Ongoing rib pain

Ongoing rib pain nearly 5 months lumpectomy. I had lumpectomy in September 2023, (2 surgeries as margins weren’t clear first time) and a lymph removal check, and 5 days radiotherapy in December. The pain has been increasing lately, ribs are tender and painful and tightness under my arm and breast. Spoken to bc nurse numerous times as don’t have a check-up with consultant until April. Currently on tamoxifen too for the past 3 month. No-one seems to have any answers or suggestions. Is anyone else experiencing anything like this? Also suffering really bad bone pain in ankles, knees and lower back, have slight lymphoedema in groin from a previous cancer 10yr ago and the pain seems worse there too since starting the tamoxifen. I feel low mood and my daily activities are being affected by this pain

Yes I am, came on here in December to look if anyone had similar on this thread Pain increasing 6 months on - #4 by unxpectediteminboobarea

I had a lumpectomy Oct 2022, radiotherapy April 2023. After some initial pain after surgery for 6/8 weeks, I felt ok but since the radiotherpay, its got gradually worse. Ribs on that side feel like they are bruised or I’ve bashed into something. some days are worse than others. I’m also getting increasingly out of breath- even walking upstairs at home, or on any incline
Tight hips and ankles in the mornings and I’m like so old crock getting out of bed. I exercise 2/3 times week and try and walk a the weekends- I’m not out breath when exercising particularly any incline walking and I can’t speak. I feel like I’ve aged 20 years.
I’m on Anastrolzole. Oncologist says he has no idea what cold be causing it - as if no one has ever mentioned this before, which I struggle to believe.
He referred me to physio but the exercises with band have not helped and I don’t think they seemed to understand the issue- they say they need to strengthen by back muscles, none is addressing the cause and providing answers - perhaps we never get those?

A new GP has taken more interest, did comprehensive blood tests for heart issues which cold have been causing the breath issues following radiotherpay but they are clear. He suggests a CT scan to see if it has caused fibrosis of the lung on that side - I’d be interested if anyone else has experienced this?

I’ve my first mammogram check up this month- delayed by the oncologist due to the nerve pain in my breast but at the very least I’d like to have the other side checked.

It’s all tiresome and I struggle daily with my thoughts about the whole thing with no family support. I’m not keen on this club.

Hello mandy1,

Thanks for posting.

It sounds like a difficult time. Living with ongoing pain can really impact on quality of life. As you say you are low in mood, which is understandable, as well as having difficulties with daily activities.

It sounds like your symptoms could be combination of the after effects of surgery and side effects of tamoxifen. But you may need investigations or assessment by your surgeon and oncologist to check the exact cause of your symptoms.

You explain speaking to your breast care nurse but not if anything has been suggested. Some pain relief may help. And for the pain you are having in your operated area it might help to see a physiotherapist. Although this didn’t help @unxpectediteminboobarea - it may help you. Pain control is usually managed by you GP or treatment team. If necessary, they can refer you to a pain clinic for specialist advice and support.

We’re not sure if have passed the menopause but some women find they are better suited to a different hormone therapy such as an aromatase inhibitor (AI). However, AIs do also cause side effects.

For the lymphoedema in your groin, you can ask about referred to a lymphoedema clinic or nurse specialist. As this was for a different cancer 10 years ago you may need to be referred by your GP, but you could ask you treatment team about this as well.

@unxpectediteminboobarea it sounds like a difficult time for you too.

You might be interested in the range of services we offer.

You are both welcome to call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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