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Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

9 May 2013 01:49

Hi I was diagnosed with nsclc in July last year, I had a small tumour in my upper left lung and microscopic cells were found in one of my lymph nodes. I was told I was lucky that the cancer was caught in early stages and was operable.  6 weeks after diagnosis I had half of my left lung removed.  This operation was very painful but recovery didn't take that long really.  I was given chemo which finished in December and went back to work in January.  However, I do still have pain which feels like it's in my left breast and in the centre of my chest.  I also have numbness to the breast.  I have had 3 clear scans and was just wondering if anyone has had the same operation and if they still had pains 10 months after the op.  The doctor doesn't seem concerned with the pain as the scans have been clear.


Karen x

Re: Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

10 May 2013 16:09 in response to kaz2

Hi Karen,

I have not had an operation like yours but I can tell you that my Dad had his entire left lung removed and experienced discomfort for many months afterward.  Exactly how much and whether he still felt pain before he passed I don't know but your body has suffered a major shock to it's system and I have no doubt you will experience ghost pains for a long time to come.  Having said that I am no doctor so I may just be talking rubbish.  I recommend you get in touch with one of the nurses on here as they can no doubt give you some better help and advice.

Good luck and all the best.


Re: Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

10 May 2013 21:02 in response to kaz2

Hello Karen,

Welcome to Cancer Chat! GARF has given you some excellent advice - why don't you get in touch with our nurses to find out more about the possible after effects of your lobectomy? You can give them a call Monday to Friday on 0808 800 40 40, 9am to 5pm or you could also ask your question in our Ask the Nurses section.

I hope this helps and that others who experienced a lobectomy for lung cancer will come along and share their story with you.

Best wishes,

Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator

Re: Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

12 May 2013 01:37 in response to GARF

Thank you Garf and Lucie for taking time to reply. I will give the nurses a call. I hate to moan over a bit of pain when there are so many others far worse off and I am extremely grateful to still be cancer free. I just wondered if this pain was normal x

Re: Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

9 Jun 2013 12:37 in response to kaz2


I had part of my lung removed early March as they found nodules, secondary cancer from my primary rectal cancer (diagnosed Aug 2010). I was also one of the lucky ones they could operate on as the nodulse were peripheral. Like you, probably, I now sport a rather impressive sweeping scar from middle back round the front to edge of right breast. My surgeon, oncologist & GP all told me I would experience long term "discomfort" maybe for life.

At the moment I am still on a regular pain relief regime to help with similar sounding pain to yours, am taking slow release tramadol morning & night + 4 hourly paracetomol, tramadol & gabapentin (for associated nerve pain). They reckon the disturbed nerves will bother me for a while & there will always be some discomfort muscle wise. For me, knowing what & why it is sore, certainly makes it easier to deal with.

Not sure if this helps,


Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

10 Dec 2014 01:27 in response to kaz2

Hi Karen.

  It will be two years this Febuary 2015 since I under gone my operation for cancer, but told the surgeon from the start to take a good lump away as I will not have radio or cemo .then after some time we found out that it was not cancer after all. Yes I was pleased but I still had to go throug the same ordeal of the operation, and I still have a lot of discomfort, a few twinges of nerve pain and muscle pain. The thing is with me is that my strength and energy has gone, as I find it very hard to walk the length of a bus stop. I also suffer from emphasema, COPD, and Granulomatous, all one can do is to grin and bear it time is a good healer as they say,but if I had know how much suffering I would be going through and for how lon, I would nothave bothered.


( It will take more than this to stop me smiling)  x

Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

12 Jan 2015 22:25 in response to kaz2

I have had a lobectomy 7 years ago and I still experience chest pain in the area of my heart. At times I am not sure why the pain is intense. It is always there and mostly manageable. But again when it increases around the heart it brings on a lot of concern. The Doctors advise that this does happen and I will most likely have it forever.

Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

16 Jun 2015 19:22 in response to kaz2


Hi  Karen, I'm not sure if you still use this site, I'm hoping you do as my story is similar to yours. I was diagnosed with non small lung cancer in September 2014, I was lucky like yourself that it was caught early, my tumour was 1.6 cm by 1.8cm. I had an upper left lobectomy at the end of October. Recovery was quite slow as I suffered a lot of nerve and muscle pain. I have only recently returned to work, before my surgery I was very fit and healthy, I've never had a cigarette in my life, I expected a speedier recovery but even now 8 months post surgery I still have a lot of pain, not necessarily in the area of surgery but chest pain I haven't experienced until the last few months, it feels like it's near my heart but does travel left then right. I get a lot of lower burning back pain too? I have had CT scans and chest X-rays thankfully everything is ok, I had a bone scan 10 weeks ago,all was good ! I'm so grateful that I'm 'well' but I can't help but worry! If this is all normal then I'm happy to live with this aslong as the cancer keeps away! I'm only 45 and not ready to go anywhere for a long time!! How are you doing?

Many thanks Ginette 


Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

26 Jun 2015 18:57 in response to bogie


Hi Bogie,

I had my upper left lung removed 7 years ago due to lung cancer. The tumour collapsed my left lung. 

Over the last year the pain in my chest area has got worse, and a friend of mine who is a cancer bone surgeon advised me to go and see a top heart cancer specialist as often the next place cancer comes with my tumour is the heart. 

After various tests and lots of money he confirmed the muscle tissue was damaged when the lung was taken out and the muscle that was moved to get my lung out is what is causing the pain.

Today the pain was worse, it just some times catches you, and then takes your breath away. Anyway what I am trying to say is after speaking to many experts they say the same, your have this chest pain on off for life.



Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

28 Sep 2015 16:13 in response to kaz2


I was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2014. They found a neuroendocrine tumour in my right lung. The following month I had a bilobectomy.  

Even now I have constant dull ache and tightness in my chest. At times it can be painful if I over do it. The consultant has told me I'll probably have this for life. But over time I just won't notice it anymore. Also, the constant tiredness and fatigue should improve over time.

Anyway, it could be worse! I was a fit and well 33 year old golf professional when I was diagnosed so it can happen to anyone.  

All the best everyone.

Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

28 Sep 2015 19:04 in response to jmbo1980

Hi there everyone, I too have lung cancer, (still have it after 2 major surgeries) and I can relate to the pain that lingers. My pain is not because I still have some small cancers, so I'm told, its' from the surgeries and it will be always with me. My right breast is still numb, (my last lung surgery was in Dec./14) and my ribs on that side are still sore. Also, nerve pain continues to cause discomfort, but for the most part, I just put up with it. I am limited to what I can do, so no heavy work, but then too, I'm quite senior as well. Apparently, I can't have any more surgeries on that lung, which I likely wouldn't consent to anyway, but I will be having radiation pretty soon. Residual pain goes with the territory I guess, but if it gets too bad, then medication is certainly warranted, once any recurrance is ruled out.   

Good luck everyone and take care.


Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

2 Oct 2015 12:54 in response to LorraineD



Thank you to everyone who replied and praying for good health. I've not been on here for a while. I am now 3 yrs cancer free! Happily the pain has mostly gone but still get occasional pain to my lung through my back but nothing I can't handle. I also have sum numbness to my the side of my breast and rib, but a small price to pay I think. I am still unusually tired  sometimes thoughand just accepted this is now me and rest if I need to.

Good luck everyone. Karen x


Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

2 Dec 2015 11:47 in response to kaz2

Hello Happy

Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

4 Dec 2015 02:43 in response to sophiegrace

Hi Sophie, I saw red when I read your post! I don't know what your ex has to say about anything in your life, but where does he get off telling you to get back to work? I'm sorry to read about your Dad. I don't know anything about your situation, i.e. if your ex is supporting you or why he has a say in any of this. I just get so upset when others try and tell us to move on after being diagnosed with cancer and having surgery and/or treatment. They would be the ones to lament on and on I'm sure if they were walking in our shoes. Then you losing your Dad at this time adds to your stress. I think its too soon for you to return to work, especially if you will be going to a new job.

Take care


Pain 10 months after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer

4 Dec 2015 17:16 in response to LorraineD

Hello Happy