Chest pains post Rads

I have been in hospital this weekend with chest pains. I have had ecg’s and heart traces and my heart appears ok. (I have been taken off of herceptin as it has had an effect on my heart but the chest pains seem unrelated).

The doctors have said they believe it is due to after effects of radiotherapy, which may have caused inflamation of the cartledge around my ribs and sternum. When I cough it causes further inflation making it feel as if I have been punched in the chest.

I am having a “fancy” echogram tomorrow and should then be going back to see my onc in the next week for results, so I will ask him about it.

Has anyone else had this problem?


ive not had this , sorry. I wanted to say that i hope you feel easier soon,

I have now been told I am suffering from heart failure as a result of the herceptin. I have been referred to a cardiologist to sort me out. I seems to be one thing after another.


ive just finished radio before christmas and have had bouts of breathlessness and pain in my chest,how did you come through wwith yours? i put it down to the operation(i had half of the breast removed)any advice??? im also getting bouts of overwhelming emotions,crying and such, but also feeling that i should be grateful it was all caught, so why feel down about it all i feel so alone sometimes,even though i have a fantastic family who i can always rely on,i dont want them to be dragged down with me moaning...i dont know !!!

Sorry you are feeling rubbish at the moment. I am still quite tearful. I have seen my GP and he says it is competely understandable. He says I have not given myself time to grieve following my diagnosis, because i have just been carried along by all the treatment. At some point the emotions have to come out.

I know what you mean about not wanting to moan to family all the time. When we were writing our Christmas letter and we were trying to work out what to say about my health, my youngest daughter stated that we didn’t need to put anything as we are all fed up of talking about me being ill. I know she didn’t mean it how it came out, but I could understand where she was coming from.

I am off to see the cardioloist on Wednesday. I am hoping I can get some answers as I have been off work for couple of days and have felt completely breathless and exhausted and generally felt rubbish.

Sorry I can’t help much. With the pain in my chest the main advice I got from hospital was “if you need to cough, don’t cough to hard” - really helpful!

I hope you start to pick up, but if you don’tgo and talk to your GP.

thanks for replying cmw im sooo glad its not just me being selfish …ive tried so hard to face things as, and when theyve hit me, but i think this time it was a case of "what else have you got to give to me before i give in " my sisters son died last year- massive heart attack,only 34, i have multiple sclerosis and chronic arthritis too (going to be having a knee replacement within the next 2 mths)im getting to the point of just let up on us allim going to stop now youre not there to be my therapist, but thanks for your reply -truly grateful

Hello Caroline,
I was very interested to read your post.
I have had chest pains and breathlessness off and on since rads last August. Last week I mentioned it to my GP. I was then sent for xrays to see what the problem is. Since the weekend it’s started to get a lot worse and is becoming very painful. The doctor suggested it could be to do with the cartilidge around my ribs, I’m now waiting for results and she is now back in touch with my onc to see what happens next.
How have you got on with this problem? Have you found out exactly what the problem is? It is worrying, but then again that’s all we seem to do after bc dx.
I hope that you are starting to feel a bit better and that your doctor and cardiologist is beginning to get things sorted out for you.

Best Wishes,

Isabelle xxx


Sorry you are not feeling good at the moment. I am glad, in a way, that it is not just me that has been told this about the cartledge. I was thinking the doctors had made it up to appease me!

The rib pain and breathlessness eased for a while and things seemed to be getting back to normal again. However a couple of weeks ago I began to fel quite unwell. The breathlessness was so bad that I was signed off work for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t even put my shoes on without having to sit down for a rest. I started to get really low and ended up seeing my GP 3 times in less than a week (at her request)

I had my appointment with the cardiologist a couple of weeks ago. He said that the damage to my heart is repairable and it shouldn’t be causing me the problems have been suffering. After a chest x-ray and more ecg’s he diagnosed a viral chest infection. Since then I have gradually felt better. I have to take extra tablets for the heart and don’t need to go back for 6 months.

