pain after rads

pain after rads

pain after rads Hi,
I had my last session of radiotherapy last Wednesday and seemed to have suffered no real side effects - I felt quite tired and my skin was pink but that was all. However since the weekend I have been in quite a lot of pain that seems to be getting worse each day, to the extent that last night it woke me up and pain killers had no effect at all. The pain is very sharp and constant, through the whole breast,with occasional stabbing pains that are near the nipple. I also have a dull ache underneath at the bottom of my ribcage that extends round the side. Any pressure on the breast is agony, it’s actually more painful now than after the WLE.

I phoned the radiotherapy department for advice this morning and they didn’t seem concerned, they said it was nerve damage from the surgery that has been aggravated by the rads.

I just wondered if anybody else has experienced this and how long it went on for?

Thanks and best wishes,

This is pretty common from what I understand. I, too, had stabbing pains for quite a few months after the completion of rads.

Would suggest you wear a supportive bra at night to keep everything contained!

An awful lot has happened to your breast, so it’s not really surprising that it is objecting …


siilar symptoms I too had more pain when treatmment ended. I also have numbness and aching in my arm.
I have the pain, though maybe not as severe as yours, shooting through the breast and aching also in my ribs round to the back.
I finished my radiotherapy on 4 july.

after surgery and rads I had 25 rads on my breast and under my arm(i suppose to catch any lymphnodes they could have missed with aux clearance)sept 04, but still get pains under my breast were my scar is when I wear underwired bras.Onc has said its because of the surgery an that it takes years for the nerves to grow back.I’m still numb under my arm but dont expect that to get any better.It doesn’t stop me digging the garden and getting on with things.

pain after rads I still on occasion get a stabbing pain in the radiated breast, 6 years on. The good news is, it only lasts seconds, and then I may not get it for a few days/weeks. It is painful at the beginning, and I do sympathise with anyone still in the process.

Bunty x

pain after radiation Hello Nicky
I finished radiation today, am so relieved that is over. However, the staff told me to expect the skin to worsen over the next 2-3 weeks and the tiredness the same! I too have pain in my rib cage, I have had this for some weeks now and no -one can tell me what this is. Its also in my chest cavity but at the back of the breast. The only relief I get is by putting a hot water bottle against it. One Oncologist told me it may be nerve damage from the surgery, I was in so much pain at the time I do not remember whether she told me this will improve or will always be there. God willing I hope not - I live on pain killers which I hate doing.
Am booked in for a bone scan, not that we think there is anything sinister, but just to reassure me.
I have also over the past few days, got some black raised spots on the affected breast from radiation, staff are hopeful this will go in time…hope so they look quite ugly!
Have been advised also not to use deodorants, or take vitamins for a further 2-3 weeks when I am feeling 100%.
So I empathise with you, still I will get on with life in 2-3 weeks time as best I can, when I can go out socialising and not be too tired to do so - I have a lot of catching up to do!!!

Lulu (NZ)

thank you Thanks to all of you who replied to me, the pain does seem to be settling down now. I still get the occasional shooting/stabbing pains,but the constant sharp pain has eased, as has the ache under my ribs.

Lulu- I too have patches of dark reddish/black skin discolouration but noticed this morning that this skin is starting to peel off leaving healthy looking pink skin underneath, so hopefully yours will too - I looked a bit like I’d been barbecued before! Enjoy your catching up, hope the tiredness has eased.

Best wishes to everybody with treatments, recovery and hopefully getting back to normal

Nicky x

Post radiotherapy pain Hello all - I too had radiotherapy following WLE. This ended in mid December 2005 and I still get pain in my breast, especially if I do anything too energetic but, as others have said, it does ease much more quickly now. I got quite bad blistering a couple of weeks after the radiotherapy and had to have gel coverings that they use for burns. Thankfully they didn’t last too long.

Do any of you still get swelling around the op site? I do complementary therapies and find that if I do a body massage or reflexology treatments then I swell quite badly that evening and it takes a day or so to wear off!

Just wanted to add my 6 pennorth here.

I had significant pain and the common feature is that of pressure on the chest. Mine was put down to pleurisy - which sounds dramatic but isn’t. All it really means is the the pleura (membrane round the lung) has become inflamed. This can happen as the result of rads - or a virus or even just becasue of surgery.

It’s nasty at the time - I had 3 bouts of it in total - but it DOES settle down. Just give yourself time to recover and take painkillers as you need them.