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After breast cancer surgery, pain remains

Almost half of patients report pain up to three years later


 

According to a new Danish study, almost half of breast cancer patients experience chronic pain two to three years after treatment, while over half report discomfort. Patients under 40, those who’ve undergone radiation treatment, and those who had surgery to remove all the lymph nodes in the arm pit (instead of a less invasive procedure called sentinel node biopsy) are the most at risk, the New York Times reports. Published in the Nov. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study looked at questionnaires completed last year by 3,253 female breast cancer patients treated in 2005 and 2006. Of those, 47 per cent reported pain, usually in the breast, armpit and side; 58 per cent reported “sensory disturbances” like burning or numbness.

New York Times


 
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