Painful veins about two years after chemo

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all coping well with your treatments etc.
Has anyone suffered with painful veins in the arm you had chemo in nearly 2 years after treatment and what can help it?

Hi Donna2510

Thanks for posting.

Painful veins following chemotherapy are usually due to inflammation caused by the chemotherapy you had as part of your treatment for breast cancer. This inflammation can lead to other types of symptoms including redness of the skin, swelling, hardening and thickening of veins and sometimes infection (phlebitis).

For some people, it can last for weeks or months after treatment, for others this can be longer. Long term pain can affect your quality of life.

There are a few ways to help manage the pain. Some people find that a hot flannel (cloth) placed over the vein may ease the pain. Pain relief such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen may also help ease the pain. Anti-inflammatory creams or gels such as Ibuprofen gel can also be effective and tend to produce fewer side-effects than those taken by mouth.

However, it’s always a good idea to ask your treatment team or GP for advice first. They may be able to prescribe other topical treatments which may help improve your symptoms.

To connect with others to ask their experience of painful veins, you may find it helpful to post in another area of the forum such as this one to do this.

You may also be interested in our Moving Forward resources that are for people who have had a diagnosis of primary breast cancer and have come to the end of their main hospital treatment within the last 2 years. They include our Moving Forward booklet and Moving Forward courses.

Do 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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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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