Breast pain

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Women who have suffered the trauma of breast cancer often experience breast tenderness or pain. The causes of this are multi-factorial:-


How can you help:

It’s important to gently break up the scar (fibrous) tissues which have accumulated in the breast tissue itself, between the breast tissue the skin and the underlying muscle and ribs. At first moving the arm or upper chest is often associated with an aggravation of the pain because the tissues do glide smoothly across each other – sometimes even a tearing sensation is felt.

Exercise is an excellent best way to break down these scar tissues particularly those which affect the shoulder and armpit. Follow the instructions in the “exercise and the breast section” of the appendix as much as possible.

Local gentle massage has also produced some excellent results some of the worse effected women I have encountered. It is particularly good on the breast itself and the surrounding skin which may have stuck down onto the ribs. Put some extra virgin olive oil on the fingers and gently try to roll the skin over the ribs – be as firm as possible but do not cause any pain or bruising as this will be counter productive. At first you will not notice an improvement but with daily persistence the mobility will improve along with the pain. As an added bonus, let you partner help you.

Further general information Your doctors and specialist nurses are in an ideal position to give you relevant information on your disease and treatment as they know your individual circumstances. Cancerbackup has a help line (0808 800 1234) and a prize winning video available in English, Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati & Hindi explaining Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy. has over 500 pages describing cancer, its management, practical tips and tool which patients, their carers and their doctors have found helpful during the cancer journey.

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