and get some treatment.

Hope all goes well with you Betsy.

Take care

Kathy

Dx 8/6/2008, ILC, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 23, 2012 11:10PM KathyNSW wrote:

Thankyou for all your responses, thats awesome. Will go and see a PT and get some treatment.

Hope all goes well with you Betsy.

Take care

Kathy

Dx 8/6/2008, ILC, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 21, 2012 12:00PM, edited Dec 21, 2012 12:03PM by vitasfan

I am about two and half years after radiation and just started having cramping near the incision site and under my arm.  The incision was near the arm pit also.   I had only lumpectomy and sentinal node removed and little discomfort from the surgery initially.  I did have a very bad reaction to radiation in that area-serious desquamation that left more scaring than the surgery.   Can radiation cause delayed side effects like this cramping?   I feel a little better reading these posts.  I have been worrying the cancer is back and causing it.   I see the onconlogist on 1/7, and will ask her about it.

Dx 12/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+