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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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Sep 12, 2018 11:09AM edna_million wrote:

I am SO glad to have found this thread! i am years and years out-- I had a lumpectomy and radiation nearly 14 years ago - but have always had occasional soreness/pain/strange feelings in that breast. I've really been alarmed lately because the soreness is suddenly worse, and it just feels weird (although no weirder than it has felt in the past). I can also feel the lumpy scar tissue very prominently, but realized that since I've recently lost about ten pounds (intentionally) and my bras are too loose, that's the problem... yet I still freak out! I tend to forget that it HAS happened before, and any kind of jiggling/bouncing/etc does make it worse. A tight bra is helping, as is forcing myself to STOP POKING AND PRODDING IT. I don't know how you stop freaking out about it, although seeing how common it is REALLY helps.

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Sep 12, 2018 02:19PM JoE777 wrote:

I have recently felt a little tightness and some very minor pain but in my scar since I've been diagnosed metastatic to the bone and was very ill. I haven't stretched my arms and upper chest so I feel like it's coming from that. My pet scans are clear in my breast. Just tell your doctor and see what he says before too much freaking. Hugs
Dx 2/2012, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, metastasized to bone, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/3/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 1/7/2018 Femara (letrozole) Dx 2/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Other Radiation Therapy External: Bone Targeted Therapy Kisqali
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Oct 24, 2018 09:08PM DiagnosisDisruption wrote:

I am both glad and sad to see this. Glad it's not just me. Sad it's not just me. I am only two months out of rads and already am looking into having a mastectomy (I had a lumpectomy and re-excision) because of the extreme pain. I sailed through chemo and both surgeries, only to have radiation become the bane of my existence. It appears radiation is the common thread in all of this.

Mad I wasn't warned about the possibility. I was just told I would "get pink" three weeks in. I didn't know it would be debilitating pain for the rest of my life.

Dx 12/8/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 1/23/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/23/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/23/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/23/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 6/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 7, 2018 08:25AM ctmbsikia wrote:

Hi.  Found this doing a search.  It amazes me how many times this community comes up first for many different questions and concerns we all have.  Sometimes I find others experiences helpful, other times I find myself on overload.  I try really hard to balance the two.  I really should step away from the computer more and just live my life!  

So, just wanted to drop in and say reading these past posts were helpful.  I am 10 months out of surgery and almost 6 out of rads.  About a week ago started feeling some pain, weird sensations in my left breast and some tightness under my arm which comes and goes.  It's so hard to not freak out ---but I know statistically odds are in my favor that this should not be cancer again so soon and with my grade/stage and treatment.  I don't feel anything different.   I hope it's just some sort of strain from working and I'm probably not wearing enough support.  I've pulled out the high impact sports bras (my husband calls them a vest Winking)  Wearing for a bit to see if it helps.  I am scheduled for a mammo in early Dec. 

Staying positive if even by a thread.

Dx 12/14/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/16/2018, LCIS, Right Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/10/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 10, 2018 08:33PM Mrschapjohn wrote:

Hi,

I'm 13 months post Lumpectomy and lymph node removal. I had what I considered normal pain for a few months. Now 4 days ago sudden pain. It's gotten considerably worse as the days went by. Today it hurt to put a bra on and to wear my seatbelt.

Dx 10/2/2017, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- Surgery 11/2/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 11/2/2017 Radiation Therapy 12/12/2017
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Nov 11, 2018 07:19AM Georgia1 wrote:

Hi all. I had a lumpectomy a year ago and wanted to second what a few others have said:

Radiation is well worth it but does seem to temporarily increase pain for some women. Part of that is being put in odd positions after surgery. And many of us have metal pins in our breasts after lumpectomy.

StretchIng exercises help with that a lot! The pec muscles can really ache so keep doing your post-surgery exercises for at least a year.

A supportive, well fitting bra is a must. So many women are wearing the wrong size! It helped tremendously once I allowed a trained salesperson knowledgeable about breast surgery to fit me.

Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 11/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 12, 2018 03:01PM ctmbsikia wrote:

Georgia1 I have a confession to make.  When I was 1st lurking this sight before joining last year I loved the saying  you wrote in your signature so I sort of used it for my user name.  Hope you don't mind!

I am doing better this week.  Hardly any pain.  Sports bras I think did the trick although I find them confining at times. Should go shopping for new ones soon and just chuck anything I had prior to surgery.


