Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I am a breast cancer survivor and am now having pains shooting in my left breast. Should I be worried?"
I am a breast cancer survivor. left breast stage 1 grade 3. i had a lumpectomy and a lymph node biopsy, which was negative. This was in october 2011. I also had 33 sessions of radiation. i am recently having pains shooting in my left breast and out towards the area where the lymph node was taken. should i be worried? could this be cancer again?
Congratulations for being a survivor! With that comes the life long trial of always being observant of your body and being concerned about minor aches and pains that you now recognize could be signs of serious medical issues such as cancer recurrence. Within those constraints, you are challenged to lead a "normal" life, and so your concerns are very normal. The shortest answer is that, while most aches and pains are likely related to your previous treatments and the healing process, it is impossible for me to know and so you must speak with your doctor. He or she will know you quite well after what you have been through together, and so it is important to discuss these concerns with him or her. Radiation and surgery both have prolonged effects on the remaining lymph nodes and muscles in the area. Some of these changes may persist for the rest of your life, and will become routine and expected to you. For the time being, however, it is important to discuss new findings with your doctor to make sure that you aren't missing something important that could be an early sign of something that needs to be treated. Again, please speak with your doctor.
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