Pain 18 months after lumpectomy


I’m hoping someone can put my mind at ease, (although this seems to be a task at the moment)!! I had a lumpectomy 18 months ago following a possible small cancer. I say possible because I’ll never be sure. I went with an obvious lump which i wasn’t really worried about, even the GP didn’t think it was anything of concern. I had a mammogram and scan where they weren’t 100%, so took some biopsies to be sure, although again said they weren’t really worried. A week later I was told the result was inconclusive & they needed to repeat, which they did. 2 weeks later, (the longest 2 weeks of my life), I got the results that the second biopsy was negative, but it was actually the first one they were concerned about as they’d found a tiny grade 3 cancer, (1mm), however it was all confusing & the pathologist wasn’t sure if it belonged to my biopsy or was contamination, (although themail drs said this was highly unlikely), but on anotherror appointment said it didn’t ‘fit’ my biopsies. MRI negative, so had a lumpectomy, no nodes removed & no further treatment just annual check ups. I had another MRI following the op & all ok & mammogram last year fine.

However, each month that breast can get really sore, painful and achey, all over the breast, but mainly over op site & near to armpit. My shoulder blade that side and down my arm can hurt too. So sorry for the length of this post, but I’m worried ALL the time about my health and know I’m very lucky to what lots of other people are going through but I feel scared. Even after my check up a couple of weeks ago, where the Dr seemed confident all was ok, I just can’t believe them. Is there anyone else who is still experiencing pain so long after the op?

Thank you & sorry again for the length of this post.
Jayne x

Hi Jayne. I had a lumpectomy last June followed by radiotherapy which finished in November. I had a 10mm grade 1 er 8/8 idc. I have, for the last month, developed a tender breast and arm. I’m not really worried and have read loads up on this, especially the USA site, and it is quite common. My scar is sore every day. I go braless quite often to see if it helps (lump was at 7pm). assume it’s nerves/vessels knitting back together. I am post menopause and on an astronomers. Are you still having periods? As your monthly tenderness could be linked to that? I think since you’ve had so many checks everything is ok, but your mind is getting carried away. I know the feeling as I am always googling some symptom or another! I’d phone the BCNS if you are still concerned as they are best at putting mind at rest. C. x

Silly predictive text…Anastrozole not Astronomers!!

Hello Jayne,

Even after your treatment finishes and the doctors say everything is fine, it can be hard not to worry about any new aches and pains.  It is only natural to be extra sensitive about your body especially when your confidence has been dented by a BC diagnosis.  

Getting on with your life after BC is not only a physical and emotional challenge but your thoughts have to be controlled too.  You have to learn how to balance your thought patterns so that the scary ones do not overwhelm you.  Even though we all have to be vigilant and continue to be breast aware, we don’t want every new ache and pain to cause excessive anxiety.

I can understand why it is more difficult for you because of the uncertainty generated at the beginning of your diagnosis.  Have you had a copy of your pathology report?  Would seeing it give you the reassurance you need?  You say you do not believe your doctor.  Maybe if you read the details in black and white on your pathology report, you would feel more confident about what your doctor is telling you.

Pathology reports are not handed out as a matter of routine because many ladies do not want to know the finer details.  However, I asked for mine as soon as it was completed after surgery.  I did find out extra details my breast surgeon had not told me so it was a little scary.  However, I felt relieved that I had got the complete picture and could ask extra questions about my particular BC.  My breast surgeon was able to put my mind at rest and I got the reassurance that nothing was being hidden from me.

I can also recommend trying Mindfulness which is learning about living in the present moment and not letting negative thoughts take over your mind.

The great news is that your BC was caught very early and you have had your 1st clear anniversary.  So when you start to worry about aches and pains just keep reminding yourself that there was NED at your last mammogram.  I am sorry to hear you are getting aches and pains every month. It does take a long time for nerve endings to heal after surgery.  I am two and half years post BC and my SNB scar close to my armpit it still tender.

Sending you a big hug.

M x 

Thank you for your detailed reply on this site I’m 18months in after a wide excision lumpectomy. I too still get breast pain and it hurts like hell when the consultant examines me. I worry at times because you can’t see what’s going on beneath the skin and wonder if it has returned, it plays with your mind I struggle to examine my breast because it feels so lumpy now after the surgery. You have put my mind at rest again realising you can still get pain 18 months on and in all honesty my left breast has always been tender to the touch since surgery.

I’m 8 months after lumpectomy and getting a lot of stabbing/Stinging pains for the last week or so but my boob has stayed tender since the op and scar site is lumpy but they told me it can take a year to heal properly

Hi everyone, I’m here tonight cos I’ve been looking for support and reassurance. I’ve had a lumpectomy and lymph nodes removal 14 months ago because of a triple negative breast cancer at 31. I keep feeling pain from the scar under my arm pit, every time I touched it it feels very tender and swollen (the arm pit scar). I had a mammogram in last November that came back clear but they never really checked my arm pit and I was too busy worrying to ask afterwards… however it is starting to make me doubt and think it could be a recurrence? Anyone’s experienced the same? Shall I just go to the GP or is it normal to have swelling at that place? Many thanks everyone x