pain in breast and underarm 1 1/2 years after lumpectomy and radiation.
I do not mean to be complaining. I was very lucky to have found my cancer early, but...... I still ache and hurt at both incision sites(Lumpectomy-upper left quardrant of left breast) and underarm (1 lymph node- negative). Recently there has been shooting pains and throbbing in my left breast going toward my nipple. No chemo was recommended, Stage 1 InvDC, 33 treatments of radiation. Unclear margin was found at one site, Radiologist and surgeon said radiationcould overcompensate. Oncologist relucttantly agreed.. Taking Arimidex since 4/10. Having minor side effects with it. is this in anyway normal? Thanks for reading.
You could have a fluid filled pocket where the radiation trapped it. I had one and none of the doctors believed it but we know our bodies when something is wrong. When I went for mastectomy of second breast, before surgery the surgeon was fabulous and did a high tech ultrasound and showed me where the fluid filled pocket was. Amazing... she found it but no one else cared to really look. It was removed at the time of reconstruction.
Radiation does so much damage to the tissue and everything in it's path. Do not be surprised if that's not the reason both sites are hurting.
I must add that I am shocked that they did not go back in to get clear margins. That's criminal in my book. You may want to think about that.
I wonder if you had a mammogram or other tests done lately, to check your breasts health.If you did and everything looks fine then I hope that what I have added below might help.
PAIN AFTER LUMPECTOMY.
This is not an uncommon problem. It's a common phenomenon in at least 25 percent of women.Generally, when they have this syndrome, women will feel pain, numbness, and burning under the armpit and across the chest. Most of the time this occurs because of injury to a nerve. Commonly, there's a nerve called the Intercostal Brachial nerve, which is injured during surgery.
These sensations can last for a long period of time, and can actually occur anywhere from weeks after the surgery itself, to years later. Women who experience this pain should be seen in a pain center,because there are some nerve blocks that can be done. In particular, one that is sometimes helpful would be the Stellate Ganglion Block, which would be done by an anesthesiologist trained in pain medicine.
The other thing worth thinking about and considering ,would be acupuncture,many women seem to find relief rather quickly.
One more thing, Arimidex could also cause breast pain and you should mention it to your oncologist if the pain does not go away after a while.
Best wishes and I hope you feel better soon.
Thanks for answering so fast! Both of you have given me things to think about, research and ask questions about. At least I feel better knowing it's probably not in my head. Sometimes I feel that I make too much out of every little ache or pain I have in the parts of my body that are giving me trouble. Thanks again!!
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