Soreness and lumpiness normal after lumpectomy?


Question from Baro: I had a lumpectomy January 2007, radiation in the spring, and now take Arimidex. I still have significant sore spots in that breast, though generally they only hurt if I touch them. Also the breast seems lumpy still. I had an MRI in March 08 and all is clear. Are the soreness and lumpiness normal?
Answers - Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. Yes, tenderness and lumpiness in the treated breast can be very normal. But you still require a good breast exam to monitor these changes and sufficient imaging to explain what you're feeling. Changes after any sort of breast cancer treatment are very common. Changes in light of a new diagnosis and treatment can be disconcerting to women. They need to understand what changes to anticipate and to have good communication with doctors and physical therapists to help explain what they're experiencing and what to expect, and how to modify some of their experiences. Mostly, to help reassure that what they're experiencing is normal and not the sign of a problem.
Linda Miller What I'd like to end with is that promising research has been done with women who have had breast cancer surgery and the importance of exercise and activity in preventing and managing lymphedema and other side effects of surgery. Stretching and resistance exercises can be a safe and effective part of any woman's post-operative long-term program.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called After Surgery: Short-term and Long-term Effects. Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Linda Miller, P.T. answered your questions about short-term and long-term side effects of breast surgery, and what you can do about them.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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