Chest tightness


i had a mastectomy in November 2019 all very straightforward and no Chemo or radiotherapy . I did my exercises regularly everyday and done the massaging. Right from the start I got a lot of tightness in my chest and thought it would go but it never has. Spoke to breast care nurses and they have told me to do more massaging and exercises. I have also been extremely stressed over the year. I was just wondering if anyone else out there is experiencing this extreme tightness in their chest many months after. I look forward to any responses

Hi Suk1 greyhound,

Thank you for your post.

I am sorry you haven’t had any response. I am hoping my response will help our members to see your post and offer their experience and advice.

Sending you our warmest wishes,


I sympathise with you. I also get this tight pain. Its not there all the time. I can’t help because I don’t know what it is either. I sometimes think it’s indigestion due to the medication. 

I had my mastectomy in April 2019, no chemo or radiotherapy but have had constant tightness and pain ever since. I did the exercises right from the beginning and carried on for over a year, my surgeon had me lifting my arm above my head as soon as I came round to ensure full use of my arm but i still have tightness and pain in my chest. I’ve had physio, did more exercises, massage but nothing has got rid of it. I mentioned it to the surgeon at my last check up and because I don’t take painkillers for it as it isn’t unbearable (nothing really helps and I’d have to take them all the time which I don’t want) he was very dismissive and told me if I stop worrying it will stop hurting! I feel like I’ve come to the end of the road after a comment like that and won’t be going back. I am on the list for recon (different surgeon and hospital to the cancer doc) so things might improve after that but im trying to be realistic. 
If you haven’t been referred for physio it is worth trying because it helped reduce some of the problems I was having xx 


I had a full mastectomy and lymph node clearance in January 2020. I had quite a lot of tightness in my chest straight after so did all the exercises and massaged the area daily and it did improve. I then had 15 sessions of radiotherapy in July and about 6 weeks after that finished, my whole chest and underarm area tightened up unbelievably again. I did start the exercises again but I actually think what has helped the most is Yoga. Since the beginning of this year I have been doing a short (15-20) minute free online yoga session every day and I moisturise and massage the area morning and night, and I am pretty much pain free again. I have 3 young boys at home too and they know not to bother me while I am doing Yoga so I get a bit of peace and quiet in the day too!!! I hope this helps xx


I had a mastectomy in Sept 2020 & radiotherapy for 3 weeks Dec 2020. I stll have real tightness under arm & across chest. Have got more excercises from physio but she said I was doing well - doesn’t seem that way to me. Its painful.

Also have really painful wrists - arthritis but made worse from letrozole whih I need to take for 10years.

Hi Suki1 greyhound

I know this is about a year after your first post, but I’ve had a horrendous tight/heavy chest recently.  Started first with a tight neck around the tonsil area, but now it’s predominantly my chest.  I’ve had so many checks: ultra sound of neck, gastroscopy and so many doctors and specialists taking a look.  I now have a CT scan on Wednesday, but I wonder whether it is stress and anxiety?  I have been massively anxious over the last year…I don’t need to go into why??? I just cannot believe that anxiety can bring on such acute discomfort!?  I had a mastectomy in Jan 2020/21 and chemo and herceptin, but no radio.  I can say that my chest pain has nothing to do with my scar…it’s no where near the site…more like lower neck area. 

All the very best.


Did you ever manage to resolve the tightness. I’m 7 months on from mastectomy and 5 months post rads. Didn’t have recon but suffering badly from tightness across chest and underarm. I did the exercises religiously but don’t feel any less tight during or after exercises. I’m so fed up with it.

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