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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 03:49PM

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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Mar 16, 2017 05:40PM MTwoman wrote:

Eleanor,

are you doing any (gentle) stretches? that is what helped me the most. the finger-walking-up-the-wall stretch, in particular. If you don't have any stretches, please ask, there are many of us here who have used them to great benefit. Please do continue to follow your physicians advice if he/she has advised against this, but gentle stretches turned the corner for me. Trying not to move (or go over bumps in the car, ouch!) means you may be 'guarding' your arm and that only leads to more tightness and discomfort. Let's see if others have additional advice for you. So sorry you are discouraged and still experiencing pain. Hoping you start to feel much better soon! ((big hugs))

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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May 7, 2017 02:00PM Vascherr wrote:

I'm only about a month out from the Savi radiation treatment after my lumpectomy. My pain has been increasing and yesterday it was constant almost all day. I'm sure it's just healing but I take norco for back pain and it worries me that I feel that much pain even with the pain meds. Any similar situations? Any idea if stress can increase the pain

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May 8, 2017 12:58PM GmaFoley wrote:

Greetings Vascherr, I understand completely - Been there, done that. Always, if it worries you - talk to the doctor.

Is the pain worse after movement? If it is "nerve pain" some pain meds don't touch it. I ended up going to pain management and given gabapentin for the pain. Remember the nerves have to find a new pathway and scar tissue hurts as it loosens.

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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Jul 13, 2017 01:52AM lipichaks wrote:

Hello,

So glad to have found this site!

I was diagnosed with Phyllodes non malignant tumor in my left breast and had a lumpectomy in January and my doctor went in again to remove a wider margin, within two weeks of my first surgery. It has been six months post lumpectomy , but my left breast has the occasional pain not only at site but shooting radiating pains from upper breast area , side of the breast . I have little kids and occasionally they bump or if i have to carry them and it worsens when i use my left side. My fear is all this pain is because of the surgery OR is it something else.I see my doctor tomorrow since the pain has been worst this week.

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Jul 13, 2017 12:34PM GmaFoley wrote:

Good luck Lipichaks. It sounds so much like my nerve pain. Take a breath and check it out. Mine didn't settle down for a very long time so I wouldn't worry too much. Hugs to you.

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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Jul 20, 2017 05:03PM lipichaks wrote:

Thanks Ms.Foley :-) for your encouraging words. Met my doctor and he just said that it is too soon to see anything on US. He asked me to take care so that kids do not hit that area.

Hope it settle soon.

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Jul 20, 2017 07:41PM Finngrl11 wrote:

I would love to hear about your breast reduction. I am thinking about it myself. Did insurance/Medicare cover it??

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Jul 20, 2017 08:02PM JoniB wrote:

I had a lumpectomy with IORT a year and a half ago. I had no pain at the time of the surgery but start to have pain this spring. At first I thought it was due to exercising but when I had to stop for a month, the pain actually got worse. Just had a mammogram and all is clear. The oncologist and radiologist did not seem concerned about the pain but did not offer an explanation either.

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Jul 24, 2017 01:58PM Wrenwood47 wrote:

I had a lumpectomy and rads in April of 2011. I never had much pain until just recently. On a scale of 1-10, i rate this an 8. Altho' it is not a constant pain, it frequently is a shooting pain, followed by aching and not just the breast but my ribs too. Only lasts a few minutes, subsides but comes back again at least 20 times a day....excruciating and worrisome. I have not had any problems until just this week. I don't recall doing anything out of the ordinary...just woke up one night and could not go back to sleep....hurt so much. After reading all the above posts, I guess this is normal, altho' it doesn't feel normal. Just another reminder of this horrible disease.

Dx 3/1/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 29, 2017 01:36AM Debroyla wrote:

I so grateful to read these messages. I'm 4 years from lumpectomy and Radiation. I still have occasional soreness and shooting pains at the site. Was never told this could happen. I was worried.

So glad to know I'm not alone.