Dx 12/14/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/16/2018, LCIS, Right Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/10/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 14, 2018 10:38PM AMLmom51 wrote:

Edna_Million and DiagnosisDisruption, this thread is very interesting. I'm not sure if I'm feeling the same pain as you both are. I'm having sharp, stabbing pains in my breast (lumpectomy & re-excision), however I'm approximately 2-1/2 months post-surgery, in the middle of chemo, and haven't had radiation yet. I thought maybe it was nerve endings.

Dx 8/2/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/10/2018 Radiation Therapy 1/7/2019 Breast Surgery Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Nov 15, 2018 08:05AM DiagnosisDisruption wrote:

AMLmom51 - Sorry, I misread and thought it was from rads. My guess is going to be nerve pain. The absolute worst pain came from when they injected the dye for the sentinal node biopsy. I didn't feel it because they numbed me, but they knicked a nerve. Holy baskets! I am five months out from lumpectomy and rexicision and still get the occasional surgery pain, but not bad. Yoga and exercises help SOOOOO much!

Best wishes!

Dx 12/8/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 1/23/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/23/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/23/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/23/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 6/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 15, 2018 12:20PM AMLmom51 wrote:

DiagnosisDisruption - maybe they hit nerves with me. I didn't think of that. I was out for the sentinal node biopsy. I was awake for the nuclear medicine dye which was four injections. We've all been through so much poking and prodding!

Dx 8/2/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/10/2018 Radiation Therapy 1/7/2019 Breast Surgery Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Nov 15, 2018 09:37PM DiagnosisDisruption wrote:

So much poking and prodding. I look back at the last eleven months and wonder how I found time to work with all the imaging and poking and "hey, look what we think we see. Let's get another scan!"

Dx 12/8/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 1/23/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/23/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/23/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/23/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 6/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 3, 2018 03:18PM kaumen wrote:

I have pain and soreness in my lumpectomy site - 9 years later. My surgeon said that it is just scar tissue. It will wake me up at night sometimes and i cannot wear a bra because it rubs that spot. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that still has pain. Every year I'm a nervous wreck because I think the cancer has come back. I'm have been on tamoxifen 20 mg since 2010 and my oncologist recommends that I stay on it for 10 years. It feels like there is a band across my upper stomach.

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Dec 3, 2018 06:36PM Georgia1 wrote:

Ctmbsikia - I'm glad you like my unofficial motto! I saw it here and it really resonated with me so use it as much as you like. I even had "Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass" stenciled onto aprons for some coworkers who also wrestled with the big BC.

Kaumen - congrats on being nine years NED!


Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 11/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 3, 2018 08:42PM Moderators wrote:

Hi there, Kaumen! We want to welcome you to our community here at BCO. We're sorry you're still experiencing pain, we know how frustrating that can be! But as you can see, you're certainly not alone. Hopefully other members have shared what helped them that could be of some help for you!

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Dec 6, 2018 09:34AM kaumen wrote:

Thank you

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Dec 12, 2018 10:30AM Lisarp63 wrote:

I had my lumpectomy in April 2014 with 28 doses of radiation and four years of Arimidex. Occasional zaps but I am now receiving chemo for uterine cancer. After fourth chemo I started t. have pain and spasms in that breast that also seem to radiate to my shoulder . I am so scared that the breast cancer has returned or that it’s a sign of lung cancer. Has anyone else had a similar experience

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Dec 12, 2018 01:43PM Moderators wrote:

Lisarp63, welcome to our community, and we are very sorry to hear that you are back in treatment for uterine cancer. Have you discussed these pain symptoms to your medical oncologist? We are here for you and thinking of you. Please keep us posted. Medicating

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Dec 16, 2018 07:02PM Princess0303 wrote:

Iwish IWould of known how to care for the scar as mine is so thick and growing into the nipple. The last three months i have had pain above the sergery site. I found a lump a month ago too. i was sent home to monitor it for a month . I just found another lump under my armpit on the opposite side. Seems like it never ends.

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Dec 17, 2018 10:44AM edwards750 wrote:

I am so sorry ladies. BC - the gift that keeps on giving. Ugh. If we aren’t having symptoms we are worrying we will eventually. There’s no end to this. I hope the lumps and pain are not BC related. This insidious disease never lets up.

Try and keep the faith and be as positive as you can be under the circumstances. Our fears always project the worst. Keep us posted.

