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Topic: Pain in lumpectomy site years later

Forum: Pain —

Share important questions and provide support to others experiencing breast cancer and treatment-related pain.

Posted on: Dec 18, 2012 04:49PM

Rachel1 wrote:

Hi all,

I was dx in May of 2010. I had a lumpectomy was stage 2, grade 3 er/pr+, 7+nodes and brca2+. I did chemo, rads and had a mastectomy a year ago with diep reconstruction. Off and on I get pain in the scar area from the lumpectomy. They took muscle from the area -- lump was on the right at 5 o'clock -- very unusual area. No bc in muscle and clear margins.  My scar in that area is very tight and that changes with how much salt I eat, weight gain, lymphodema, etc.  But does anyone else get stabbing or shooting pain in their original scar area?  Thanks, I'm trying not to freak, but you know how that goes. Reaching for my xanax unfortunately. Rachel

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Jan 7, 2016 01:28PM Grneyes4al wrote:

I am so glad I found this site. I had my lumpectomy in 2005. Now I am experiencing a tugging tight pain in my scar area. Kind of freaking me out a little bit. I feel better that I have read some answers here and it's kind of normal with age , gravity and scar tissue possibly. I called my Doctor today that did my surgery and waiting on her office to call me back. Thank you all for making me feel a little better

Regina Cooley
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Jan 7, 2016 02:45PM Moderators wrote:

Welcome to, Grneyes4al. We are really glad that you found us, and that the posts have helped you feel better! Please keep us posted on what your doctor says!

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Apr 29, 2016 09:46PM LovesToFly wrote:

thankful for this thread. Just noticed a bumpy bruised feeling spot 1/2 inch from lumpectomy (6 months ago) scar that seems to radiate to the ribs belo. Seeing my MO in 2 weeks so I'll tell/show her...but feeling a bit less scared now. I just finished chemo last week!!!

Jill, 42, Toronto
Dx 10/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/27/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/6/2016 CEF Chemotherapy 3/8/2016 Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/11/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 5/24/2016 Hormonal Therapy 9/6/2016 Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 11/28/2016 Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 8, 2016 12:09AM sarajaneevans wrote:

I am happy to find this thread too!

I'm just at three years since my lumpectomies, chemo,and radiation. I have been experiencing stabbing pain down the outside of my lumpectomy breast, not near the surgery site. It's almost like labor,in that the sharp pain ebbs and flows. I just had a clean mammogram, which doesn't impress me much since all the others over the years did not detect my LC....I saw my surgeon last month and all was clear...I see my MO next week and will run it by him, but for now I won't stress about it... Thanks to all for sharing.. Sje
When you can't do anything, You do what you can. Dx 4/29/2013, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/16/2013 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 6/7/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 6/25/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 10/15/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/6/2013 Breast
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May 8, 2016 03:06PM Avon wrote:

This is my first post and I relate to what you are saying .It is nearly 2 years for me and I have a couple of hot spots on both breasts that sting when pressed down on ...any thoughts ?

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Jun 6, 2016 03:01PM Joy_1 wrote:

So good to see this thread! I had a lumpectomy for pre-cancerous ALH 1 year ago with no other treatment than Tamoxifen. I had really achy tenderness for almost the whole year, and my doctor told me it was normal and scar tissue was forming. for the last couple of months it had really eased off and I was thinking "ah, maybe it does stop." Then last week I started having pain again. Not the scar on the outside, on my skin, but inside my breast where the deep scar tissue is. I really was sad to have it come back, but it helps to know that all of you are out there experiencing something similar and getting through it. I see my onc next month and am going to ask him if everything is normal. It's sort of exhausting to hurt all the time, isn't it?

Surgery 5/4/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 6, 2016 08:56PM ORknitter wrote:

Joy, I had almost constant, annoying pain from the biopsy and wire site (same place). I was sent to PT which helped a lot, she used something that looks like a shoehorn just gently massaging it and the pain was gone. I went back 1 more time and didn't notice any difference so that was it for me. Now it's sore again but I can easily live with it.

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Jun 7, 2016 08:40AM Joy_1 wrote:

Hi! Thanks for your reply. I can live with it, most of the time. Advil or Tylenol do help. When I go to the doctor next month, I'll ask him about PT. Hadn't thought of that. Hope you do well with managing yours. Have a good day!

Surgery 5/4/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 22, 2016 05:51PM AngryBird wrote:

Been over a year for my surgery. Lumpectomy and lymph node. No radiation and no chemo. Still in pain. Still freak out if even my pinkie hurts. I use as many organic anything that I can...a great herb I've been taking for my nerves is L-theanine. Works like a side effects. God bless all you ladies. I feel like my ordeal is minor compared to some of you.

