pain after rads finished


Here I am again… this site has never let me down and has been with me all the way through surgery, chemo and now rads… I feel so grateful to have had this support. Last week I had my first herceptin (went by OK, huge relief!) but these past few days I keep getting really sharp stabbing pains in my affected radiated breast. I finished radiotherapy about ten days ago so am surprised to suddenly start with horrible pain. I had 15 normal sessions then a week of boosters. Anyone else had this, should I be worried, should I contact hospital? Mind in overdrive once again! Just when I was starting to chill too and not think about things as much. Carrie xx

Hi Carrie

Whereabouts is your pain? Is it near your scar? The reason I ask, is that I am nearly 2 weeks since finishing 13 rads and I am getting big stabby pains around my scar. I did ask and was told that the rads inflames the scar and its pulling. It feels like someones pulling my flesh and makes me wince so badly, it takes my breath away for a second or two. I think radiotherapy is quite damaging internally, more so than we appreciate so it is likely to be scar tissue pulling and I was also told that the pain etc would peak in about 2 weeks then subside. My breast has shrivelled up like an old prune so no wonder I am getting pain. I would imagine your pain is related to rads.

I am getting pain in my affected breast went to see surgeon yeasterday who did not appear worried but like you it is around the scar tissue and it does make you jump and is worrying also i have had pain in my other breast and was told yesterday ot to worry this is easier said than done

I had 29 rads (24 from 4 angles and 5 boosters just to the scar area) and I started getting stabby pains towards the end of my course… someone else described it as being like someone sticking a darning needle into your boob and that was so acurate. My rads team said that the damage we can see on the skin is the same level of damage done to the internal tissue, so when you think of it that way they really do a good job of buggering up the tissues!

My rads finished at the end of April and I am a lot better - still get the odd stab of pain every now and then but not as much. Also because I got rads to my armpit it aggrivated the pain in my upper arm. I have also noticed that if I run up or down the stairs and my boob bounces it can be a bit achy … and considering I am a 34b the bounce is limited… but still aches and it’s not a major problem cos ‘run’ is not summit I am do very often.

Hi Carrie
Please feel free to call our helpline or use our ‘Ask the Nurse’ email service if you would like to ask someone about the concerns you have, the number to call is 0808 800 6000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm, the ATN service can be accessed via the ‘Support for you’ tab at the top of this page.

Best wishes


I had pains in my breast after radiotherapy like someone was putting a needle into it, I found it kept stinging and itching. Sometimes it felt like it was very deep into the breast. I spoke to my surgeon who said this was completely normal.


I was told it was nerve damage and like you say it can take your breath away, it’s quick, sudden and very painful. I finished rad in Dec and I’m now virtually pain free unless I over do things. The onc said it could last for 6mths or more.
Best wishes
Caz x

Thanks so much to you all for responding… feel so much better now. Yes the pain is around the scar so I guess it is scar tissue. Weird really when you dont feel anything whilst having rads and you don’t think anything is happening about from a bit of sunburn… then it kicks in afterwards. Feel very relieved to know it’s to be expected (could have done with being told that by the hosp though!!) Ta, Carrie x

Hi Carrie

They should warn you, shouldnt they. The effects of radiotherapy are quite strong especially internally. My scar has been coming out in sympathy with yours today and has been really stabbing. It depends I think on what I have been doing - like yesterday I did loads of ironing (now, don’t get too jealous) and my scar is on the right boob so all that movement has caused it to play up. Good excuse to do nothing for a few days.


I was the same with the after effects of the ironing - again my surgery was my right boob.

I’m also getting those nasty sharp pains in my arm which I have been told is the nerves trying to repair themselves.

Hi Ladies

Been reading old threads/posts on pain after rads and so glad I found this one. Pain woke me this morning just above my scar and into nipple which got gradually worse before it went, then just been getting occasional ‘stabs’ after that in boob and ribs. I rang my BCN who said it was a consequence of rads (which put my mind at rest) but I was still wondering what’d set it off (5 weeks post rads). But yesterday I spent the afternoon pruning shrubs, not heavy work but obviously I overdid it - lesson learned!

Hello all, i am so glad to read this as been having pains since rads started in ribs and in breast and was thinking the worst