Has anyone felt anything when they're being 'zapped'?

I had my first rad session today and I swear I felt something when the first ‘long’ zap hit my boob. Hard to describe, but almost like being very slowly pinched. I was surprised because I was told I wouldn’t feel anything. When I mentioned it afterwards the radiographers said I was imagining it, probably because I had nothing else to focus on (except my hands that were going to sleep!) He also said that the wound from my lumpectomy probably hadn’t healed, although I had the op over 3 months ago.


Even now as I type this I can feel where I’ve been ‘done’. I hope this isn’t the start of anything. I’ve only had one session. I wasn’t nervous about the rads and was expecting it to be easy, but now I’m not so sure.


Has anyone else ever felt anything while being treated, or is it my imagination?

Hi robinh, 

I am sorry to hear you are going through this anxious time and I am sure some of our users will be along soon to offer their utmost support. 

In the meantime you can always call ourhelpline on 0808 800 6000 who will be able to help answer any questions on what you are feeling and offer a friendly ear. The opening hours are below. 

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Late opening Wednesday 9am-7pm
Saturday, 9am-1pm

Best wishes, 


Hi Robin. I haven’t started yet, but if you head over to October rads thread I think Kary mentions something similar xx

Hi. I felt a small tingle. Asked the radiographer and he said sometimes people do feel something! Xx

I hope you survived the machine crash! I felt a slight tingle today. Day off for machinery service tomorrow. Just hope it’s not the same engineers your hospital had! Xx

Had my 6th session today and I no longer feel anything - it was really just the first 2 times. 

Hi Robin


Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling some discomfort during radiotherapy.


I didn’t feel a thing when I had mine. But interestingly, (and this *might* be a possible cause of the sensations) - it might be the skin shrinking slignlty whilst being zapped.


My treatment was 1) chemo 2) surgery - mastectomy  3) radiotherapy…in that order. I wasn’t allowed an implant at the point of surgery as I still needed rads, and they advised that the rads can cause some skin shrinkage which would cause an implant to look a bit lobsided or just plain odd, if the skin around it shrunk.


I’ve chosen not to have reconstruction at this point in time, but my skin (whilst it has healed really well) has shrunk a bit - which I’m not overly bothered by. However, I’m 2 years down the line now, but I’ve never heard of the radiotherapy affecting skin in this way on the day of treatment.


Use a good organic cream to moisturise your skin with regularly. Hosptials tend to recommend E45 but I used Calendula cream instead which is very nourishing for the skin. It might also help to ease some of the sensations you’re feeling. I’m not saying it’s a miracle cure - but it was very soothing for my skin.


Best of luck with the remaining treatment and hope you’re not in too much future discomfort.


Pod xx

Hi all,

I felt a slight tingling feeling during the bursts of radio. Nothing scary or sinister but I’d be really interested to know if this is nerves or some subtle impact on the cells.

Near the end of the programme of radio sessions I also kept thinking my skin smelt very very slighty of roast chicken! I asked those close to me if they could smell it and no-one could. Weird, I may never know! Anyone else noticed anything like this?


Hi There, I had first rad today. No problem but I did feel a slight ‘ripple’  at end of zap. Wasn’t painful just for few moments. Don’t know why but I did ask. Glad that first one over. 

Really interesting about the skin-shrinking thought … it did feel like a sort of pinching. Thankfully I never had the roast chicken smell!

I’ve finished now but the main thing I’m battling is the ITCHINESS! there’s just no elegant way to deal with it! I just slap on extra dollops of E45 and grit my teeth…


I’ve got lots of baby aloe veras here, maybe we need to add to add aloe plants to the big bra business Kary?!
I did feel a ripple the first time but nothing since. Over halfway now and ticking off the days in big purple pen! I hope you get good company on your journey tomorrow again Sue! Xx