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Jun 30, 2016 04:34PM Kaneli wrote:

Manu 14, I also had SAVI Rads. There are not many on this forum who have had that type of radiation. I had my Lumpectomy on March 23 and finished the SAVI (5 days 2x per day) on April 1st, 2016. I have been having mild pain, and tenderness, but yesterday I spent a lot of the day icing the area. The pain felt more like it was around where the SAVI had been inserted, rather that the lumpectomy area....but both are tender. I have been working out a lot more so that might be part of it, but I'm glad to know that the pain is not abnormal.

Dx 2/10/2016, IDC: Tubular, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/22/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/28/2016 Balloon-catheter: Breast
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Jul 2, 2016 01:16PM Jill900 wrote:

My lumpectomy was way back in 2011, followed by 33 radiation treatments. The area is still a bit swollen, nowhere near what it was. I still have occasional 'stabs' in the area, and tenderness if I push too hard. It gets less pronounced with each passing month, but has yet to go completely away. My breast surgeon, oncologist, and medical doctor are not concerned and have assured me that this is not unusual and part of a 'new' normal for me, at least for now.

Dx 6/13/2011, IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 6/21/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/21/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/22/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/26/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 2, 2016 02:38PM PrairieCarol wrote:

Thanks to all of you for sharing! So surprised to have worse pain 6 months after lumpectomy-- they really don't tell you-- you have to seek out help. After radiation ending in April, looks like I may be sun intolerant. Trying steroid and Cere Ve cream for 2 weeks per dermatologist before a biopsy just to be sure but pink rash around breast and across clavicle area, itches, and sore scar, tender breast and additional swelling. Reminds me of a breast infection when nursing babies. So relieved to learnothers have had this!

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Jul 2, 2016 07:15PM ChiSandy wrote:

Go to a dermatologist. Mine (I saw her for an unrelated problem) noticed the residual redness and fibrosis three months after rads, and prescribed a steroid (triamcinolone) ointment to be used 2x/day for 2 weeks, then off a week, for a couple of months. Worked like a charm. I use it now twice a week for maintenance.

Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters.... Dx 9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/23/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/2/2015 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 3, 2016 01:04PM ICanDoThis wrote:

Eight years out of rads, for the last two years, I have had myositis -- inflammation of the muscles under the radiation scar tissue.

Guess I will have this, like, forever. Have had physical therapy for it, and it helps.

Wonder why they didn't tell us any of this stuff?

Sue - Proud to be Krista's Mom Dx 12/28/2007, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jul 7, 2016 10:47PM PrairieCarol wrote:

Thanks ChiSandy! That's exactly what I'm on and am finally seeing results. See doc again tomorrow.

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Aug 15, 2016 01:18AM - edited Aug 15, 2016 01:20AM by fleur-de-lis

my experience is a bit different than most of the stories on the thread, but it still hits home for me

I had a Phyllodes tumor ( 9cm) removed in 2009. It left a good sized crater, which "somewhat" filled in with fat tissue over the past 7 yrs. That breast does not gain weight when the left one does....and I have no idea why....need to ask the BS. next time we speak

Anyway...the lumpectomy site often hurts, or burns/pulls when I lift weights, or use that arm too often....well, it is my right arm, soo....what can I do about it, really? Perhaps being small breasted has something to do about it? Less fat/ breast tissue to protected the damaged nerves?The type of pain is consistent, and has never I never gave it too much thought.

Nerve damage, I imagine?

High Risk due to family history, BRCA1+2 neg., P53 and PTEN neg., Phyllodes Tumor 2009, ALH 2010, Hemioanginonoma 2016, Second Phyllodes Tumor with ILC 2016.
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Sep 4, 2016 03:36AM NWArtLady wrote:

bumping this very helpful thread! I'm 5 years out and having similar symptoms and fears. Thank goodness for you ladies and your willingness to share information!

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... ~Dory
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Sep 4, 2016 05:36PM Clarie wrote:

Thank you allso much for sharing your experiences. I had a lumpectomy in 2011 and just recently have started having sharp pains in that area. I was quite alarmed but feel so much better for reading this thread.

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Sep 4, 2016 06:15PM Moderators wrote:

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Dec 13, 2016 07:28PM Iniah wrote:

I am 4.5 years out post lumpectomy and radiation. I have moderate to severe pain in my lumpectomy site, my SBX site and in my arm pit. The pain comes and goes. It feels like a burning, sharp, sore, inflamed swollen mess. The past 2 weeks have been very painful. It feels like my breast is on fire. As per my mammogram I do have scar tissue forming; I had less pain right after surgery compared to now. I am on Tamoxifen.

Not sure if I should go see my surgeon?

