breast pain months after radiotherapy completed

I have never been completely free from breast pain since finishing my rads in
march 2006, underneath my breast it feels as if there is a hard bone that
is really painful to touch and also when turning over in bed. I have had my
first mamogram since being diagnosed and that was clear, saw my consultant
in may and he didnt seem concerned and put id down to rads as it can
affect the ribs. I was in so much pain recently that i contacted my breast care nurse who examined the area and she to said it was from the rads and
unfortunately in some cases could go on for years, on top of this i have
breast lymphodeoma, i am unsure if one aggrevates the other, has anyone
had this same problem. I am finding that i am getting depressed and
my mind goes into overdrive.
Sorry for the moan but its good to put it to paper.
thanks gill.

Hi gill, i too have had some breast pain, on and off, its lovely to take my bra off at night. It feels like the ribs are bruised and you can’t help touching one breast where the pain is and then the other breast to make sure they feel the same. Problem is by keep prodding and poking you make the affected area even more sore and that leads to more worry. The pain also moves around and I have mentioned this to my BC nurse before but as you say it doesn’t seem to be of concern. Sometimes I think the our imaginations are more of an enemy than the actual condition if that makes sense!! Spend a lot of my time recently on this site, more for a chat and reassurance and get a little lonely, friends at work all day and family live too far away just to pop round for a coffee!

Hope you seen feel better.

Love Jan

thanks jan, i think your right about imagination, thank god for
my wonderful sister who has been with me every step of the way,
My family also live in various parts of the country soto have the
surrport of my sis has been great.

Hi there

I finished my rads back in March this year, following a lumpectomy and 4 lymph nodes removed. I’m also getting quite a bit of pain under my breast, where the bra strap goes. The skin is slightly darker there from the rads, but it does feel quite bruised. I thought it would be healed by now, so I’m so sorry to hear that you are having similar problems especially as you finished back in March 06. I went to see my Breast Cancer Nurse, who, after gentle prodding said that it was due to the rads, and may be sore for some time. She also pointed out that I had Breast Oedema too - great! I thought one boob was bigger than the other, but didn’t think much of it really! She has referred me to a Manual Lymph Drainage nurse, to show me how to do the massage myself. First appointment at the end of this month. Is this something that you have done?

I guess this is just something to live with. I avoid wearing bras with underwire, as this does make a big difference and I find sports bras really supportive, although hardly pretty or dainty!

How long have you had the Oedema? Did it come on after rads, or something that you’ve just got?

Keep smiling!

Best wishes


I finished rads june 8th,and I think I have breast lymphoedma too. Affected breast is about 3" bigger! Areola swollen too,and seams of bra leave massive inprint.
Also the skin is a bit like orange peel in places.Mine hurts too Gill when I turn over in bed.
I did have a massive seroma under my arm after SNB, which I had to have aspirated about 5 times. So it looks like I do have a problem with lymph drainage and Rads can aggrevate the problem.
I did see my onc about 5 weeks ago ,but I hadnt really noticed a problem then.He had a good prod around but he had his eyes closed! so he wont have visually seen anything wrong.
I have appointment with surgeon in about 7 weeks for 1st yearly check up so hopeully all will be fine.
I have heard that manual lymph drainage does give some relief, but it is something we have to live with,

best wishes


I have breast oedema - it is as Kay says, orange peel skin in places and imprints from my bra. I have been given pressure garments which I wear most of the time but dont know if there is a lot of difference - I think its something that we have to live with. I dont sleep on that side if I can help it. My worry with it is that it will make the mammo painful - I mentioned it to the onc who just said take strong painkillers! Something else to look forward to!
Love Laine

I finished rads Jan 07. I to have breast pain and Lymphoedema. It does feel like my ribs are bruised, my breast is orange peel and in places quite hard. I was given a breast pad. I have worn it everyday for the passed 3 weeks, it massages as you walk/move and my breast has improved.


I havent been on here for a while and missed your post!
Laine, you must have had your mammo now, how did it go,
Love Kay

One year on from mastectomy followed by chaemo then radiotherapy, I am never free from pains, aches, soreness, tinglings. Keep reminding myself that NOTHING can be worse than the agony in shins after taxotere which resulted in my daughter calling out doctor in middle of night to give me morphine shot.
You are spot on with the over active imagination - after cancer how can one hope to NOT suspect every twinge of beinga sign of a new outbreak.
Surgery check up end of next week at wonderful Institit Curie in Paris where I hope to discuss all this in franglais;
Have as good a day as poss

I came on here to get some reassurance that my breast pain will disapear in now time, but after reading your posts I am feeling more depressed ! I finished radio at the end of July and my rib, breast bone and breast are still tender and painful - it wakes me up at it when i move and I now find difficult to sleep. My stress level does not come down as I am worried and it is a constant reminder of what happened. No more under wire bra for me ! I am quite sporty and I am frustrated not to be able to go back to some sport - I went running a few days ago with a very tight sport bra but it feels more bruised now …frustration frustration…I don’t want to think that I am going to have to live with it and just want to go back to some kind of normality…

Shirley, j’espere qu’il fait meilleur a Paris qu’en Ecosse !


je suis désolée, Anne, d’avoir augmenter votre dépression;
Just lost two long paragraphs while previewing - will go a searching but in the meanwhile - Courage, ma chère

Hello Shirley,

I have only myself to blame for expecting too much too quickly ! mais j’aurais aime que les infirmieres et medecins m’en disent plus de facon a ne pas esperer trop tot …

Hope your check up results were ok and that you will be able to enjoy your week-end.

To All,
As anyone tried acupuncture to reduce pain and if so, did it work ?


I finished rads in August 2006 and have on and off pain in ribs . I was very badly burned so am presuming ribs damaged. Its weird though that sometimes it goes away but then comes back. I have noticed that when I get obssessed with it - it becomes worse and I am wondering is any of it is psychsomatic?? ANyone else feel like this?

Love Alise