Does the pain ever go away?

Hi! I was diagnosed 3 years ago, had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. Since then, my life has sort of gone back to ‘normal’, except for a nagging pain in my affected breast, it feels sore, like bruised, making it uncomfortable to lie on that side. I’ve mentioned this in every check up but I’m told it’s normal to feel breast tenderness for a long time after the operation. However, sometimes I also get a sharp pain, as if someone suddenly pinched my nipple! Is that common? I’d love to know if anybody feels the same and if it ever gets any better?

Hello Tribulete

Welcome to the forums, I’m sure some of our experienced users will along to support you soon.

In the meantime maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our free helpline who are there to support you as well as give practical information. The freephone number is 0808 800 600 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes
June, moderator

Hello Tribulete
I am a year post surgery, WLE and sentil node, and I too still get quite a lot of pain and discomfort in what was my affected breast. In fact like you I was only thinking today will this ever go away. I can’t lay on that side in bed either and if I over do it (ie get stressed at work for example) it comes back. the impression I get from the drs is that it is perfectly normal for it to happen after such surgery. They mention things like scarring of the tissue and nerve endings joining up again after being cut during surgery. Maybe that explains the sharper pain you experience in your nipple area.
I know this doesn’t help much but I think you will find that most of us have this as an ongoing problem.


I had a double mastectomy just over a year ago. On the left side, the one that had cancer, they removed more muscle and I also had axillary clearance. I find it uncomfortable lying on that side and the area beneath my scar feels tender. Again when I mentioned to the Oncologist he said that was to be expected after all the treatment. Bizarrely I sometimes get that sharp nipple pain although obviously no breast and no nipple there. It must be to do with the nerves.

I certainly hope this will get better with time. Hopefully someone will respond who’ll give us hope on this.

hiya tribulete

i had WLE and rads to right in 2006 and WLE rads and chemo to left a year ago… right side has had ongoing problems with pain since surgery 4 1/2 years ago.

its fairly common after WLE surgery approx 20% of people still have breast pain at 1 year post op dropping down to 5% at 5 years post op… the pain i find is bearable but i also have an intense itch which drives me potty and makes my boob even more painful.

i have brufen gel which you can get on prescription and it takes about 20 mins to work on the discomfort.

also get some radiotherapy pains which are sharp shooting pains through your breast intermittently but not much can be done for them.

hope you get it under control soon or at least learn to live with it honey.


Thanks for all your comments! I guess I’ll just have to grin and bear it like everybody else… It’s the first time I’ve used this forum and I’m really glad I did, it helps a lot to hear from others going through the same experience. We all need a bit of reassurance from time to time, even on the smallest things!