Nerve pain after lumpectomy and breast radiation

Posted by katrina123 @katrina123, Jan 3 9:22am

I don't know if this has been addressed on this site before but I am having extremely painful nerve pain that goes from my finger tips up my arm. I wondered whether this is a common problem after breast cancer treatment. I am also having severe osteoarthritis in my finger joints so I am not sure what the cause is. I will talk to my oncologist about this on my next appointment.
Has anyone else had this kind of nerve pain after radiation treatment?
katrina123

@katrina123, I'm so sorry to hear about your pain. I didn't experience that after my lumpectomy and radiation. Have you started on an estrogen blocker yet? They can cause all kinds of different reactions. If not, How about making an appointment with your surgeon or oncologist?

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@katrina123
Katrina, this could be from radiation after effects where the radiation can cause a "ridge" in the breast tissue. I've had problems with that because the ridge pushes on nerves which can cause numbness. It also caused axial webbing for me about three times now. Can your oncologist or regular doctor refer you to a trained physical therapist that handles breast cancer patients? That helped me considerably. It was also my PT who suggested a "swell spot" which helps break up the trapped lymphs. Here is a site so you can see what they look like: https://www.lymphedemaproducts.com/products/breast-swell-spot.html However, if you see a PT, he/she can refer you to be fitted. I wear mine under my compression bra. When I had the major problems with the axial webbing (cording), I wore it consistently for 2 weeks and after that I don't need to wear it daily.

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@sparklegram

@katrina123, I'm so sorry to hear about your pain. I didn't experience that after my lumpectomy and radiation. Have you started on an estrogen blocker yet? They can cause all kinds of different reactions. If not, How about making an appointment with your surgeon or oncologist?

Jump to this post

Hi sparklegram….I was on anastrozole for a short period of time but decided to not spend the rest of my life in horrible pain. I do have an appointment with my oncologist.
Thanks for your response

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@trixie1313

@katrina123
Katrina, this could be from radiation after effects where the radiation can cause a "ridge" in the breast tissue. I've had problems with that because the ridge pushes on nerves which can cause numbness. It also caused axial webbing for me about three times now. Can your oncologist or regular doctor refer you to a trained physical therapist that handles breast cancer patients? That helped me considerably. It was also my PT who suggested a "swell spot" which helps break up the trapped lymphs. Here is a site so you can see what they look like: https://www.lymphedemaproducts.com/products/breast-swell-spot.html However, if you see a PT, he/she can refer you to be fitted. I wear mine under my compression bra. When I had the major problems with the axial webbing (cording), I wore it consistently for 2 weeks and after that I don't need to wear it daily.

Jump to this post

trixie…I have been told that I might have cording. Is that the same as axial webbing? I was sent to a physical therapy lymphadema specialist who I saw for a couple of appointments. Unfortunately I did not feel comfortable in her small office while we are in the middle of a pandemic. I will look at your website. Thank you for the information.

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@katrina123

trixie…I have been told that I might have cording. Is that the same as axial webbing? I was sent to a physical therapy lymphadema specialist who I saw for a couple of appointments. Unfortunately I did not feel comfortable in her small office while we are in the middle of a pandemic. I will look at your website. Thank you for the information.

Jump to this post

@katrina123
They are one and the same. And it can be quite painful. I could not even lift my arm at one point. The physical therapy was painful, but gave me relief after about 6 or 7 treatments. I am a Kaiser patient and it is the PT who contacts the doctor to get a referral to the prosthetic/medical supply store to fit you for a swell spot. The PT can also show you stretching exercises and lymphatic drainage. I know this pandemic is frightening, but talk with the PT about your fears. Maybe you can do a video visit where they show you how to do the massage and stretching online and also get the referrals in for you. There are different swell spots out there as well as different sizing for body shape, so it would benefit you greatly to have someone experienced in this help you out. I hope you find relief soon.

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@katrina123

trixie…I have been told that I might have cording. Is that the same as axial webbing? I was sent to a physical therapy lymphadema specialist who I saw for a couple of appointments. Unfortunately I did not feel comfortable in her small office while we are in the middle of a pandemic. I will look at your website. Thank you for the information.

Jump to this post

I got that from my arimidex. I have stopped all drugs, and still 10 weeks later, have it. Google carpal tunnel. I am just now able to use my hands and fingers. I cant bend them at all. Started 5 weeks after I started the drugs, and after 6 months I stopped completely. I had lumpectomy with radiation. Will not go on the drugs again.

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I had terrible pain from my partial mastectomy, not down to my fingers, but more where the lymph nodes were done and inside where the mass was taken. My surgeon felt it was due to nerve endings trying to mend themselves. He told me to do ice packs and then wear like a sports bra which keeps what's left of my breast from moving around. Don't know if this helps, but it did help me, I'm 2 1/2 months now and my breast pain is all but gone, but still having discomfort where the lymph nodes were taken.

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Had a lump ectomy and radiation 2 1/2 years ago. Now I’m experiencing pain in my arm from my shoulder to my elbow and tingling in my first three fingers. Pain is erratic, comes and goes. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s only about a three. Occurs mostly at night. Haven’t met with my oncologist lately.

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I heard lymphedema occurs pater on. Check it out?

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@katrina123

Hi sparklegram….I was on anastrozole for a short period of time but decided to not spend the rest of my life in horrible pain. I do have an appointment with my oncologist.
Thanks for your response

Jump to this post

I have it. My onco sais it is a normal result of radiation. I use a castoral oil soaked cloth and heating pad. Helps it feel so much better, and eventually passes. It does come back tho. All a part of the healing.

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The pain in my arm extends from my shoulder down to my elbow and my first three fingers on that hand tingle. It’s a deep vague pain that comes and goes. Mostly bothers me at night. Nothing that I couldn’t live with but just a source of concern. Will see my oncologist in may but sometimes I think the experiences of others in the same situation provide more valuable information. Thanks for the reply and any further information you can share.

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