Thank you



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Jul 29, 2017 09:24AM Merran wrote:

After a year on Letrozole to shrink my tumour I had surgery in June 2016 to remove a tumour that had been attached to the chest wall, the following week a haematoma needed to be removed and then the following week the 10 lymph nodes removed from under my right arm. After these ops followed 6 chemotherapy treatments and 20 radiotherapy sessions. Having experienced sharp pains and rib aches I decided to search the Internet to see if anyone else had experienced these symptoms as I was getting rather concerned and lo and behold I see it is quite a common problem and like most of you hadn't been told that this could occur. Anxiety can give the most awful symptoms too which doesn't help the situation but I am pleased to have read everyone else's posts on the subject and feel more assured now. Thank you

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Aug 1, 2017 07:37PM Junegirl wrote:

I have had a lumpectomy in March 2016 and chemo and rad followed. I still have shooting pain and discomfort in that breast But I have a "lump" that is hard and unnerves me greatly. The surgeon says it is scar tissue. It is under the skin and below incision site an inch. How can this be scar tissue please??? Actually it is located at the bottom of the breast. I have had breast checks and mammogram that is fine. I still worry. Does anyone else have this problem?

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Aug 1, 2017 10:00PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Junegirl-

We're so sorry to hear that you're still experiencing this pain! Have you read through our thread on lumpectomies? There's lots of great info there, and members who've likely experienced what you are now: https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/91/topics...

The Mods

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Aug 11, 2017 09:02AM - edited Aug 11, 2017 09:08AM by Tonie

Thanks for your posts and info from your surgeons and doctors. I'm scheduled with my oncologist to check out the pain I'm having near both scars from my lumpectomy in 2013. I took up yoga and worked out on an elliptical machine all summer. I thought I had over stretched and/or injured the lumpectomy and the lymph node scars, but it continues to hurt and gets worse even when I take a break from the exercise and yoga. Like others, different bras can make it worse or better, and putting pressure on that breast when sleeping can really cause it to be more painful. I've been worried for months and afraid to have it checked out. If I'd found found this forum sooner, I would have gone in at the beginning of summer (I'm a teacher) and saved myself a couple of months of major anxiety. I know nothing is certain, but I'm much more hopeful going for my appointment having read this.

Tonie
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Aug 11, 2017 02:14PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Tonie, and welcome to Breastcancer.org!

We're sorry you're here and worrying, but really glad you found us and have decided to get your symptoms checked out. Please let us know how it turns out -- we're all thinking of you!

--The Mods

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Oct 15, 2017 12:08PM Ponygirl1212 wrote:

I have the same thing so this is a relief to know it's quite normal. My lumpectomy was Oct 2009 so this achy pain came as quite a shock. Thanks all for sharing

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Nov 8, 2017 10:53AM bklyngidget wrote:

I am 16 yrs mastectomy dc is stage 0.Had radiation for 6 weeks every day. Lately in mastectomy site I get stabbing pain that spreads in are a like it has spider legs. Comes and goes away . Today it's more than usual. Worried it's heart related..No other symptoms. Anyone else have this pain it's low near ribs. Thanks.

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Nov 10, 2017 05:20PM Rachaelfrank wrote:

I just had a lumpectomy last Thursday I go Monday to talk to surgeon and find out about radiation they say 5 times week for six weeks and I don't know about chemo but they told my husband about me having to take some pill for years to come...i have so many unanswered questions it's driving me nuts. My first is can I still work while I'm getting radiation some say yes some say it wears you out. Second I'm having pain coming in my nipple and under it bad like it's making me sick to stomach

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Nov 13, 2017 10:45AM MTwoman wrote:

Rachael, rads are typically given to women who opt for LX, and sometimes given after MX. The "pill" for years to come is most likely Tamoxifen or an AI, which is anti-hormonal treatment typical for ER/PR+ bc. And while rads do tend to "wear you out" (it accumulates over the course of the 6 weeks), it is the NCCN standard to make sure no bad cells were left behind and reduce the chance of a local recurrence. The pain you talk about may be nerves that were cut during surgery. It is unfortunately unavoidable for some nerves to be involved, depending on where the lump is. Please do talk with your doc to get a better idea of what's going on in your treatment, so that you can start getting your questions answered. Do they have a nurse navigator? They can be extremely helpful! Good luck!

