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Pain after lumpectomy

beetle25's picture
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2010

I had a lumpectomy in July followed by 33 radiation treatments. (chemo first) I was wondering if any of you who have also had lumpectomies, how long does the breast pain continue? I do not really have any armpit pain just sometime experience sharp shooting or stabbing pains in my left breast around the area where the lump was removed. I sometimes have pain on the other side of my left breast near the sternum.

Scotch Freckles's picture
Scotch Freckles
Posts: 273
Joined: Apr 2010

I had my lumpectomy 4/1/02 and still experience tenderness and occasional pain around site. Due to invasive surgery, tissue and nerve damage, along with slow roast of rads the discomfort continues. Just a reminder, like we need one. Scotch Freckles

TraciInLA's picture
Posts: 2002
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi, beetle -

I had bilateral lumpectomies about a year and a half ago, and specifically asked my surgeon about this -- he said he has patients who have some amount of pain for years after lumpectomies.

I definitely had the "shooting" pains you're talking about, which are the nerves regenerating, and they got a bit worse during radiation -- my doctors said that was normal.

I'm now almost a year out of radiation, and I don't get the shooting pains anymore -- but I do still get achiness several days a week in the breast that had the more extensive surgery. It's not bad enough that I take any pain medication for it, and it doesn't inhibit my activity in any way -- it bothers me mostly because it's an unwanted reminder of all I went through, like I can't get away from it or forget it for very long.


DianeBC's picture
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

I just had a little pain for a few weeks, but, not much after that. But, I had a very small tumor and a very small incision, so, that might be why.

Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

I had lumpectomy but really not much pain afterwards. I remember saying to my husband much easier then I expected. I must say I have never had shooting pain-still to this day breast still tender if my grandsons bang into me etc. I wish I had some info for you..but good luck and hope it ends very soon!

missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

Had 2 surgeries in Dec. '09, 6 rounds of chemo ended in May '10 and then rads ended in July '10. I still have swelling, pain and the wonderful hat pins being pushed from my rib cage through that left breast. Some days are better than others. My surgeon said this could go on for a looooooooooooooooooong time! Like Traci said---the thing that bums me out the most is that reminder that it puts into my head when I'm not even thinking about it---you've had breast cancer.

Good luck with your journey.

Hugs, Renee

DebbyM's picture
Posts: 3293
Joined: Oct 2009

My plastic surgeon said you can have pain for up to a year. It takes time for our bodies to heal. Sending you a hug!

KayNYC's picture
Posts: 495
Joined: Mar 2010

I had my lumpectomy in March 2010. I have tenderness and soreness at the site on somedays. It feels like I have been bumped.Other days, the shooting pains radiates behind the nipple. I recenting had my six month mammo and ultrasound.The docs say there is nothing suspicious going on and that the discomfort sometimes happens. I was an RN for many years and I know that this is a common complaint that is often attributed to nerves regenerating over time.
AS others have described, the pain is not severe enough to take analgesics but it is a reminder and sometimes a trigger for the anxiety associated with our cancer experience.
Hope this has been helpful.
Hugs, K

Posts: 992
Joined: Sep 2009

I had my lumpectomy in March of 09. When I went for my first mammo 6 months later, it was really painful. I asked my oncologist and she said that it might be tender forever due to the radiation. FOREVER! I'm not in great pain, just tender so I guess it could be worse. I feel very fortunate that my bc was found early. Many of our sisters have much more to deal with after treatments.


Posts: 311
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you for asking this question. I had lumpectomy Jan.of this year followed by chemo and 33 rad treatments. I still have tenderness no real pain unless I overdo with lifting etc. These responses have made me feel better as I thought also that pain this long after could be a sign of something wrong. Thanks again Ladies.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

I had my lumpectomy in Oct 2010 and still have some pain. It has been a bit worse at times and I have been worried about it. My husband did a search and found this information. It definitely makes me feel better about the pain.

I also feel extremely blessed that my bc was found early. I hate that the pain is a reminder of having it at all.

Thanks for all the postings. I hope this information helps others in the future as it has helped me today.

Best wishes,

Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

we are all so different with recovery. HONESTLY I didnt' have much pain to speak of! IT was much better then I thought it out be.

I am sure it depends on how large the removal is, size of incision etc..breast size..I am very small breasted to that may be why for me.

I HOPE YOU feel better soon...


Kat11's picture
Posts: 1931
Joined: May 2009

I am with Traci, but I also have some arm pain where they cut a cord. I had surgery in 2009. I am also on meds everyday for this and it does help.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2013

My surgery was one year ago and I still have all the pain that you have described and it scares the hell out of me.  Today I decided to search the internet to find some anserws and here they are!  I feel like I'm crying "Wolf" everytime I call my sergeon.  My Chemo and Rads were done after my Lumpectomy also.  I see you posted this 3 years ago.  How are you feeling now?

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