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Painful breast pre treatment

CleaClea Member Posts: 9
edited February 2020 in Newly diagnosed
Hello, this is my first time posting, just wanted to say this is a great resource and hi to everyone on their own cancer journey. I first noticed a lump in my breast in about July 2019, went to get a check at GP in August, didnt follow up with referal until December. Got a Mammogram and ultrasound and they werent very impressed with how things were looking and as I had very dense breast tissue, I was also referred for an abbreviated MRI on which they found a second mass. I was referred to a breast clinic for biopsy, and received my diagnoses of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (multifocal - 2 visible lesions) on Jan 24th. Grade 2 Early Cancer, MRI showed no visible lymph node involvement.  Ive just been going through a process of working out what surgery options are best for me and have decided on unilateral mastectomy with diep reconstruction. I meet with the plastic surgeon in two weeks and then likely surgery on the 4th March. SORRY for the long winded explanation BUT the reason I am posting is.. I know they say that breast cancer usually doesnt cause pain, but Im getting quite an ache in the tumour that is closest to my skin (palpable) Should I be worried about this? Did anyone else have pain before treatment? Am I leaving surgery too long? Doctor says it is completely within a safe time period. Thanks in advance for advice.


  • araara Member Posts: 28
    @Clea hello!

    Its nice to see you here although I wish you are not here in this forum as well if you know what I mean.

    In regards with your question, before I was diagnosed I also felt pain where the lump is. The pain is tolerable but a nagging pain that comes and goes but is constantly there.

    To give you unsolicited advice, I think the earlier you have the surgery the better. For me, its important to contain the spread of cancer because we really dont know how it behaves. I wish you all the best. God bless!
  • CleaClea Member Posts: 9
    @ara Thanks so much for your reply, I also wish I wasnt here but now that I am its great to meet other people who know what this experience is like, so Im grateful for that. Your pain sounds just like the pain I have. Im obviously concerned about waiting 3 1/2 weeks for surgery when I could be in, in two weeks if I chose implant recon. But at the same time trying to make a calm choice that will affect my quality of life. The pain makes me worry that its spreading and I am choosing to wait for diep surgery at the expense of preventing spread! Its all a bit stressful really. Thankyou for the blessing, and to you also.

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,889
    Hi @Clea
    Reactions, especially early reactions, can be very different. I had an ache but didn’t find a lump! General soreness and a pinky colour was the signal for me. Heaven knows when, if ever, I might have found the lump. You have been diagnosed early which is good, with no node involvement and if your surgeon feels the time frame is OK, then it probably is. All sorts of things may affect the timing not least of all the availability of staff who are treating you. Also never underestimate the reactions of the mind. You know there are two lesions and you can’t un-know that. Once you get to follow up and regular checking scans, you may learn that the mind can conjure all sorts of aches and twinges that miraculously vanish, Poof! right after the scan that shows all is well! Always double check something with your surgeon if it’s worrying you, there are absolutely no brownie points in worrying in silence. 
    Best wishes for your surgery and treatment. 
  • araara Member Posts: 28
    Hi @Clea, I know and understand thats its a personal thing because you will loose a part of yourself which is your breast and will always be your decision to make.

    Just for unsolicited advise again, for me whenever I see my breast all I can see is cancer and I have to get rid of it. I want to enjoy life and to live longer. To do the things that I havent done because this disease is preventing me from doing it at the moment. But this is my view and perception.
  • CleaClea Member Posts: 9
    Hi @Afraser thanks for replying, Thats helpful to know that reactions are different. It is a little scary isnt it, when you think about how close you can come to missing things, especially when there is no lump! Due to family history id had scans at a young age that showed I had cystic breasts and so didnt take much notice of this lump. I came that close to not following up on the referal. And what youve said is so true about conjuring things, I am hypervigilant, if Im honest, about any little ache and pain in the area at the moment so theres that. The pain is definitely there, but perhaps its always been there. Thankyou for the wishes and the advice.

    @ara I absolutely know what you mean, I dont think I will be sorry to see this breast go...It did a great job feeding my son and now sayonara. My surgeon recommended this path to me when Id initially planned on implant recon and it seemed like a good option I am trusting his judgement that it will be done in a timely manner I guess. Its just all the mental hoo haa that I now have to wrangle with while waiting.

  • NefertariNefertari Member Posts: 288
    Welcome to the forum.
    I also had pain in my breast before diagnosis, a dull aching pain that came and went.  Thank goodness I did as when I mentioned it to my GP he found the lump.  It was palpable and I could see it when I raised my arm.  I cannot believe I had never noticed it before. It was quite high towards the top of my breast, not where I was self examining! 
    When I was going through treatment (chemo/ surgery/radiation), the pain disappeared? 
    I had the same cancer as you and it was six weeks before I started treatment, so three and a half weeks sounds okay.  Hard not to worry about every ache and pain I know. Good luck, with yout treatment. <3
  • CleaClea Member Posts: 9
    @Nefertari Thankyou for that, it puts my mind a little more at ease that three and half weeks sounds okay. Ill try to breathe and not stress so much I guess. Ill probably also ring and pester my breast cancer nurse about it because thats how im rolling right now. Thanks again.

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,889
    Your bc nurse will understand! Thank goodness for vigilant GPs - mine had me off to a breast surgeon in two days, no messing around. I had a mastectomy, axillary clearance and and no reconstruction, happy to have it gone and so far all good! 
  • StarGirlStarGirl Member Posts: 124
    Hi @Clea, I also had pre-treatment pain. Both times. I was told that it can be the location of the tumour(s) that causes the pain as they can be close to nerves and/or tendons, particularly in the outer quadrants of the breast. 
  • NefertariNefertari Member Posts: 288
    @StarGirl, thanks for the information, I didn't know that but makes sense given my lumps location!
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,962
    @Clia I also was prone to cysts and ignored my lump which felt the same and was in the same place as the cyst I had tested on two earlier occasions. Five months later I had the dreaded mammogram,ultrasound and biopsy which diagnosed BC. I had pain also, but then, I always had pain with the cysts as well.
  • CleaClea Member Posts: 9
    Thats awesome to hear its going well for you @Afraser! Thankyou @StarGirl that makes sense to me also with the location of my lump. @Blossom1961 thanks, I guess pain is more normal than google says. A minor relief!

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 5,033
    Clea said:
    I guess pain is more normal than google says. A minor relief!

    The main advice on here from us forum users is keep away from Dr Google!  I can understand you are concerned and racing thoughts and looking for answers but quite often Google has perceptions and opinions and not necessarily correct information.  Use the BCNA website for research as it will help you.


    The Reclaim Your Curves website is a great resource in research on reconstruction


    Best wishes

  • CleaClea Member Posts: 9
    I should say more common rather than normal...@iserbrown very good advice, and so hard not to google! Thankyou am checking out reclaim your curves now.
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 5,033
    edited February 2020
    You will find a what to pack for hospital information sheet within the Reclaim Your Curves website as well as other good info

    Take care
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