Share important questions and provide support to others experiencing breast cancer and treatment-related pain.
Posted on: Jan 20, 2010 11:43AM - edited May 30, 2019 01:25AM by Moderators
The purpose for this forum is to discuss the concerns of women experiencing pain several months following their mastectomy. A portion of an abstract from Pain Management Nursing, 2009, describes it this way:
Chronic neuropathic pain affects between 20% and 50% of women after their breast cancer treatment.
Breast cancer treatments are not without side effects; chronic neuropathic pain post-breast treatment (PPBT), also known as chronic post-mastectomy pain syndrome (PMPS), is one such
complication. This pain syndrome was first reported by (Wood (1978)) in the late 1970s; Foley and colleagues described the discrete set of symptoms in the 1980s. (Foley, 1987, Granek et al., 1984) In the last several decades, there has been a wide discrepancy in the reported prevalence of chronic neuropathic pain. Depending on the definition of chronic pain used by researchers,
incidence rates as low as 20% (Carpenter et al., 1998, Stevens et al., 1995) and as high as 50%or more (Fassoulaki et al., 2000, Maunsell et al., 1993, Tasmuth et al., 1995, Wallace et al., 1996) have been reported. Specific to the breast cancer population, (Selim et al., (2002)) estimate that between 200,000 to 400,000 women suffer from the symptoms of PPBT.
Thus, for women who are already devastated by the diagnosis of breast cancer and attempting to cope with the various treatment regimes, the additional suffering from chronic neuropathic pain can be physically and psychologically overwhelming.
Additional information regarding this condition can also be found on another community forum:
We welcome your comments!
Edited by Mods to add additional information as the text link above is no longer available. For more information from Breastcancer.org, see our Podcast on Post-Mastectomy Pain Syndrome: What It Is and How Its Treated.
Posts 1771 - 1783 (1,783 total)
Oct 27, 2020 07:46PM Rah2464 wrote:
Wordgirl so glad you finally have the medicine protocol you need. I hope you feel better very quickly.
Nov 17, 2020 03:00AM - edited Nov 17, 2020 03:03AM by magiclight
I found this website for constrictive chest products that may help with PMPS pain. Unfortunately, they would not work for me because I cannot wear anything tight under my arms, thus have only found the Expand a band breast binder helpful. Note that they are designed for the Trans community, but hey may provide another source for products to relieve the side effect of breast cancer treatment
Nov 22, 2020 12:53AM TectonicShift wrote:
What about pain nine years out from mx? I have little twinges and vague pain in the area of my mastectomy scar. Sometimes I think it's nerves regenerating or scar tissue just being scar tissue. Sometimes I have vague pains in what feels like the ribs. It scares me sometimes. But then I realize that I sometimes have pain in the remaining breast too and have my mammograms and so far no contralateral cancer.
Is pain far out from the mastectomy in the general area of the scar normal? Cartilage? Nerves? Bones?
I also had the full radiation treatment on the ribs nine years ago. Can radiation pain linger?
Just random thoughts this morning as I monitors the twitches and twinges and tightness and yes slight vague pain in my chest.
Nov 22, 2020 02:09AM Castigame wrote:
I thought I was abnormal regards to PMPS. It has been full 3 yrs for treatments. I know I am blessed and feel blessed it is not legit strong pain per say but totally unexpected. It feels like some bug crawls on my chest and pricks whenever possible.
Nov 22, 2020 02:18AM magiclight wrote:
PMPS continues 5 years out from my surgery. So many bad side effects from cancer treatments. My neighbor just developed diabetes and her MD said it was probably from her chemotherapy. My neuropathy is also a side effect of chemo. Intriguing that there are ever better treatments for the cancer, but there are essentially no treatments for the diseases that are caused by by initial cancer treatments. Feeling everyone's frustration.
Nov 22, 2020 06:22AM MinusTwo wrote:
7 years out - I still have twinges & some pain mostly on the side & arm when I went back for ALND. And yes - radiation problems are forever. I try to stretch every day so the muscles don't pull back & stiffen up. I was just thinking the other day - since it's constant and not debilitating, I'm brought up short every once in awhile trying to remember what it was like before. Also I have breast & truncal lymphadema so I always have to watch that. It makes it impossible to forget BC.
Like Magiclight - I also have neuropathy in my feet that can travel up my calves sometimes and never regained full feeling in my fingers. Fortunately there isn't much pain, but it's like having dead blocks of ice for feet. I have to watch where I'm walking so I don't stumble or trip.
I guess I just try to ignore random pains - when I'm not pissed about something I can no longer do.
Feb 17, 2021 05:40AM Lezza13 wrote:
PMPS continues after 8 years. I did go flat so there are the nerve issues in my chest. My right arm without its lymph nodes is numb. Some things you just learn to live with. I have tried CBD cream and Arnica cream to dull the pain when it arrives. Just does not last long. I agree with your last post magiclight.
Feb 17, 2021 06:27AM magiclight wrote:
Lezza, sorry that you are still suffering with PMPS. I am almost 6 years out from surgery and although the pain has changed in its intensity, it remains something I consciously deal with daily. I've given up on medical intervention - nothing worked - and rely on wearing a breast binder all day. Hot baths help relax muscles particularly in my back so that area is less tight. Using what is beneficial, even if short term, provides moments where the body's stress hormones diminish. In my state recreational sales of marijuana are taxed at 16% in addition to local sales taxes between 6% and 9%. Medical marijuana, in contrast, has a 6.6% sales tax and 2-3% municipal tax. Pain relief, however minimal, is expensive!
There is a web site that further explains Medical Trauma...What is Medical Trauma? | Springer Publishing.
Feb 17, 2021 06:46AM Lezza13 wrote:
magiclight. Thanks for the link. The pain is not constant just twinges often enough to remind me. It is something I have lived with. I may actually try medical marijuana one day. Take care