Diane

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Mar 2, 2019 10:55AM Pipandor wrote:

Once again very grateful to find reassurance on this site. I am 3 years out from lumpectomy. Three nodes and tissue roughly the size of a hockey puck (my surgeon's words!) right up against the muscle and rib cage were removed. This year's mammogram was normal but my breast sometimes hurts quite a bit and remains sensitive to pressure. My oncologist says the pain may never disappear completely, and it does seem to hurt more when I exercise so I try not to worry, but sometimes it's hard to ignore the pain.

Dx 1/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 2/5/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/10/2016 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 3/11/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 2, 2019 11:19AM AliceBastable wrote:

Before I had a lumpectomy last year, I'd had other surgeries on other body parts over the years. Every single one has some twinges months and years later.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 4, 2019 12:21AM Elephant wrote:

My oncologist said the same thing: that the pain may never disappear completely and that I may continue to feel slight pain and twinges for a long time.

Dx 11/5/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/16/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/19/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/14/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 19, 2019 02:37PM ssteger wrote:

Hi, I am new to this site. I still have pain at the lumpectomy site (left arm) and am 4 years 2 1/2 months out...Some days are better than others and my Dr. is not concerned, she said this is very common. I had stage 2 and 12 nodes removed.

I also have a pea size cist under the right arm that can be felt easily, it fells like it has attached to muscle and pulls, something else to worry about.

So many things that no one tells you and none of it is pleasant!

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Mar 19, 2019 03:08PM Moderators wrote:

Dear steger,

Welcome to the BCO community. We are sorry for what brings you here but so glad that you reached out to our members. We are sure that you will find support and helpful information here from the shared experiences of others. We hope that you will stay connected. Let us know if you need any help finding your way around.

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May 31, 2019 07:10AM - edited May 31, 2019 07:14AM by mom2bunky

I am so happy to find this thread. I am only three weeks out from my lumpectomy and oncoplastic surgery. I'm still sore in the breasts. I suppose it isn't bad, but I feel them. What IS bad are the sharp stabbing pains I get from time to time. They actually seem to be getting more numerous and worse in recent days. I spoke to the breast surgeon about it yesterday and she reminded me that this was normal, nerve endings growing back. They had warned me about the sharp pains, but not the general soreness. Although some soreness makes sense of course, I was just hoping it was temporary. I am dealing with it without any pain killers for the most part, but every once in awhile, like last night, I'll pop an advil or something. It seems to work okay.

It's not the end of the world I know, and hopefully it will get better. A friend who is six years out from similar experience says she still gets the stabbing pains once in awhile, but it's not bad. Thank goodness it lasts only seconds because it is stop me in my tracks and let out an uncontrollable "ouch!" bad.

But how on earth do you ladies handle your mammograms? There is no way in the world I could have one now. The breast surgeon is recommending six months after radiation, which hasn't even started yet. Please tell me the soreness gets better enough to be able to withstand a mammogram. I'm a little freaked out, please tell me the soreness gets better!

Dx at 55. KI-67: 18. Oncotype: 24 Dx 3/26/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/26/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 1, 2019 08:50AM DiagnosisDisruption wrote:

mom2bunky - The post lumpectomy/radiation mammogram had me panicking as well (because it will get more painful with radiation, I'm sorry to say). I actually stalled in scheduling it. When I finally went, I took 3 ibuprofen beforehand and then I told the tech straight out that I was freaked out. She was very gentle and used the manual dial versus the foot dial to "squish it". Much more tolerable and I felt like she was in more control.

Also, look into lymphatic drainage massage for the breast. After surgery and radiation I had horrible chest lymphadema. The therapist worked wonders. I do still have some pain, ironically in the spot completely away from the surgery site. Oncologist says lymphadema still.

Dx 12/8/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 1/23/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/23/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/23/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/23/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 6/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/18/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 2, 2019 08:52PM mom2bunky wrote:

thanks DiagnosisDisruption. I guess I’ll take it as it comes.

Dx at 55. KI-67: 18. Oncotype: 24 Dx 3/26/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/26/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 18, 2019 04:50PM stage1 wrote:

I just logged in again after being away from BC.org. I got much comfort from this site when I needed it. And again, I’m feeling relief of the worry about pain in the lumpectomy area and underarm. I been to the doctor and had my yearly mammogram. All clear👏🏻, but the pain at night still wakes me. After reading some on this thread, I think I’m going to shop for a sports bra.

Thanks everyone for being here

Dx 4/1/2011, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/18/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Sep 11, 2019 07:52AM libby2647111 wrote:

thank you for posting this! You described my symptoms to T! I’m about two months out from my next mammogram. I was diagnosed in dec 2018.

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