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Cancer-free does not necessarily mean pain-free. Nearly 50 percent of breast cancer survivors live with chronic pain according to a recent Denmark study . Although a breast cancer survivor might breathe a sigh of relief, she might wince in pain. Usually, the pain after breast cancer treatment is a burning and/or shooting nerve pain felt in the arm pit (axilla), shoulder, arm, or chest wall. Typically this pain is called " Post-Mastectomy Pain Syndrome " which is a misnomer because this pain is also associated treatments other than a mastectomy.
A mastectomy used to be the only definitive treatment until the advent of breast conserving treatments. One would think that breast conserving treatments would lower the incidence of chronic pain felt by breast cancer survivors. Not so, as chronic pain is actually more likely following a lumpectomy than with a mastectomy. Why? One probable reason: this less invasive surgery also is coupled with radiation treatment.
Radiation therapy ...
That uncomfortable burning sensation you feel just before your period. The soreness and tenderness that seems to come out of nowhere, sometimes so bad you can’t even stand to put on your bra. A sharp, stabbing pain that happens several random times a day. A source of pride as young women, sustenance for our babies, always part of our sexual life (till we lose them), breasts mark us as women. And while they can be a source of pleasure and satisfaction, they can also betray us in a number of ways: in rare cases, by developing cancer. And less seriously, but certainly just as important, by becoming a source of pain. The good news is, pain is almost never a symptom of breast cancer. Only about 5% of women with breast cancer experience pain in their affected breast prior to diagnosis. The exception to this is inflammatory breast cancer, a rare cancer that can begin with pain and soreness. But in general, that pain you’re feeling in your breast is probably NOT cancer. Breast ...
Q. My breast swelled up and was hot and painful to the touch. My doctor treated me for mastitis, but it turned out to be inflammatory breast cancer. I think other women should be aware that not all breast cancers start with a lump. A. That’s right. Inflammatory breast cancer does look a lot like mastitis, an infection of the breast that can have many causes. Mastitis is more common when you’re breast-feeding; and some women have a lifelong proclivity to bouts of mastitis. But if you’re experiencing a swollen, hot, painful, red breast for the first time, ask your doctor to carefully consider inflammatory breast cancer, and to test for it. Previous Breast Cancer Symptom: Lump Under Arm Back to Start of Illustrated Symptom FAQs
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