Sore Chest /Skin 11 weeks after Radiotherapy

Hi Everyone

Almost three months now after radiotherapy my chest and skin is still sore and I have a silly cough. I had a bilateral mastectomy and ANC on the right side where I also had the radio. It did all the usual things, peeled etc and I though it would have been better by now. At my Oncology check up 7th November, the Doc said the sore skin was probably nerves that had been disturbed during the op. I was given an X-ray and told it was clear but have to go back in 3 months. As I was triple negative I am not on any further treatment. My left side is lovely and flat, but my right side tends to swell slightly during the day. I had a seroma immediately after surgery which was drained three times but then went away. Could the radio have reactivated the seroma? Has anyone else had painful skin so long after radio? I am still using aqueous cream on that side and bio-oil on the scar on the left. Any advice would be welcome.

Thank you all

I had a checkup with my consultant surgeon about 2 weeks ago and had similar questions. I’d only finished Rads 2 weeks before roughly so was still slightly pink but the symptoms wet down quickly for me (I used a homeopathic cream made for burns instead of the aqueous cream as that really didn’t suit my skin at all)

He explained that the rads can make the skin puffy and swollen and that the little flap of skin under my arm which they affectionately call a dog ear will probably get floppier over the next few months as the swelling goes down.

I’ve also had twinges and small pins and needles sensations on the side that had rads (I’m also a bilat girl, I didn’t want recon, and still don’t)

So based on what he said to me I don’t think your seroma has reactivated but the skin could still be swollen. I’ve read that you can get latent side effects from Rads for up to 5 years!

Oh yeah I started using VitE oil on the rads side as soon as the 3 week anniversary of the last blast was up and that has helped so much more, bio oil is similar I reckon. I just applied a little of the oil to a small patch to check that it didn’t aggravate things first and it felt sooo much better that that horrible greasy white stuff they gave me, I acutally only used it twice but please don’t tell on me :wink:

Oh yeah, I have really sensitive skin though, more than you would think possible. If I touch cashmere it’s straight into cool bath with antihistamines it’s that bad.

Hi Vertangie

Thanks ever so much for your reply. I can see why they call it a dog ear, it is a blxxdy nuisance though. I had noticed it was getting floppier and didn’t seem to get in the way of putting my arm down quite as much. I have Ostrich Oil which I was told was excellent and also Aloe Vera cream from the Body Shop, which was recommended but I have not used it on my rads side yet. Maybe I should try one of them and see. I only use the Bio Oil on the actual scar on the left, I hadn’t thought of using it all over.
I was given cream with silver in it to put on the burns and I was still losing skin up to six weeks after rads (nasty black goo) and thought I was lucky not to have any open weeping places.
I don’t intend to have recon either, I quite like being flat and not having to wear a bra!

All the best

Hi there, i too have had problems with sore painful breast some time after finishing rads. I finished in sept08 , had chemo ,lumpectomy and rads, and all seemed ok but for the last few weeks the affected breast became red and painful and very tender to the touch. Saw Gp who treated me for an infection with 2 lots of antibiotics, then arranged to see breast consultant who said he is not worried and that it appears to be a reaction to the rads!! he will see me in 2 weeks and also get the onc to have a look if still red. I was beginning to get worried thinking all sorts!!!

I had gone back to using my ordinary shower gel etc so maybe that did not help, will have to use simple stuff again.Still using aqueous cream, but find it a bit smelly.I suppose some people take longer to heal and recover.

Good luck to you both

Hi All

I finished my rads 12 weeks ago (by jove that’s flown) and still have a sore boob (lumpectomy and node removal). I find that if I sleep on that side it hurts but doesn’t wake me up!! I can feel it as soon as I wake but if I prod the area it feels ok (strange or what!!)

I also feel ‘lumpy’ even in my arm pit and hopefully this is scar tissure and not another lump. I am seeing my onc in Feb and although I have no major concerns I am certainly keeping my eye on the symptoms.

the actual skin on boob has gone ‘orange peel’ and the nipple has changed (doesn’t protrude as much) and the whole breast has shrunk - these are pretty normal side effects of rads and I am not overly bothered about them. I have been offered an uplift and reduction on the other side if it bothers me too much. This I may consider at a later stage as the side effects can take a long time to settle.

Best Wishes to All


Hi ladies i

I finished my rads on 5 th Dec…

I’m very red and black as my skin tone is olive…

it has torn a little under my arm pit …I’m putting the cream on that they gave me at hospital…
And i was wondering how long it has taken some of you ladies for it to fad and look normal again ???

thank’s sal x

Hi Sal
I started loosing skin (it didn’t just peel off) about three weeks after radio finished, it took about two weeks (I was on holiday with my sister in Crete at the time) to all come off, I used the cream with silver in it that I had been given while it was peeling than I went back to the aqueous cream for about three weeks while it was a bit pink. I was very lucky that my skin didn’t split and start to weep, which I know happens to some ladies. Now, nine weeks after finishing it looks fairly normal, just slightly darker (like a tan) and I am using Aloe Vera cream on it. I am not sure it will ever look exactly like the rest of your chest, I was told it would probably stay a slightly darker shade.

Hope all goes well and best wishes


Hi all

Just to say that my skin is not sore but is still darker and I finished rads in May. I use aqueas cream and then Aloe Vera when I reached the sun burnt looking stage. I still have some tenderness and numbness and my mast. was back in February. I don’t ever remember being told that it would take this look to heal up. But one of the nurses has said since the op. that the stitches take 3 - 6 months to dissolve so that can create a lot of changes in feeling. I had my op. in February.

On the last day of rads I was told to keep the skin out of the sun for at least a year otherwise I would ‘really know about it’ so I’ve assumed that the skin will not be anywhere near normal until then.

best wishes


Thanks Wizz

I was starting to worry about the different pains and discomfort I was having under my arms and across my chest, nobody told me the stitches would take that long to dissolve, and I suppose nerves are beginning to reorganise themselves as well. My mast was back on July 1st, so I still have some way to go. I was told to stay out of the sun for at least 12 months following chemo, let alone keep the are blasted by the rads out of the sun for 12 months as well, so goodbye sunbating next year!!

Hey ho, best wishes to all