Iniah Dx 4/27/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/16/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/19/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/7/2012 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/10/2013 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 3/23/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2013 Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 27, 2016 09:50PM JennyAdele wrote:

I had a lumpectomy in 2007. DCIS. I had a mammosite with radiation seeds inserted for five days twice a day. I thought at the time it was a a great solution. No chemo. My breast hurts every day bad

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Dec 28, 2016 07:55AM Moderators wrote:

Welcome JennyAdele,

Sorry to hear that you've been in pain since your surgery, but you've come to the right place for support and information!

Sending hugs and good wishes to you!

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Dec 28, 2016 08:28AM GmaFoley wrote:

Jenny Adele, So sorry to hear you are in pain after radiation. I was too. I went to pain management, because of the nerve pain I had in the breast. They put me on gabapentin and it worked but after a few years I looked for other fixes. I didn't like the brain fog. I did try acupuncture and she could actually get rid of the nerve pain. My problem was - I was still large-breasted and any movement would start up the nerve pain. So I opted to go to a Plastic Surgeon and have him do a reconstruction/reduction. It got rid of the nerve pain but the Plastic Surgeon said he couldn't guarantee it would. I was one of the lucky ones I guess. It was a risk I was ready to take after 4 years of brain fog from the nerve pain meds I tried.

Imagine God in His HUGE rocking chair, rocking you and saying, "It will be ok, you can do it. I will be right here for you". Oncotype score: 8, Rads 28, Bilateral arm, truncal LE and now Obstructive Sleep Apnea Dx 4/19/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 9, 2017 07:13PM jkmoumouni wrote:

In Oct 2016 I was diagnosed with IDC Stage 1 then I Had a Lumpectomy and 6 Sentinel Lymph nodes removed 11/11/16. Also had 5 days of Brachytherapy ( Radiation) Everything went rather smoothly for me considering the ordeal we go through for this situation.. However of late ( 12 weeks after surgery and radiation) I'm starting to have pain/ achiness and tenderness in the upper fuller part of my breast ( not the surgery site) and the tingling and jagging sensations off and on as well. I'm not sure if this is from the internal radiation devise that was used for my treatment or just some healing going on. Also my under wire bra seems to be really causing me some discomfort on the side of my breast where the wire ends. The tissue under my skin seems bruised a bit. So Ive gone back to wearing a sports bra most days. But they just aren't as supportive when you have large breasts. I have been starting to worry myself sick about the pain just like the rest of you. I'm seeing my Radiation Oncologist for a follow up in 3 weeks so I'm praying he just tells me its tissue and nerves healing. Thanks for the posts/threads they really help to comfort a fellow survivor.

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Feb 9, 2017 09:46PM Moderators wrote:


Welcome to BCO! We hope the pain turns out to be nothing, please keep us posted.

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Feb 10, 2017 08:52AM - edited Feb 10, 2017 08:54AM by jkmoumouni

Thanks for the welcome..Im also on Arimidex (anastrozole), I seem to have a lot of side effects. Does anybody else experience any side effects from this med?

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Feb 10, 2017 01:59PM Hopeful82014 wrote:

I'm not on Arimidex but many women here are. Side effects seem to be common. Some women find that one AI is easier to tolerate than another, so you might address that with your oncologist.

Here's a link to the Arimidex-specific thread that might be helpful:

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Mar 14, 2017 11:30AM bravesoul wrote:

Thank you all for sharing! I had lumpectomy in June 2015, stage 2, triple negative, no lymph nodes affected, 2 different rounds of chemo, 30 sessions of radiation, ended one year ago. Tenderness on and off; lately, persistent dull pain in my surgical breast and armpit. Of course, I am freaking out. It helps to know that I'm not alone. Seeing the doctor in 3 days. Pray for me!

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Mar 14, 2017 03:35PM - edited Mar 14, 2017 03:36PM by Moderators

bravesoul, we're really glad these posts have helped you! We are sending all our positive thoughts your way!

Keep us posted with how your appointment goes. We are all here for you!

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Mar 16, 2017 06:33PM Eleanor1960 wrote:

I am exactly 2 weeks post-op from my lumpectomy and truthfully discouraged that I am still having pain. My surgeon told me prior to surgery that many women don't even take the pain pills but just use Tylenol. My leave from work is supposed to end tomorrow, but I still do not feel like I can return to a regular schedule. I have pain in the breast as well as in the underarm area (above the sentinel node biopsy location). I have numbness under the arm, shooting pain in the nipple and my arm begins to throb after using the keyboard for any length of time. I wince when we go over speed bumps in the car. I think my expectations for a "quick" recovery were not realistic. When I am going to start feeling like myself again?

Dx 1/24/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/2/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 5/16/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 11/13/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast

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