Surviving breast cancer surgery and subsequent treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy is tough enough, but for many women, the ordeal continues long after treatment ends. An estimated 25 to 60 percent of breast cancer survivors experience chronic pain after finishing their course of treatment. Lynn Henry, M. D, assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. Breast surgery — whether a lumpectomy or total mastectomy — as well as radiation and chemotherapy can leave patients with temporary or ongoing soreness.
We asked our readers to share insights from their experiences with breast cancer. Here are some of their stories. A week after her double mastectomy and breast reconstruction for breast cancer, she had developed a burning sensation under her right arm where her surgeon had removed several dozen lymph nodes for a postoperative biopsy. And luckily for my sister, five weeks out from surgery, the pain began to wane. But for many of the estimated 20 to 50 percent of women who develop pain after a mastectomy, it may never go away. For women already facing the physical and emotional trauma of breast cancer, chronic pain after a mastectomy can be devastating.
I am 8 months post-op. I have had pain, numbness and constant soreness in my right breast. After a week at home I called my surgeon and was told they had no idea what it could be. I told the nurse a few days later that the pain was so sharp at times I could not walk across the room. My Cardio said it was nerve endings healing.
It seems to radiate all the way to my armpit, and sometimes it feels warm inside. I did some research and the pain i am experiencing seems to be called "Zingers". Anyway hope to hear from you soon Thank you, Vanessa. Vanessa, your surgeon's explanation sounds reasonable. There could be all kinds of nerve issues going on, even this long after surgery; nerves are slow to reconnect, and as tissue heals and scar tissue fades, sometimes there's enough of a shift that different nerves are affected.