Breast pain after treatment - when does it get better?


I completed Radiotherapy 3 weeks ago following WLE and SNB in October 09, further safety margin suregery in November, chemo x5 FEC from Dec to March and then Rads x23 sessions. I also commenced Tamoxifen the week prior to Radiotherapy. Throughout this whole time I have been unable to wear a bra. When I’ve tried one for a few hours I am then left with days of ache and pain in both my remaining right boob and lymph node area. My nipple in particular is now very protruding and I think wearing a bra causes some friction which is also not helping. I have spoken to BCN, chemo nurses etc and their response is its the treatment. Certainly during rads it became very sore and over this weekend I have felt a lot of ‘activity’ within the breast but fortunately there has been none of the horrible blistering some women have to suffer. Radiotherapy stopped 3 weeks ago.

I consider myself quite lucky really but I would like to know if anyone else has had this and if its normal. I have an appointment tomorrow for a prosthesis fitting but if wearing a bra is going to set it all off again I’m not sure if i want to go down that route - fortunately for me I am small breasted (husband used to refer to them as Aspirins on an ironing board!!:slight_smile: ) It seems my chest seems happier when its left to hang!!:slight_smile:

Leigh x

Hi Leigh,

There are some other threads on here about breast pain after treatment ends and they show that a lot of women still have pain for months and even years after.

Three weeks after rads is still quite soon and I don’t think you should worry about it, but it would be more reassuring to actually have someone check you out physically rather than just speak to you on the phone. Do you have a friendly GP you could visit?

It did take quite a while before I could wear a bra comfortably and I had to try on lots before I found any I could tolerate. None of my pre-BC bras were any good at all as they were lacy and underwired and really scratched me. You need something soft and it needs to be fitted for you by someone who is experienced and can check that it doesn’t press on your scars or around your ribs where you might be tender from the rads.

Take care and don’t worry, but do get properly checked out if you are worried.

E xx