Ok so I know I’ve got it and I have to go to hospital on tues to find out what the next step is. A lumpectomy was mentioned. I’ve had two biopsies, one really hurt, the other didn’t. I’ve been reading about some sentinel node injection thing, which was quoted as being 11 out of 10 on the pain scale. This was from the brilliant book “Cancer Vixen” by Marisa Marchetto, which I would heartily recommend by the way, except if I were you I’d skip the page where she mentions this injection!
I’m terrified of pain. I’m an absolute wuss. Can someone please tell me what is the most painful bit of all of this process so I can be prepared? I feel I need to know.
Can’t they just drug us up to the eyeballs for the whole lot so we don’t feel a thing!!!

Hi Julie1105

Can I please reassure you that the injection given prior to Sentinel Node op does not hurt a bit. I didn’t even feel the radiologist putting it in:) after the op there is a little pain but I did not need anything more than paracetamol, I know everyone has a different pain threshold, but 11 out of 10 is very much an overreaction I would say.

Hope this helps

Good luck and take care of yourself. Stay calm:):slight_smile:

Wendy x

Hi …I would put that book away, the injection you mention is ,I found, the least painless part.
It is a radioactive tracer injected into your bad boob a day before your op to allow the surgeon to trace your sentential node using a blue die whilst you are asleep.The worst description I was told was it was like a bee sting but all I felt was a tiny scratch. I do admit though that after surgery the area was quite sore and painful but nothing to bad. Keep posting on this site there are amazing ladies who can answer your questions and put your mind at rest. Good luck with your journey through this .Linda x

Hi Julie1105
Along with the support here please feel free to call our helpliners to talk through any further concerns or queries, lines are open weekdays 9-5 and Saturdays 10-2 on 0808 800 6000

Here’s a link to the BCC information about sentinel node biopsy which you may find helpful:

You may also find the BCC ‘Just diagnosed’ area of the site useful over the coming few weeks too, here’s the link:

Take care
Lucy BCC

Hi Julie,
I found that the injection did indeed sting like a wasp, and it bloody hurt (like the others 11 out of 10 is excessive), however… The core needle biopsy hurt a thousand times more, I was in so much pain I felt sick! So in comparison, the injection was a walk in the park.
Also it only hurts when they inject it, so isn’t for more than a minute or two - and it prob wasn’t that long just felt like it!

Hi Julie


for me the worst pain was the biopsy. And you’ve done that already. However I got my blue dye injected during my op so I was under.  the pain after the op was not bad. I was surprised just how little pain I had. I got painkillers that worked and took them regularly, before I felt any pain hit, but soon found I didn’t need them.


The worst emotional pain was the worry waiting for the op. 


take care



Hi julie , I too found the injection perfectly doable , it was just a small sting , I agree with the fact that the core biopsy was much worse and I can honestly say that the pain post op lumpectomy was far less than I was expecting and I managed on paracetamol and brufen and not that many of them , I know we all have different pain thresholds but i think most people who have had breast surgery are surprised by the fact it’s not as painful as you would imagine as there aren’t that many nerves in your breast it’s all just breast tissue . I would recommend oral arnica too , it was brill and it stopped me bruising post op , you can get it in boots and its dispenses in something like a sweeter tube for your hot drinks ,you can’t touch the little tablets ,you take them 6 times in the first day post op think then 4 times a day after and it’s really effective . I was bruised black for weeks after the core biopsy!! And hardly anything after my op . Hope this helps ,good luck with your surgery and try not to worry about the pain ,it really isn’t that bad!! Xx

Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to reply. I feel so relieved that it isn’t as bad as the core biopsy, that hurt me and I thought that if this was worse it would be awful! 

I feel a lot better about it now. I really appreciate you all taking the time xxx

Hi Julie .i had lumpectomy and snb one wk ago. I had the blue dye under general anasathetic and the radioactive jab about an hr before my op . It is a pin prick a sting feeling and is over quickly . Do not worry about it at all . I rubbed my heel in new shoes day before and that was more painfull ! Don’t read the book …it has already made u worry ! , I read one called 'breath out '. It was gd but it over egged the description of the treatment I have had so far which scared me unecessarily . Good luck xx

Ps meant to say also lumpectomy and snb for me not too painful . I took paracetamol for 3 days that’s all . So far not too bad xx

When I had my biopsy I never felt a thing … I am having a lumpectomy and Senitol Node Biopsy on Monday. I am not worried about pain as I am so happy that I am having my surgery ay last. If it is painful that is not an issue as the reason s for having it done outway any pain.

Hi nel good attitude ! I had same as u last wk , really straightforward and I had never had previous surgery so didn’t know what to expect . Take something to read as quite a lot of waiting around .

I’ve just had a sentinel node biopsy and didn’t feel any pain from the operation. I was surprised by this. I was a little tender that’s all. What I’ve been left with though is a numb arm which kind of feels like a Chinese burn or the feeling you get on your face when you’ve had a filling at the dentist. This I’m told will gradually fade over the coming months. I hope all goes well and that you can relax enough.

Thanks to all of you for your replies; Debtex and Linda I am definitely taking your advice and reading no more books! The nurse today said the same thing. 

Had a consultation today for my results and have to say I am so glad and blessed that my cancer is treatable, and that I have a future, that I cried with relief and happiness. So yes you are right Nel, the fear of pain is irrational when faced with an uncertain future and you are very brave to have no fear at all. I have said on many occasions how lucky we are to have free and fantastic treatment by an amazing group of staff on the NHS. 

And thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write. This website is such a support and a comfort. I’ll be saying a little prayer for you all.