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Dec 3, 2017 02:42AM - edited Dec 3, 2017 02:43AM by Courage3636

Thanks everyone for your posts. It seems that many physicians don't really tell us what side effects may occur years after lumpectomy. I have lymphedema although I only had three nodes removed. Nodes were negative. I also had 7 weeks of radiation. I have tenderness at the site and under the arm. Reassuring to know it seems to be common after reading this. I am 65.....3 years post lumpectomy. I encourage everyone to see a physical therapist or an Occupational Therapist who is certified in lymphedema treatment. I noticed one wrist was larger than the other....it was then the oncologist told me about lymphedema certified Ocupational Therapists. I encourage everyone to read the book titled Lymphedema by Jeannie Burt and Gwen White PT. So very helpful. When treated early you can contain it well. I am a nurse and was amazed to find that even physicians have very little training in the area of lymphedema.....best wishes to all....





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Dec 3, 2017 06:15AM HB0225 wrote:

thank you for sharing your experience. I have been suffering all weekend with a swollen breast and was scared to death. Now i know what it is I can deal with it. I thought i was just gaining weight when my rings started getting too tight at the beginning of the week. By friday night i was double in size on surgical side and in excruciating pain.

Dx 1/5/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 3/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/8/2017 TAC Radiation Therapy 8/11/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 3, 2017 10:50AM Moderators wrote:

Dear HBO225,

We are sorry for your current situation but glad that you reached out here to our community. Please keep us posted on what you learn from your doctor. We hope that you will stay connected here and find support and information to help you to cope. The Mods

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Dec 3, 2017 11:31AM chronicpain wrote:

KANELLI, I am new to this forum and just found this thread and your comment about having had five day radiation, one of the few on this forum, and having reported ongoing discomfort. Now that it is 18 months later since that post, may I ask how are you doing?

I am considering five day radiation ( vs. no radiation) after my 11/22/17 lumpectomy heals up, for a grade I stage I tumor, lymph nodes negative, due to fears I have of traditional radiation side effects I may be extra vulnerable to due to autoimmune problems, RSD, andfibromyalgia. I see a radiation oncologist this week

After a decade of autoimmune problems, Dx 10/2017 at age 63, IDC, Left, 9mm, Oncotype 13, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, 11/22/2017 Lumpectomy, Arimidex. Declined radiation.
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Dec 6, 2017 07:03PM HB0225 wrote:

Iniah, I am having the exact same problem. My lumpectomy site has a hard knot in it. The skin looks like a bruised sunburn. My breast doubled in size. My MO put me on antibiotics and scheduled me to see my surgeon. Not sure what for. This is very painful though.

Dx 1/5/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 3/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/8/2017 TAC Radiation Therapy 8/11/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 22, 2018 02:46PM sljmyers wrote:

This is a great site! I am so glad to have found it. I am almost 4 years out from left lumpectomy and 2 lymph nodes removed. I had 6 weeks of radiation. I had a mamogram about a week ago (which I just got word that I have to go back for another 'more in depth' test because they saw 'thickening' on the mammogram) and I am hurting from that mammogram last week. I just turned 56 years old. All of my Mom's family had breast cancer at some point in their lives (Grandma, aunts, cousins, etc) so I wasn't surprised when I got the diagnosis and my doc caught it really early - Stage i. I have a lot of on and off pain at the surgical site over these last 4 years. I also have a lot of head aches , more than I have ever had before anyway. I do yoga and have my ativan handy. I do wish my state allowed for medical marijuana because I believe that would be the best 'medicine' but alas, it is not the case for Alabama. Oh well, ativan it is! I am soo sooo sooo tired - all the time.

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Jan 22, 2018 05:59PM Moderators wrote:

Welcome, sljmyers! We're glad you've joined us, and hope you find this to be a place of support. We're sorry to hear you're still experiencing pain at the site of your lumpectomy, and hope you get relief soon.

The Mods

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Jan 31, 2018 10:04AM sloyd66 wrote:

I'm going on 5 yrs later and having the same problem. So yes I agree to hear that I'm not the only one. I had my mammogram and ultrasound and finally can do yearly exams after doing every 6months.

Oncotype Score 12 Dx 10/2013, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 12/23/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/2/2014
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Jan 31, 2018 10:13AM sloyd66 wrote:

Hello! Yes I'm almost 5yrs post surgery and rad. I was also concern when I felt the scar tissues which is what it is. It's normal and as long as your mammo and u/s are coming out good don't worry about it.

Oncotype Score 12 Dx 10/2013, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 12/23/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/2/2014
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Apr 12, 2018 02:28PM Asukasmama wrote:

I am almost 10 years out. Still experience shooting / dull pain often and my left breast is hard and disfigured. Never knew till now that there was a site like this. Thanks for sharing..

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