Still waiting for Rads - advice about complimentary therapies!

I had WLE and SNB on 18th January.  Have been having a lot of nerve pain from my armpit/arm still.  Good movement, but still the shingles like pain.


i had my Onchologist appointment yesterday, and I still can’t have rads yet, because she says my breast is still too swollen and lumpy, and still changing size and shape.  So, got to wait another couple of weeks.


i was relieved in a way, because she says my armpit is still swollen too, so I think that’s why I still have pain.  I hope so anyway, and that it will ease when the swelling finally goes.


she also suggested that in the meantime, I have some complimentary therapies to help with pain and relaxation etc, to aid the healing of the nerves.  These are available as part of my treatment, and I’m being referred to the centre that offers them.


Has anybody else had these situations? Having to delay rads, or using complimentary therapies to promote healing of nerves after surgery? What type of therapies work well etc?






Hi Jaynes1208,

Sorry to hear you’ve been in a bit of a waiting game and have been experiencing some pain. I am sure some of our users will be along to share their experiences on alternative therapies and show their support soon. 


In the meantime you can always post on our Ask the Nurse board or call our helpline on 0808 800 6000, who will be able to talk you through any questions you have and offer a friendly ear. The opening hours are below:


Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Late opening Wednesday, 9am-7pm
Saturday, 9am-1pm


Best wishes, 




Post on the going through treatment thread but on Progesterone, hormones and fluffy things, I am sure that some of the ladies have or are using complimentary therapies for pain


Helena xx

Hi Jaynes1208

My chemo was delayed due to problems with my operation scars opening up after my mastectomy, immediate reconstruction and SNB in August last year and eventually I had a reverse vacuum machine attached to help speed up recovery.

The complementary therapies I was offered were a real help - not so much for pain but for relaxation and someone to talk to. The delays you are experiencing will be frustrating and I understand that as I was in that position too. It was a massive help to be able to talk to the therapist and on my most recent visit to her she commented on how much brighter I was now that the radiotherapy has finished.

This is someone who has seen me through every stage of treatment I have had - with some very down moments included and passed me the tissue box when I broke down in the middle of one of my treatments. I’m not particularly comfortable with massages and in the end I went for reflexology which was quite fascinating in its own way as she was able to tell at various stages of my treatment if I was suffering with particular side effects during chemo or even that I was just very tired or tense.

Before I began my radiotherapy I expressed concern at possible lymphodema and she spent one session showing me how to apply massage myself if it should occur. It has actually been very useful in soothing axillary and reconstructive boob pain both of which have occurred while undergoing radiotherapy. So ask the questions and find out what is on offer - there is plenty of choice and you could try several to see what suits you best.

Oh and persevere with the exercises - they will help with the swelling and pain as well as the complementary therapies.




Hi Jaynes1208

I feel we have a lot in common I had a WLE n the 31st Jan and still have some sweling in my armpit and  around the scar. I like you have been concentrating getting well from the op and not thinking too much about the cancer at all.Now I have an appointment to see Oncologist tomorrow and suddenly have to start thinking about the cancer again and it is quite frightening .I will be discussing the pros and cons of my treatment options tomorrow and summized I may get a date to start my radiotherapy however after reading your post it is possible this will be delayed as like yourself have still got some swelling . I also feel like the lump is still in my breast however been told this will be scar tissue and have been given something to put in my bra which they said may help soften the breast again. I also sometimes get very weepyat time , particularly when I get overtired. I still feel exausted at times even though its been several weeks since I had my op and am still off work. hoping things move on in a positive way for you soon x

I too have nerve damage and suffer a lot of numbness in th area and wander if you know of any alterative therapies which could help reduce the numbness?

Hi Jayne I wasnt offered any complimentary therapies . I have numbness in the area where my lymph nodes were removed and just told it would probably be permanant because they would have had to cut through the nerves to get the lymph nodes out x