After pain

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 23 at the age of 47. I went in for surgery for a lumpectomy. Unfortunately well doing this procedure they found another tumour. This resulted in a mascetomy. The mascetomy was carried out on 29th Sept. Six months on i am still struggling with severe discomfort. The doctors say this is normal. Im now taking codeine and 6 x pregablin a day to ease the discomfort. The doctors believe its is still nerve damage. Is the normal? Are they other people thats are going through a similar thing?
I didnt have chemo or radio.

Hi neb

Thank you for your post.

It’s understandable you’re wondering if the severe discomfort you’re still experiencing six months on from surgery is normal. When pain doesn’t go away within a reasonable period it can cause worry.

After surgery for breast cancer most people will find that any pain and discomfort settles within a few months. However, you might find it reassuring to read that for some, like yourself, this pain can persist for longer.

As your treatment team have said, ongoing (chronic) or persistent pain can often be caused by damage to the nerves. As in your situation, multiple surgeries to the chest and underarm area can also sometimes increase the likelihood of experiencing pain for longer.

You can find more information here about the different ways of controlling ongoing pain.

You’ve mentioned you’re now taking codeine and pregabalin to help ease the discomfort. If you don’t feel these drugs are controlling your pain very well, you can discuss this with your breast care nurse or treatment team. It’s important they understand how the pain affects your daily activities and quality of life. If they feel you might benefit from more specialist advice they may talk to you about a referral to an NHS pain clinic. Some hospitals also run pain management programmes.

Some people find it helpful to connect with others in similar circumstances. Our online peer-to-peer support forums are message boards where people affected by breast cancer can learn from other people’s experiences and share their own if they wish to.

You can read the forums without registering. You might find our ‘Recovering from Treatment’ message board helpful.

You may also be interested in our Someone Like Me service where we can match you up with a trained volunteer who has been through a similar experience to you.

We also offer a range of other free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events.

For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000 (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

If you would prefer one of our nurses to call you. To do this, please complete this form ticking the box agreeing to a call back.**

Our usual opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday.

Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer Full details on how we collect and use your data can be found in our Privacy Policy

As we are unable to monitor for further replies, this thread will now be closed. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread, call our helpline, email us or request a call back.