breast pain after treatment ends

i had a lumpectomy snb, chemo and rads which all finished in sept 08. I thought the breast had settled down and it actually looked abit smaller than the other one.
Now it is quite tender especially if touched, the nipple area is harder and a bit shrivelly looking!!

I find it uncomfortable when lying in bed and sometimes the right arm , ( bad side) feels numb with pins and needles!! How long does it take to all settle down. It also aches a bit under arm where snb was done. Moan moan.

Am seeing breast surgeon in jan 09,

Any body got any suggestions or is it just a matter of time.

Regards to you all


Hi Sarah,

My Breast is quite tender and its 18 months since my WLE but I did have 4 surgeries to get clear margins.

I cannot lie on my left arm since node surgery and have recently started getting a little swelling on back of arm at the top. I thought that I had escaped Lymphoedema but perhaps not. So its very early days for you. The Rads can make your skin look puckered a bit but that should settle down after a few months.

Best wishes to you
love Andrea xx

Hello Sarah

My nipple was quite hard after rads and they said this was normal. The hardness is going very gradually.

MY WLE was in Dec 06 and I still have pain sometimes in my affected breast. (I’ve got lympoedema in that breast so it’s now a bit bigger than the other one). The surgeon said it is quite normal to have pain in the affected breast for at least a year afterwards even if you don’t have lympoedema in the breast.

Take care
Anthi x

Hi I finished rads in Aug.after WLE and chemo and now I am finding my breast and underarm tender, lumpy and painful. Part of my breast on the underside has gone hard and has the texture of orange peel. It tends to get worse as the day goes on and is painful at night especially when turning over but it seems softer in the morning. I thought it must be connected to fluid retention but I am thinking of calling breastcare nurse. I too would like to know if anyone else has this kind of problem. Best wishes to everyone.


I still get aches and tenderness where I had the radio and my nipple isnt as resilient as the other one- I have certain lacey bras that I cant wear without that nipple itching and hurting unless I wear a bra pad - and I’m 4yrs over radio!

I’m still affected 2 years on. I have a lot of tenderness in the affected breast and wear a soft sports bra if it is really bothering me. I also get the odd stabbing pain from the rads I had 18 months ago. When I was discharged from the oncology clinic in the summer I was told there is a lot of nerve damage in BC patients which takes years to repair itself. I find yoga stretches help me.

I’m glad that I have read this thread as I am experiencing the same…sore breast and underarm is lumpy. I have had a couple of down days and maybe this is due to being what I think is hormonal - after a 5 month absence of periods I think they are on their way back.

I was struggling putting the negative thoughts to the back of my mind but this has helped.

3 FEC then 3 TAX after lumpectomy 1 node affected out of 12.
I had radio 20 sessions (15+5 boosters) which finished in Sept. Also Triple negative.



I too get sharp pains in the effected boob. A bit like a stabbing pain. It too has aslo shrunk and i’ve been told to expect to shrink a little bit more. finished rads in october 07. Very tender to touch and nipple also has changed colour. The chest area also feels a bit raised.


Hi Jenny and everyone else.
I had symptoms exactly as you described . My breast care nurse has given me a special waffle effect piece of fabric to try to reduce the oedema. It comes as a square piece and you cut it to fit. The colour is an unappealing salmony pink and it smells a little odd - a bit like rubber but it does help.
The side that you put next to your skin (under your bra) has bobbles moulded into it that look a bit like the ones on a table tennis bat , the idea being that as you move they massage the skin. It does work a bit but not completely. Unfortunately it is very stiff and you can see it through some clothes so I use it mainly when at home or out and about when it doesn’t matter if I have loose fitting jumpers/sweatshirts. There was no name on the material or the package as she left it for me in a plain brown envelope to collect so sorry I can’t help on the brand etc but someone on here will know i’m sure.
I had this as well as two weeks worth of anti inflammatory tablets from G.P. at its worst about 4 weeks ago. This came about as I said that I could not possibly put my breast into a mammogram machine. (my 1st year anniversary). I thought that what I was feeling was normal after everything that had happened. The breast care nurse also advised that in some ladies she has known with breast oedema that it has taken upto 10 months for it to settle down. Will be having MRI scan instead this time until it settles down.
Cheers for now,

Thank you all for your comments . Yours was very helpful V. as it was the mammogram that I was worrying about. i think I’ll wait until I am called for it and then contact breast nurse. Best wishes to all. Jenny

Hi everyone,
I was dx Jan 06. I had WLE, clearance of lymph nodes,chemo and radiotherapy.

My breast is always heavy and tender, just like before a period.The painful
breast is bigger than my other.

I have bought so many bra’s hoping to get relief but nothing helps. My arm aches and my shoulder. I have taken so many painkillers that I have had to cut back as they are causing stomach problems. I am wearing my lymphedema sleeve today to try and get some relief. It does get me down from time to time as sometimes it is worse than other times.

I just wish I could have had the sentinel node biopsy. They are doing it in my area now.

I try to keep busy and not think about it too much. It does creep up on me every now and then. I don’t think I will every be the same again and it takes some getting used to.

Have not posted for ages but I have my third mammogram in January and I am dreading having my tender boob squashed. Visited my Onc last week for yearly check up. She pressed my scar really hard it made me wince with pain. I really wasn’t expecting it to hurt so much.

Love to read all your posts would welcome any suggestions.

Love jugsy x

Hi Jugsy

Have just replied to your other post about lymph node transplants and hadn’t yet seen this one - sorry!

Sorry also to hear you are in so much discomfort - lymphoedema stinks.

You can also get compression garments for breast/chest odema. They look a bit like a crop top and can really help some people. Try asking your lymphoedema nurse/clinic for one - you need to ask, as they don’t seem keen on offering these (money, I suppose). Ask also for some MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) for your lymphoedema, especially as you are in so much pain. (Shoulder pain is very common with lymphoedema). If your arm is very swollen, push for some compression bandaging to bring it down - the less weight you have pulling on your shoulder, the better you may feel.

It’s best to wear the sleeve (assuming it’s a good fit) as much as you can, as it will hopefully stop your arm from swelling any more.

As far as painkillers go, have you asked your GP for a prescription (diclofenac or similar?) From personal experience, I don’t think over the counter meds are strong enough for this sort of pain.

I think it is possible to have an MRI scan instead of a mammogram if it is too painful - might be worth asking.

Finally, lymphoedema following sentinel node biopsy is more common than you might think, so you might not have escaped even if they had only done that.

PM me if you want - I know what it’s like!



Hi, three years on and I still feel uncomfortable sometimes when lying on my op side, and my underarm and shoulder often have an achy feeling. Probably just another bloody side effect we have to deal with.

hi, i had my breast operation over 3 years ago followed by chemo, and rads, after the rads i experienced severe burning and the discolouring of my skin is just awful, i have this pain from what appears to be a thickening under the breast, i also have lymphodeoma in the breast which in itself is just anther worry. I had a mammogram and ultra sound in february of thisyear and there was no problems. I feel so para noid and am getting depressed it doesnt help that i am on an all male practice and they make me feel as if i am making a fuss, a little reassurance would be appreciated.gill