Advice needed please.

First of all, I’d like to say hi to everyone :slight_smile:

I’d appreciate a little advice if anyone can help me out…

At the beginning of this year my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer - It was caught early and the prognosis was good, thank god.

She was booked in for a wide local excision within a couple of weeks and although they had to remove a great deal more tissue than originally planned it all went well. Following that was a course of radiotherapy and finally the long awaited all clear.

Recently however - some 3 months after the radiotherapy was undertaken, my mum is still in pain. Her scar is still badly bruised and slightly painful to touch and the upper portion of her breast throbs (the excision site was underneath the breast)

When I’m with her I notice her wincing and rubbing her breast and I’ve asked her to book herself an appointment to see the doctor to get it checked out. The trouble is, she doesn’t feel she should bother the doctor when she’s been given the all clear and she assumes that means everything is as it should be. I think, and it’s only my opinion, that she doesn’t want to face anything to do with her cancer again and for that i don’t blame her but it doesn’t stop be worrying.

What I’m asking is, is the pain she’s experiencing normal after this length of time or should I make myself unpopular and be a big old bully and frog march her to the doctors?

I’d really appreciate any advice any of you can give me. She’s been so brave throughout all of this and I’m so very proud of her but I’m terrified that something might be wrong. Thank you in advance and best wishes to all of you out there

Hi verbosus

Welcome to the forums, I’m sure other users will be along to support you soon.
In the meantime you may find it useful to contact our free helpline on 0808 800 6000, opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.00 – 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 – 2.00.

kind regards
June, moderator

Hi Verbosus
I had my op (quadrantdectomy) on the 10th Aug, approx 10 weeks ago and i must admit i am also in some pain and am worried that it may be the cancer spreading. I did see my oncologist last week and she checked me over and said it was nothing to worry about and that as i was mid way through my chemo it would be to early for things to happen. I have a throbbing pain mainly down my scar line which runs from my nipple to under my arm pit and it may well be the nerve endings knitting together again. My biggest concern is that it does not appear to be a common symptom amongst other BC sufferers.
Big hugs to both you and your mum.
Stella X

Hi Both,

Pain and discomfort is not uncommon for some time after any kind of surgery. It took two years for my chest to settle after heart surgery and my breast is still uncomfortable and sore nearly two years from on from my breast surgery.

Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy are further assaults on tissues that are trying to heal.

I was recommended to use Voltarol gel, which was v. helpful. Ask your medics about it.

The other helpful thing is to wear some kind of boob support, be it a bra or crop top, at all times, so gravity isn’t dragging at the breast.

A L xx

I was told at my post-rads check-up that it can take up to 12 months for the tissues to recover from rads alone, and if there is surgery then rads it can be up to 18 months. I finished my rads in April 2008 and still get the odd stabby pain or ache in my boob.

I am very much like your mother and avoid seeing my GP if I can help it - mine is of the over-cautious variety who reaches for the referral pad as soon as I walk in the door - however, it really is best to gfet it checked out, if nothing else perhaps a referral to the physio might be of some help.

Hi, verbosus & others
I think what your mother is experiencing is entirely normal after her experiences. It may not be very reassuring, but I still have some pain and discomfort two years after a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction - but I did have to have radiotherapy last year, and I gather that this makes quite a difference. I gather that it goes on having an effect for some time after finishing treatment. I also have soreness and sometimes stabbing pains in the scar area.

I agree with Aquarian Lady that wearing boob support, even at night, is really helpful when you are feeling particularly sore. Thanks, AL for the tip on Voltarol gel - I will follow that one up.

Hope she becomes more comfortable in time,

Hi, I had my lumpectomy and SNB in June, just finished chemo and start rads tomorrow. Initially I didn’t get much breat pain but over the last 2 months the pain in my breast has been pretty much constant and I am really uncomfortable in bed. I too have put off bothering the BCN but I am going to ring today, from the posts on here it seems it’s normal but I can’t help but worry and I don’t want to be taking pain killers, the pain is also round the back of my rib cage.