Pain increasing 6 months on

Hi all,

lumpectomy and sentinel node removal in January 23, followed by radiotherapy. For the past 6 wks I’ve been having an increase in breast pain. Stabbing (nerve prob) , but also achy and sensitive. Breast is still slightly swollen and hot, I’m taking painkillers daily but it’s not much help. Breast nurse suggested compression bra but this seems to be aggravating it. Anything else that helps? Any suggestions for other painkillers? 

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Welcome to the forum , I’m sorry yiy haven’t had a reply yet .I think I had weird sensations/ heat / sporadic pain for a long time after finishing treatment . Could you also ask about this in the ask the nurses section of the forum ?

forum.breastcancernow.org/t5/Ask-our-Nurses-your-questions/ct-p/Asknurses

Hi, no answers but I’m experiencing some of the same. I had lumpectomy in October and a lymph removal check, and the 5 days radiotherapy in March. The pain has been increasing lately. Visited the bc nurses at the hospital and they suggested ibruleve gel over the rib area as I had some pain, that felt like bruising there. They told me was not unexpected after the radiotherpay but some have ongoing pain some dont- not sure I like the thought of it alays being like this.
But mostly pain all through my breast area, whether I’m wearing a normal bra or soft cropped top, Varies from an achy feeling to pain shooting across. Makes it difficult to lie comfortably at night, and it’s wearing me down.

Thanks for your reply. It’s frustrating, as I feel like I want to get on with my life but the pain gets me down a lot. My consultant reassured me that pain isn’t a sign of reoccurrence- which I don’t worry about, more the impact on my daily. I feel bad for complaining- like it’s a small price to pay I guess. Everyone sees you look well and we’re on the mend, but still have to deal with psychological and physical side for years possibly.  I have the same sounding pain as you, aches and sharp pains at times. They did say that as I’m back to work and normal activities it could be soft tissue irritation from using muscles etc . Can be worse before/throughout menstrual cycle too. I feel like the pain afterwards isn’t talked /explained about much. I actually found gentle swimming helped last week , especially if the pool is a cool temperature- so maybe cold packs would help too. Thanks for sharing, it can be lonely at times!
best wishes 

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Hello, hope you are well today.  I just posted on the nurses page last night as like you I’m in a lot of pain.  i was taking tramadol for the pain but recently went to see my Dr about the pain as surely I still shouldn’t be in pain.  I am now on morphine but really don’t want to be.   The nurses replied to me this morning and advise to get it checked out as shouldn’t be in this much pain.  I am seeing my oncologist on Wednesday so hopefully might get some answers x 

Hello, I’m so sorry that you’re in so much pain - that sounds awful. What type of surgery did you have? I have a terrible nipping type of pain , like someone is pinching my whole breast! alongside a general ache and some stabbing pains . I’m currently taking daily dihydrocodiene and ibuprofen, but it doesn’t help much .
Best wishes for the oncologist, that’s good to get checked out. I wish there were more awareness about the painful side effects that can happen 

Hiya, thanks for your kindness I was due a lumpectomy which I questioned as I wanted a full double mastectomy as did want my breast anymore,  however my surgeon said this was a really good option as now they try and preserve as much as they and Full removal of my lymph nodes under my arm.  However ended up having a mastoplexy surgery as my tumour was so deep so had to reconstruct the nipple as she needed to take more out.  Had complications with my would as it opened after 2 weeks and took 7 to close over properly.  I could write a book lol x 

I will keep you posted as to what my oncologist says, take care x 

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Hi spicy… (I’m new to forum, so late to reply to topics of interest to me)

15 months post double mastectomy / axillary clearance, 11 months post radiotherapy (left chest wall), 10 months post commencing Anastrozole :
I am disappointed by just how much discomfort and pain I still experience.
My scar line still tightens up and pulls if I slacken from stretching and oiling/massaging, even for just one or two days.
My (now hard) chest is always tender / sensitive to touch.
The backs of my upper arms are still concurrently surface-numb and sensitive (work that one out!) but I’m still getting ‘healing’ shooting pains / smarting sensations as, I presume, some nerves are still coming back to life.
A tenderness in an area of my left chest wall, which originally felt as if it was the soft tissue over my ribs, is now more like actual bone ache plus it catches me sharply when turning over in, or rising from, bed. I’ve had a few different scans to check this area (but not granted my request for an MRI) which can see nothing. So, a mystery pain that nobody seems interested in solving “… maybe due to the radiotherapy …”
The aromatase inhibitor I’m on (Anastrozole) and the 6-monthly zoledronic acid infusions between them are responsible for disturbed sleep, hot flushes, lack of energy and motivation, joint and bone pain (cycles from one area of my body to another, continuously - currently, for a couple of months - rendering my dominant right hand/wrist/fingers next to useless, and are making me hobble and groan like a ninety-year-old).
I have actually resorted to paracetamol occasionally but I (ironically) hate taking any drugs! It all started out being very frustrating (I get short-tempered too often nowadays) and has recently become quite depressing too because there seems to be no light at the end of tunnel. I just want to feel mobile and comfortable in my own body again, enough to get on with my life properly, but I don’t hold out much hope that switching drugs won’t bring their own special raft of side effects.
Is this the forever ‘new normal’ that keeps getting quoted at me? (Not helpful.)
I do believe the post-surgery and medication/radiotherapy pain is played down and skipped over too much. More honest warning in advance of treatments may well have made me decide against them. As you say, the drama is over (for now), but the legacy is constant.
Hope my rant has helped others know they are not alone. ‘Grumpy’.

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Yes… exactly the same… I had lumpectomy in December 22 with lymph node removal check, followed by radiotherapy in March 23. I have has twinges, dull ache, shooting pains on and off ever since but more recently quite a lot. It’s hard to think of it is normal or something to be concerned about and as such increases my anxiety about reoccurrence. I don’t think enough is said about what to expect 6 months… a year plus down the line.

Can I just ask you ladies, do you still continue stretching your arms regularly? I’m 3 months post mx and slnb. I still give my arm a good stretch, usually waving my arm around in the evening while I’m sitting watching TV, even though I’ve got full movement back. No increasing pain from surgery yet. Just wondering x

Hi all, really sorry to hear you’re all experiencing pain.
My mastectomy (and removal of 7 nodes) was July 2023, chemo finished Jan and radiotherapy finished Feb. The pain is really horrible in my axilla and chest area. It’s a really deep ache, not all the time but horrible. I agree it makes us worry more about recurrence, especially as my initial symptom was pain. I also agree it’s played down and not explained enough.
I’m sending you all best wishes and let us know if anything improves it. I take paracetamol at night now as it helps with sleep.

Hi there, I have find my exercises very thoroughly twice a day throughout…

Yes, I’m still waving my arm around. If I don’t it starts to feel like an elastic band in my armpit starting to tighten up, not painful but noticeable, so I just stretch it several times a day.