Breast pain - should I worry its back?

Hi Ladies,

I hope you can help set my mind at rest or share some experiences that will relieve my worries.

I have been getting stabbing pains in my breasts, both in my “real” boob and more so in my bc boob. I had a skin sparing mx with an immediate LD recon with implant in September last year and finished chemo in February this year.

As well as the stabbing pains in my recon(which are usually in the same two areas of the breast, one in the middle and one nearer to my sternum, and can be quite painful but short lived) I am also tender to the touch along the “edge” of my breast in a couple of areas (by edge I mean where my breast meets my chest wall at the top of my breast (if that makes sense).

The pains have been getting more frequent over recent weeks and longer lasting.

I find myself thinking I can’t have true “breast” pain in my mx anymore (ie time of the month pain)with so little breast tissue left and no more periods so I am hoping that its something to do with the tamoxifen as a side effect perhaps.

Anyone any similar experiences?

Thanks, O, x

bumping this up in the hope of someone else with similar

Hi Ostrich,

I think it is really tough when you post and get no answers. You begin to wonder if you are invisible :frowning:

I wonder if the pain you are experience can be related to nerves mending. You dont say how long you have had the pains for so if you have an appointment coming up soon you should mention it otherwise have a word with your bcn and see what she thinks.


Hi Ostrich

Just a thought - I find I have the symptoms you describe and that they are worst when i am at work as i have to wear heavy, protective equipment from time to time. I too have an LD flap.

Or maybe nerves mending but mine is def worse when the boobs are compressed, as it where.

Hope you get an answer - and good luck

Jane x

Thanks ladies for your replies,

I know what you mean Dawn, its scary when you feel alone!!

It may be nerve pain and I am hoping it is. Like you Jane I thought it was associated to my job (I have to wear a stab vest) but it makes no difference if I am working or on rest days. What worries me most I guess is that my skin tone has changed. Prior to my dx I noticed an area of lighter skin within my areola and it turned out that the cancer was directly underneath the area of skin. Now 99.9% of my nipple and areola is gone I have a vague circular area of skin that is lighter than the rest of my skin and a couple of patches of skin along the top edge of my “breast” that have lightenened.

I hate being this paranoid, I am only 9 months from dx and think about BC at least 20 times a day!!! Perhaps I should invest (I wish I had the cash) in my own CT scanner or MRI scanner then I could daily “reassure” myself. As if…

Once again thanks Jane and Dawn for your replies, xxx

hi, i think the paranoia happens to us all. I really hope its just nerves mending etc. I havent had them for a while bit everynow and again I get a stabbing pain which is harsh but thn it goes! also across the top where i had rads is lumpy and tender.

Maybe you should get it checked out to be on safe side xx

Dear O

Just to let you know I get intermittent stabbing pain since my LD flap. I had to have my LD recon removed and now have a DIEP replacement and I still get the odd “stab”. The fact you are getting them in your good boob might be pain referral? Perhaps you could give your BC care nurse a call for reassurance? I do think any changes should be reported to be on the safe side.

Best of luck

Nikki x

Thanks Ladies,

Have my first appointment with the Onc since I finished chemo next Tuesday so will mention it then.


Hi There,

I too have had stabbing pain in my breast and also a sore bit just to the right of my nipple about 5 inches away from my WLE scar. My GP is on the BC team at my local hospital so I went to see him.

He couldnt feel any Lumps and said that it sounds like a nerve pain and he gave me Amitriptyline 10mg to take for four weeks. I have a Mammo in June and Onc appoint in July so will mention it again then.

I googled this drug and it says that it is principally an Anti depressant and helps you sleep, It can also be used for nerve ending pains and other things like wetting the bed !!!

Anyway the pains seem to have subsided and Im sleeping like a baby ( even my hot flushes arent waking me much) I have noticed however that I feel a little spaced out during the day.
Anyway I,ll see how it goes.

