Radiotherapy side effects


I had a lumpectomy in January this year followed by 10 days of radiotherapy on my right breast at the end of April. 

I am just about to start my tamoxifen and zoladex. 

I didn’t feel too bad straight after radiotherapy, but as time has gone on I have become increasingly tired. My nipple was quite enlarged at the start of the healing process, but that has gone away. What has happened now is that my breast has gone red all over and has swollen up two sizes bigger. I wondered if it was strange as its now been 3 weeks of swelling (im 8 weeks post radiotherapy now). 

Is there anything I can do, or do I need to be patient and rest! 

Many thanks for your help,


Dear Sarah,

So sorry you are feeling under the weather, I not medically trained to advise, however have had a few problems with healing etc, I think you need to get in touch with your breast cancer nurse just in case you have an infection 

Rest and be kind to yourself, lots of TLC wishing you well going forward. Pop back to the forum when you are ready and let us know how your getting on.

Big hugs Tili ???

Sarah definitely get your team to give you a check over :heart: they might give you some special gel. Post rads the fatigue did continue for few weeks after and was falling asleep where ever it happened. Did find drinking lots of water helped. I was slapping cream on boob that had rads for about 2-3 months after till skin calmed down. But do go back to your team for a check all is ok and no possible infection :heart:??:sparkles::sparkles:Shi xx

Hello Sarah 

Thank you for posting. It is natural to have questions about the side effects you have noticed following radiotherapy. Everybody reacts differently to treatment, and fatigue and swelling of the breast (oedema) are common side effects of radiotherapy. For some people these side effects resolve within a few weeks, but other people may experience them for longer.  

As @Tili and @Shi say it is important to let your breast care nurse or treatment team know about the redness and swelling you are experiencing in your breast so that they can assess you. They will be able to advise you on whether any treatments are required and can also refer you to a lymphoedema specialist for massage if appropriate. 

Many people experience fatigue following treatment and this can sometimes persist for a few months after treatment has finished.  You may find it useful to read our simple tips on managing fatigue following breast cancer treatment. 

Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can often be helpful. Our Someone Like Me service can match you with a trained volunteer who’s had a similar experience to you. You can be in touch with your volunteer by phone or email for them to answer your questions, offer support or simply listen. 

You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0114 263 6490 or email them at , so they can then match you to your volunteer. 

We also offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in.  They include face to face and online courses and events.  

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Best wishes 


Breast Care Nurse 

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