scar site/chest wall thickening post Radiotherapy - advice p

I finished radiotherapy mid May after having undergone dx for bc in October 09, lumpectomy, additional surgery for safety margin clearance, chemo (FEC x5) and 23 sessions of Rads. Tamox commenced mid April.

Things have jogged along reasonably well with very few side effects from Tamox and Rads until a month ago. I have been experiencing a hardening of the radiated area of my remaining boob (above original tumour area) and ache at the scar site where nodes were removed. I saw Oncologist today who has requested an ultrasound and remarked he does not feel its anything to worry about but obviously I am a little concerned. I have my first mammogram due on the 13th October and am not looking forward to it under the current circumstances. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Leigh x

Hi
I can relate to this experience. 15 treatments to my mastectomy scar, 7 of these as a bolus. Nothing much by way of burns etc, but 2-3 weeks after it finished, the whole scar area became raised, swollen and hard/rubbery like the centre of a tennis ball. Painful. Basically its still the same 4 months later, although it has softened up a little. Too lumpy and sore to wear a bra/softee for more than an hour or two. I would really like to know more about this, especially how long it takes to settle down, if at all. K.

Karis, can totally relate to not being able to wear a bra - when I have attempted it I have spent days/weeks later in considerable discomfort. I have been told by my Breast Surgeon that some women experience pain for sometimes a good few years after surgery but am hoping I’m not one of them!

Also hoping like you that someone else may be able to through some light on this as to how to ‘manage’ it. For the time being I’ve hit the anti-inflammatories and await the ultrasound with fingers crossed for a clear result.

Leigh x

Hi I had a bi lateral mx nearly 4 years ago, followed by chemo and radiotherapy on one side only. This area became thick and “solid” a few weeks after radiotherapy finished and I was quite concerned. I was told it was “normal” that the consistency would change. It has now reverted to almost normal so I presume it was a side effect of the radiation. I don’t wear a bra - got nothing to put in it and I’m not wearing one for the sake of it!!! Good luck - it will get better.

Hi. That’s encouraging. Medic has told me 1-2 years. Did it just gradually soften, disappear fast, or did you do anything to encourage it - i.e. massage?? K x