discomfort in armpit

I have been diagnosed with breast cancer about 10 days and still in shock. Had a lumpectomy and a couple of lymph glands removed on 19 October. Still in quite a bit of discomfort to the left of my armpit. Is this normal? Although when I saw my consultant last Friday and he told me that luckily the cancer had not spread to any other tissues or indeed the glands, I feel really low. I am going to have to have chemo and feel such a wimp and crying when my husband is not around. He has been brilliant but feel that I just cannot let him see me so down, especially has he now calls me his “tough old bird”. All friends and family are thinking I am so brave but right now I am crying my eyes out. Suppose this is normal. Would love to hear from anyone who feels like me.

Dear Pam

Welcome to our forums, I am sure you will find them a great help and get lots of support here. I’m just posting now to let you know of a few things you might find helpful, here is a link to a booklet for anyone recently diagnosed, it will provide you with information about your diagnosis and treatments you may undergo:


You are also very welcome to contact our confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000 which is run by breast care nurses and people who have had personal experience of breast cancer and so will have an understanding of how you are feeling at the moment. You are right to say that what you are feeling is normal and many people feel the same following a diagnosis and surgery and it may help to talk this through with someone, we can also point you to other support services which you may also find useful

The helpline opening times are Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes
Breast Cancer Care

like urself iwas diagnosed in june had lumpectomy and lymph nodes removed but had 2 ops due 2 surgeon missing tumour 1st time , still aving discomfort under arm now . i wonder wen things will get better , aving chemo at mo on number 3 so half way thro ! but feeling so low . i just want my old life back it feels like nothing is eva gonna b the same again !!!

Hi Pam,

After having lymph nodes it is quite normal to feel discomfort for quite some time. The only thing I would add is that you should watch out for any fluid build up because this can add extra pain and discomfort. It is easily remedied by having it drained. I am not sure the procedure where you are but I would say contact your BC to ask about getting it drained. Here in Nottingham you can just phone the ward where the op was done and they will have you back to do it,. It only takes a few minutes.

Take care

Hi Pam,

First of all, big hugs to you (((x))).

And secondly your reaction is perfectly normal. You remind me of myself this time last year!

You have just been given news that not one of us want to hear, and then you have your op, and then you are being “strong” for those that love you.
It’s a roller coaster of emotions, but my advice to you is don’t hide your emotions from your husband. Others may disagree with me but you need him to understand what you feel and what you are going through. You will have days when all you want to do is cry however you will have good days too! And when you are having a bad day just let it out and know that you will probably feel better tomorrow.

Well its good news that it hasn’t gone to your lymph nodes,it hadnt gone to mine either so I asked the surgeon if he could put them back! He just laughed and said he hadn’t taken them all.

Discomfort in armpit…Its normal and.it gets better, but as carol says, watch out for fluid build up. You will know if this happens, it’s because they have removed some of your nodes and there could be a build up of lymph fluid.
Did they give you a leaflet on exercises?
It is important that you do them, it keeps everything mobile.
Hopefully your bc nurse is in touch with you,
And keep posting, it helps,
Take Care,
love Kay

Hi Pam

Sorry youve had to join us but you’re amongst friends here, and we all understand what you’re going through !

Your feelings are completely normal, I spent the first couple of weeks after diagnosis sobbing my heart out and acting like the Anti-Christ. I hated everyone and everything, and as much as I tried to keep strong for everyone else, I failed miserably ! I have to say, as time went on, I got much stronger and seven months on, I’m almost back to the “normal Julie”, minus a boob though !

The discomfort in your armpit is absolutely normal - keep doing your exercises as they really do work, as much as they hurt. My op was on 3rd October, and I’m still taking painkillers but have been assured by my Consultant that “everything is healing nicely”.

Anyway Pam, lots of luck with the rest of your treatment, and remember things will get better - I promise you. Soon your good days will outnumber the bad.

Please keep in touch

Love Julie xx


i have just had my op lump taken out and node clearence.My mum died of breast cancer about 30 years ago and so I was very careful and always checked my breast. I am realy scared as 1 node showed positive for cells when I had a biopsy and surgeon said another was enlarged. All the survival stories I have read or been told of none had nodes involved am so worried that I have left it to late and I can only see history repeating itself and my children having to lose me the way I lost my mum.I am 45 with three children 20,17 and 13 but at the moment I can not see any future.

Sorry to sound so negative but this is how I am feeling

love mel

Hi Mel

Welcome to our forums, I am sure you will find them a great help and get lots of support here. It sounds like you’re having a pretty tough time at the moment and in the circumstances I’m sure your fears are understandable. Maybe it would help to talk to someone in confidence about how you are feeling and the concerns you have. Please don’t hesitate to use the Breast Cancer Care helpline where you will be offered help and advice or just a listening ear. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 2pm. The number is free phone 0808 800 6000.

I hope you find this helpful

Kind regards

Breast Cancer Care

Hi Melly

Sorry you feel so bad.

My friend had HER+ breast cancer which was also oestrogen negative and she had one node infected. That was 8 years ago and she is fine!! She didn’t even have herceptin as it wasnt available then - just chemo and she has never had a problem since.

There is hope - a lot of it.

Take care

Alise x

Hi to Mel,
I’m so sorry about your mother. There is much more understanding of breast cancer, better treatments and far higher cure rates now than there used to be 30 years ago. My own mother was diagnosed 10 years ago, and she had many lymph nodes involved. She has had no problems at all since her treatment in 1997. She is active and well and living a completely normal life. Hope this and other similar stories will help. xxx