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Topic: Pain almost 1 year after lumpectomy!

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:34AM, edited May 25, 2011 10:36AM by nwshannon

nwshannon wrote:

July of 2010 I went in for my DCIS surgery, I had a lumpectomy followed by radiation. After the surgery I had a few weeks of soreness but now it seems almost a year later the soreness has increased and just before my cycle it is terrible to the point where I do not even want to wear a bra. I have the pain mainly just above my 12 o'clock scar all the way over to the armpit scar and it goes up to just under the collar bone. My Dr. keeps saying this is normal but just wanted to hear if anyone else is struggling with this as well. I have tried not to overdo my physical activites but it makes it hard when I am right handed and the affected breast is the right one as well so it makes it hard and I cannot do much left handed. Log in to post a reply

Posts 1 - 17 (17 total)

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May 25, 2011 10:48AM Sherryc wrote:

Do you have any burning sensation or stabbing like pains as well?

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12

Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/12/1997 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 09/30/2010 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 12/03/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/07/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 11/03/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 03/26/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/21/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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May 25, 2011 11:15AM nwshannon wrote:

No burning just feels like some odd painful pressure but on occasion I do sill get the sharp stabbing pains still. If I raise my arm straight up I feel the pressure in the breast as well.

Dx 7/9/2010, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+
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May 25, 2011 02:23PM Sherryc wrote:

may be some nerve damage.  I finished rads the end of Jan and conitnued to have burning and stabbing pains and my BS says that it is nerve damage caused by surgery and rads.  I am going Friday to a pain managment Dr.  May have a MX to dry to correct some of the nerve damage.  Not completely sure about that yet.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12

Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/12/1997 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 09/30/2010 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 12/03/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/07/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 11/03/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 03/26/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/21/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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May 26, 2011 07:45AM ruthbru wrote:

the zapping pain is nerves growing back together....and nerves grow slowly, so that takes years to resolve. I am still a little achy/tender, and occasionally get a 'zap', and I am four years out.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche

Dx 2/2007, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 26, 2011 02:54PM barbe1958 wrote:

Did your surgeon leave a titanium chip in to show the lumpectomy spot?

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there. (Lakota Nation)

Dx 12/10/2008
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May 26, 2011 03:16PM Sherryc wrote:

I don't have any clips.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12

Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/12/1997 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 09/30/2010 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 12/03/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/07/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 11/03/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 03/26/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/21/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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May 26, 2011 03:49PM Bren-2007 wrote:

Barbe .. I have lots of little titanium clips in my breast.  Can these cause pain?  My lumpectomy and radiation was four years ago and I still have discomfort on that side.

Bren

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May 26, 2011 04:45PM candie1971 wrote:

nwshannon,

Today is 5 years for me and I still have pain and soreness in my breast. My Dr's tell me it is radiation damage and it will probably never go away..so I just put up with it.

hugs and prayers

Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there.

Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 26, 2011 04:57PM Sherryc wrote:

Candie we were just discussing this on the after rads board as I also have nerve damage and so does another lady.  She just found out yesterday.  My BS has not given me much hope of it getting better but we are discussing having an MX so that she can cut my nerves permantly so that I will be numb.  I told her numb sounds better than pain.  I am 48 and do not want to live in pain the rest of my life which I hope is a long one.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12

Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/12/1997 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 09/30/2010 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 12/03/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/07/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 11/03/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 03/26/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/21/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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May 27, 2011 03:59PM Sherryc wrote:

I just got back from the pain doctor and with all of you still having pain a year out I highly recommend that you seek a pain management Dr out.  He was wonderful, listened and wants to try to help me.  He feels most of my damage was from rads and not the surgery although my BS says both.  So how knows but he is helping.  My BS sent me to him because as she says, pain in not unusual but is not normal and no one has to live in pain.  There are things that can be done. 

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12

Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/12/1997 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 09/30/2010 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 12/03/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/07/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 11/03/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 03/26/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/21/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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May 27, 2011 08:31PM JBinOK wrote:

I still had pain, especially with pressure (i.e. firm touching, fondling) a year after my lumpectomy and radiation.  

But then I was diagnosed with a 2nd malignancy in the same breast just 12 months after the lumpectomy.

Had a bilateral mastectomy (no reconstruction) and all is right with the world now!

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May 28, 2011 01:21AM, edited May 28, 2011 01:24AM by nwshannon

Thanks for all the responses, it sounds like I am not alone. I have another appt with my oncologist next week and I think I will discuss this with her and see what she recommends. It is just so uncomfortable, I cannot even give a person a hug without it hurting. When I had my 1st 6 month mammo it was not this bad now I am due for another and I am dreading it because I am so tender. The most frustrating is that I am only 38 yrs old so I would like to see if there is something out there that can help me as I am a very active person and I would hate to see this affect the things I love to do.

Dx 7/9/2010, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+
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May 28, 2011 07:10AM barbe1958 wrote:

Shannon, please keep us posted as to what your doctor says. It could help someone else!

Sherry, what is the pain doc doing for you?

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there. (Lakota Nation)

Dx 12/10/2008
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May 28, 2011 07:28AM Angelice wrote:

i also have sharp stabbing pain on the scar area where the lump was  and lumpectomy  , the breast nurse said was ok normal , i finished rads 2 weeks ago

Dx 6/13/2010, 5cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 3/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 28, 2011 10:17PM Sherryc wrote:

Barbe my BS put me on amytriptiline (Elavil) 25mg.  That has worked for the most part but still have breakthrough pain.  so the pain Dr. had the compounding pharmacy make up a cream that has an antiinflamatory, gabapentin and not sure what else in it.  The label reads 120Gm CMP Gabaprofen.  You do not have the side effects of taking gabapentin orally but it is for spot treatment and it works.  Am so thankful that my BS sent me to the Pain Dr. The pharmacist said this was like a miracle cream.  Said you can put it on sore joints and it will take the stiffness and soreness away.  DH used it on his shoulder bursitis and he said it worked.  So thankful my BS listened to me and that she does not believe that pain is normal and something you have to live with.  She believes in having a quality of life.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12

Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/12/1997 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 09/30/2010 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 12/03/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/07/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 11/03/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 03/26/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/21/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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May 29, 2011 08:11AM barbe1958 wrote:

Sherry, that sounds AMAZING!!! I pray you get the full-time relief you need and deserve. Keep us posted on how this is working for you.

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there. (Lakota Nation)

Dx 12/10/2008
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Jan 18, 2014 01:01PM Lisatoler wrote:

I have had the same experience. 6 months after lumpectomy - I'm still having pain. Even worse than before. So glad to hear this is normal.  It was beginning to worry me. Thanks for sharing