Pain after breast cancer surgery can be persistent and debilitating.
ain after major surgery is to be expected, but pain persisting beyond the normal healing period is considered chronic. Post-mastectomy pain syndrome (PMPS) is a type of chronic pain that occurs after breast cancer surgeries such as mastectomy, lumpectomy and axillary lymph node dissection, which involves removing lymph nodes in the underarm region. Pain from PMPS has been described as a burning sensation; a shooting, stabbing pain; or a throbbing, aching or oppressing pain. Study results vary, but show that anywhere from 20 to 68 percent of breast cancer survivors experience PMPS. This condition can develop up to several months after surgery and can persist for three to six or more years.