Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2014, Article ID 832164, 4 pages
Research Article

Pain in Breast Cancer Treatment: Aggravating Factors and Coping Mechanisms

1Medicine School of São Jose do Rio Preto (FAMERP), Research Group of Godoy Clinic, Avenida Constituição 1306, 15025-120 São Jose do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
2Medicine School of Santos, UNILUS and Research Group of Godoy Clinic, 15025-120 São Jose do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
3Lymphovenous Rehabilitation (FAMERP) and Research Group of Godoy Clinic, 15025-120 São Jose do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
4Cardiovascular Surgery Department, Medicine School in São José do Rio Preto (FAMERP) and National Council for Research and Development (CNPq), 15025-120 São Jose do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil

Received 24 June 2014; Revised 26 August 2014; Accepted 11 September 2014; Published 1 October 2014

Academic Editor: Peter A. Fasching

Copyright © 2014 Maria de Fatima Guerreiro Godoy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this study was to evaluate pain in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema and the characteristics of aggravating factors and coping mechanisms. The study was conducted in the Clinica Godoy, São Jose do Rio Preto, with a group of 46 women who had undergone surgery for the treatment of breast cancer. The following variables were evaluated: type and length of surgery; number of radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions; continued feeling of the removed breast (phantom limb), infection, intensity of pain, and factors that improve and worsen the pain. The percentage of events was used for statistical analysis. About half the participants (52.1%) performed modified radical surgery, with 91.3% removing only one breast; 82.6% of the participants did not perform breast reconstruction surgery. Insignificant pain was reported by 32.60% of the women and 67.3% said they suffered pain; it was mild in 28.8% of the cases (scale 1–5), moderate in 34.8% (scale 6–9), and severe in 4.3%. The main mechanisms used to cope with pain were painkillers in 41.30% of participants, rest in 21.73%, religious ceremonies in 17.39%, and chatting with friends in 8.69%. In conclusion, many mastectomized patients with lymphedema complain of pain, but pain is often underrecognized and undertreated.