costochondritis after radiotherapy anyone?

I wonder if anyone has had the symptoms that i myself have? I finished rads 6 months ago and in feb started with rib pain on the side of my treatment. This is now much worse and the rib is swollen too. The onc in feb said it was a side effect of the rads but my G.P. was rather suprised by the extent of the rib swelling when i saw her on friday. She has referred me back to the oncs. Has anyone else had costochondritis?
Love Julie X

Hi Julie,
I finished rads Dec 3rd 07. I have pain on and off in the rib under the breast, some days it’s quite bad. It can be uncomfortable to wear a bra and even the weight of my breast on it hurts. Although the rads treatment is painless it’s affects seem to be longer lasting.
Hope all goes well for you. Would be interested in hearing what you onc says.
Best wishes Caz x

Hi Julie,

Also will be interested in what your onc says and will follow this thread. I finished rads 10 weeks ago and like Caz the ribs on that side are sore and very sore at times. Also have begun to take off bra when I am at home which helps.
I expect it is the side effects of rads but as I am due to see the onc next month I thought I would check it out then. By the way what is costonchondritis? - will have to google it later.

Magsi x

Thanks for your comments. I’m absolutely terrifed after seeing the breast surgeon. My rib is so swollen that i now have to have a bone scan in case its bone mets. My scan is Thursday!God this bloody disease!!!
Love Julie X

Hi Julie,

Really sorry that you have to have a bone scan, hope that it turns out to be something ‘simple’ and not bone mets.
Do you get the results on the day or is it more waiting?
Please let us know how you get on.
My thoughts and prayers are with you for Thursday
Magsi x

Hi Julie

Just read your post about rib problems.
This time last year I too had to have a bone scan to check that the constant, severe rib pain was not a sign of secondaries and thankfully it wasn’t.
Initally I had been treated with steroid injection by my breast surgeon when the pain was severe, several months after mastectomy, as he said it was inflammation of the joint and bone where it meets the sternum following surgery. The injection was very painful but it did help for a few months. It was when it wore off and I still had the pain that I had to have the scan.
I still suffer with severe pain as before but at least I know it wasn’t spread to the ribs at that time - trouble is I haven’t quite worked out when I should be concerned in future as the pain is constant.

I do so hope that your scan shows that it is indeed costochondritis,rather than anything sinister It’s hell to live with and I can’t bear to wear my prosthesis some days so I understand how distressing the condition is.I also empathise with how hard it will be waiting for the scan result - three weeks in my case. All the best for Thurs.

Seren x

Hi Julie,
Hope all goes well with your scan. Let us know how you get on.
Best wishes
caz x

Hi Julie … just stumbled on your thread. I remember reading you’d had some discomfort - but had no idea it was getting so bad. The bone scan is pretty straight-forward - assuming its the same as I had at Royal Berks in 2005. I had an injection first, and then a scan an hour or two later, the scan took about 20 minutes (I think - my memory is a bit hazy now). Fingers crossed for tomorrow - I’ll be thinking of you.

Hiya everyone
Had scan today, but that was the easy bit. Can’t wait for results but also worried.
Seren, did you have any swelling?
Angilbert, thanks, i’ll let you know how i get on!
Thanks all for your good wishes,
love JulieXXX

Hi Julie

Just caught up with your thread again.

Didn’t have a swelling in the joint but the rib itself is swollen at the sternum end. Joint and second rib was/is extremely painful all the time and when consultant pressed it I nearly shot through the roof!!!
Had never heard of costochondritis until I was afflicted but I was just so relieved to know it wasn’t secondary spread that I knew I could live with it.

I take hefty doses of painkillers when needed - unfortunately it’s not advisable to keep having steroid injections due to bone thinning effects. I look forward to the day when the inflammation settles’ although I was told it could take a long time.

Hope the waiting for results isn’t too long and the news is good - do let us know.

Tthinking of you
Seren x

Thanks Seren
Just had my results and my scan was clear!!! I think mine must be costochondritis too. It sounds very similar.
Lots of love Julie XXX

That’s great news Julie! … now lets hope they can fix it too.

Fantastic news Julie!!!

Hoping you can obtain relief from the pain soon. Don’t be put off by my experience of steroid injection pain - it does afford good relief although my breast surgeon said not many docs. would do it in that position.

All the best - keep in touch
Seren x

Good news Julie, I’m so pleased for you.
I’m fortunate enough not to have needed pain killers so I feel for you ladies who have it to that extent.
I think as Seren says though we can live with it as long as we know.
Here’s to a quick healing time.
Best wishes.
Caz x

Hiya everyone,
Yes costochondritis and lymphoedema. Both treatable! I’m being referred to the lymphoedema clinic and the physio for ultasound therapy ! Thanks for your support
Love Julie XX

I have been suffering from this for a couple of months now, its about 6 months since my radiotherapy and at first I thought I had pulled a muscle and it didnt get any better so saw the Dr and she said it was possible nerve damage to the chest wall and gave me a gel to rub it in, that did nothing so I went back and then I saw a different doctor and he said it was costochondritis and gave me anti inflammatory pills.  Thats been over a month now and its got worse and its so painful, I can hardly sleep as lying down puts so much pressure on my ribs and my left breast is so hard and painful after the radiotherapy that it gets sore too.


I am waiting to have an x-ray and am seeing the Dr tomorrow about the pain.

I never had RADS, but I’ve got costochondritis on both sides. It is simply inflammation of the ribs that can even cause pain when you press on your breast. I have rheumatoid arthritis and it can be one of the problems that arises with RA. The following link is about breast pain and page 8 refers to costochondritis.