Lots of love Andrea xx


It’s 2.5yrs since my dx and I also get stabbing/burning pains. At my annual check-up/mammo in February this year, I mentioned it to the surgeon and she said it was nerve pain (knitting back together) and could last quite a long time. The chemo threw me into the menopause (I was 46 at dx) and the surgeon also said that, even though I don’t have periods, you can still get PMT symptoms every month.

Hope this helps.

Julie x

Hi Ostrich
I had mx and DIEP reconstruction in March 2008 and I get those pains exactly as you described. I’ve been gettng them since August and I still have them now. I posted a thread under reconstructive surgery a few months back but got no replies :frowning:
Anyway I have had repeated ultrasounds and even a biopsy and no one seems to know why it’s so painful but I have been reassured so far that it’s not cancer. So sorry still not to be able to offer a cause for your pain but hopefully this will offer you some reassurance. I did google somewhere that apparently a small percentage of women experience breast pain post mastectomy in the same ways that amputees often complain of pain in an amputated limb, so the nerve explanation may well be the reason.
Good Luck
E xx

Thanks Ladies for your reassuring posts.

I guess it could well be nerve pain or, as E and Julie say, imaginary PMT breast pain! Funnily I haven’t had the pain for the last week so maybe its PMT pain.

Am off to see my Onc on Tuesday and intend to mention the whiter circular patch and pain and see what she says.

I so wish there were guarantees with this blooming disease, xx

Well I had my first Oncology appointment since finishing chemo.

Appt went ok. I was very disappointed not to meet the new Onc I was transferred to at the end of chemo (don’t know why I was transferred). I was hoping (sexist I know) that as I was being transferred to a female and because she was someone new I might find an Onc I thought was interested in me. No such luck. I got the registrar I had whilst under the old Onc. He is indian (not a problem except in understanding what he says) and has the limpest wettest handshake ever.

My heart sunk when he came in as I had never been able to communicate with him during my chemo so resolved that I wouldn’t pull out my list of concerns.

He briefly felt my tummy, under both arms and a cursory grope of my breasts asked how I had been and that was it. I mentioned one concern that I have (a circular area of skin just above where my nipple was that has gone lighter - I was alerted to changes in my breast last year by a circular lighter area of skin on my nipple and it turned out the cancer was under there) and he said “we could do a scan”. “Yes please” was my reply so off he went. He came back almost a different doctor, armed with a slip of paper and said he’d send me for an ultrasound in about 3 weeks and that I could phone him in 4 weeks or before if I was worried but that he didn’t think it was anything to worry about and he would set my next appointment for 3 months.

As soon as the appointment was over and I had made it out of the hospital I burst into tears. I realise I am so tired of having cancer in my head every waking moment of every day and its wearing me down. I so realise that in a way, ignorance was bliss, I just got on with life and never really thought about cancer. Now I have this constant internal monologue and fear I will have for the next 40 years. I don’t know if I can stand it.

I am determined to carry on enjoying life and hope that one day I will wake up and realise that I haven’t thought about cancer for an entire day!

Hi I know how you fell I havent really cryed since being dignosed in March of this year had really bad time on chemo all side effects i seemed to get including over 17 days in hospital in total …
had Rads and just finished them .
Now having probs with my othere breast had mastectomy on efffected side .
It has been really soar and hot to the touch , just like the othere side was …
I have been really emotional over the weekend and not been able to stop crying and been really off with hubby and children dont think I could do it all again .
They have given me a rapid acess apointment today but feel sick with worry …

lisa, hope you are ok, please let us know how you get on today, take care

sending hugs

Carol xxxxxx

Hi Carol
thanks saw my surgen today at an emergancy clinc had scan and result in less than an hour so really pleased whish I had that service when first diagnosed … Any way thats gone now !
scan didnt show anything so said it may be caused by tisue that has been strached around nipple area , which to be far not worn a bra since rads and am quite big up top so it does make sence and came home and put on good fitting bra and it does help …will keep an eye on it because my bc didnt not show on scan or managram so not convinced …