Nerve pain

Some treatments for early breast cancer can affect the nerves.

Surgery – Mastectomy and axillary dissection can cause nerve pain in the arm. This may feel like pins and needles. It usually settles within a few weeks. If pain is ongoing, ask your doctor about ways to manage it.

Chemotherapy – Some chemotherapy drugs can cause nerve damage to the hands and feet. This is called peripheral neuropathy and it can cause numbness, pins and needles and, occasionally, pain. These symptoms are usually temporary, but in some cases they can be permanent. Understanding Chemotherapy includes tips for managing peripheral neuropathy.

This information was last reviewed in July 2016
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