I don’t know if the cartledge problem will get better over time or recur each time I get a chest infection or have problems with my asthma, but at least I have started to recognise the pain, and don’t worry so much now.

Yesterday I had to go to an oncology appointment and they doctor has agreed to discharge me from oncolgy, which feels so good.

Hope you feel better soon.

Hi Caroline,
Thanks for your reply. I got the results from my x-ray yesterday and all appears to be ok with that, thank goodness. I’ve not been too good over the weekend and had to see the GP yesterday, she is now sending me for blood tests and has put me on anti-inflam tabs as well as codene and stomach tabs. I will be rattling soon!
At least I’m getting something sorted I hope, she also wanted to put me back on the sick this week but luckily I’m on annual leave, trying to catch up with all my hols I didn’t take while I was having treatment!
It’s good that you have been discharged from oncology, and I’m pleased to hear your feeling a little better. It seems that we have to deal with so many other problems once we get a dx of bc things just seem to follow on after treatment and we just seem to have to put up with all these extra problems…

Take care, it’s loverly to hear from someone with similar probs.
Hope things get much better for you from now on.

Best Wishes,

Isabelle xxx

Hi, thought I would just tell of my experience. I finished RADS before Christmas and have had 3 Herceptin. I don’t get breathless (except when I walk uphill) but when I take a deep breath, I get a feeling of discomfort in my chest, especially first thing. I suppose this could still be down to after effects of RADS as, apperently, it takes several weeks to heal. I have my post RAD app. with my ONC this afternoon and have a list of questions for him!
Hope you ladies are feeling better soon.

Hi all
Have been somewhat anxious with post rad pains. Well maybe not pain but I am 4 months into herceptin ( rads finished in October last year)and I now have ‘discomfort’ on one side ( bc side) . Feels sore if I touch it and into the top part of my ribs as well but is really uncomfy when I try to sleep at night ( lying on my side is difficult to say the least) I have ignored it but it has not improved. Is it down to rads or is it my ongoing treatment - dont want to make a moutain out of a molehill but its niggling at me…
any ideas - have not as yet spoke to my onc. doc about it

techo x

Techo - Sometims the pain in my chest has been a tenderness around the ribs (usually bc side), and it is uncomfortable to sleep on that side sometimes, particularly if my asthma is playing up and I have been coughing a lot. To me this seems to tie in with what the docs have said about inflamation of the cartledge. I take ibroprofen when it is playing up. I was also prescribed tramadol to help but I have not taken that at all.

Carol - I hope your appointment went well today. I am not sure about it taking several weeks to recover from rads. My rads were back in May and I only now think I am coming out the other side. Maybe that is also down to the fact I had the first 9 doses of herceptin. I know the docs say herceptin doesn’t give a great number of side effects, but I am sure there are quite a few they don;t tell you about.

Isabelle - so glad to hear that your x-ray results were good. I am glad your GP is taking thing seriously and not just saying that you have to expect niggles after treatment or it’s all in your head (which is what I was starting to feel even though my GP never said it).
I think if they told us, when we set out on the BC treatment, all the things we may have to face during treatment, you may not agree to start. 2 years ago I only took paracetamol for a headache if I really had to. Now I have to take 3 inhalers, 5 tablets and some homeopathic powders for bc, asthma and heart. Thank goodness for free prescriptions.

Life is fun isn’t it!!!


So is chest pains and breathlessness quite normal? I have been feeling quite bad over the last three days. I have broken my ankle and therefore can’t do a lot of exercise at the moment and the breathlessness, heart thumping and pain round rib area is quite scary. I have also looked it up on the internet and could be inflamation of the lung but shouldn’t happen until about month to six months after RADS and I finished mine on Tuesday last week. Should I just get in touch with the radiotherpist. Many people have mentioned taking inbufin would that be good as well but not sure if it goes well with my other painkillers?

Just looking for some advice?