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Numbness/ tingling in left arm… how concerned should I be that this is cancer?


I am a 45 year old woman and there is breast cancer in my family history. My mom died of a rare aggressive form of it last year, but it was technically a sarcoma (phyllodes tumor) and not a true breast cancer. I am negative for BRCA and she was negative for sarcoma genes, but I’ve been getting annual mammograms since I was 30. My most recent was in February and was normal.

I just had my well woman two weeks ago and no lumps were felt and I also don’t feel any. That said, I’ve had some shooting pains in my left breast and suddenly, I’ve felt some tingling and numbness in my left forearm and hand. It scared me so much.

If I don’t feel a lump, how likely is it that this is some sort of advanced breast cancer that has spread to my lymph nodes hence causing the numbness? I am beyond scared. I can’t get it to gyno for over a month. My mind is immediately going down a dark rabbit hole. Trying to reassure myself that my mammogram and well woman were clear, so it shouldn’t be anything advanced, but the numbness and tingling scare me. Thanks


  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,952
    edited June 8

    I am sorry for your worry and it is understandable. Breast cancer presents in different ways but shy of a lump, many patients have no symptoms at all. Although almost anything is possible, I have never heard of numbness or tingling as a bc symptom. Breast cancer in the axillary lymph nodes doesn’t mean advanced cancer as in metastatic. Whether you feel a lump or not, no one here can tell you what might be causing your discomfort. Advanced bc is metastatic, meaning it has moved to distant organs, not axillary lymph nodes. Please focus on the fact that you had a good check up and a clear mammo.

    While you certainly want to pursue the source of your symptoms, please take comfort in a good mammo as well as check up. Your gp might be a good place to start if your gyn does not think this is a bc issue. Take care

  • anxious66
    anxious66 Member Posts: 30

    I am sorry you are having these symptoms and I can really relate to your fear. For over 18 months I’ve had some similar symptoms but my mammogram and ultrasound were clear. I have a swollen, tingling feeling in my left arm, hand, and armpit, as well as occasional breast pain. I’ve done more research than I probably should and I’m convinced I have cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes and the mammogram and ultrasound just didn’t pick it up. I am going to ask for an MRI but I’m so afraid I’ve let it go too long now. I hope your gyne appointment eases your fears as it is horrible to live like this. Wishing you well.