Breast pain


On the 1st February I had a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy of my left breast and on the 8th of February, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 DBC with cancer cells within the lymph nodes.

I have had a CT scan to see if it has spread elsewhere.

I have an appointment with the oncologist on the 28th to discuss a treatment plan.

I am in quite a lot of discomfort with sharp stabbing pain in my breast and aching under the arm. I am taking ibuprofen/paracetamol every 4-5 hours but it is not helping. Is this pain ‘normal’ as I keep reading that breast pain is not generally a feature of the cancer?

Many thanks

Hi Nixi  

Thank you for posting.  

It sounds like you are having a difficult time following you breast cancer diagnosis. Understandably you want to know if the pain and aching you are experiencing in the breast and armpit is normal.  

Although it’s not possible for us to say what may be causing your symptoms people do commonly experience discomfort after a breast assessment and biopsy. You may be naturally also feeling stressed and anxious as you are waiting for your CT scan results and a treatment plan.  

As your pain is not being relieved taking regular paracetamol, we would suggest you talk this through with your breast care nurse or GP and ask for their advice as there will be different pain killers that may be helpful. It may be worthwhile also wearing a comfort supportive bra as this sometimes helps when the breast is uncomfortable.  

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in.  

For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link, or call our free Helpline.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. 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). 

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Best wishes  


Breast Care Nurse   

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