Tender chest


I had radiotherapy over 2 years ago. My chest is tender to touch and so are my ribs. I was wondering if anyone else has had this after treatment ? I know you should feel some discomfort after radiotherapy but this is constant.

I was wondering if this is expected and I should just get on with things or is it something else.

Hi Wendy I was diagnosed two years ago with DCIS , high grade and had radiotherapy, I’ve been getting the same pain and discomfort in my breast as well, I’ve been researching and a few have said the same, but since asking the nurses on this site, who advised me to check i am now going to ring nurses at my hospital and ask to get checked, also for a 3D mammogram as our hospital only has 2D
and this misses approx 35/40 % I think we need to keep active, so good luck.

Hi Wendy33,
The easiest answer is yes, what you are feeling is exactly the same as me, I also have ‘cramp’ like pain at times depending on what I’m doing, and can happen at any time. I’m just 2 years after radiotherapy too, you don’t mention whether you had smx or dmx, but if you had either, just keep doing the exercises given after your operation. Best of luck Sara x

Hi Wendy33

Thanks for your post.

It is understandable that you have concerns about ongoing tenderness in your chest and rib area.

Immediately after surgery and/or radiotherapy for breast cancer and in the weeks/months that follow, it’s common to feel some pain and discomfort. Different sensations such as a burning feeling and numbness in the scar area and under the arm may also be experienced. As healing takes place, these effects usually subside. For most people this happens within a few months. However, for some, they can persist, and we know this can affect quality of life.

It is difficult to tell what this pain is related to, so as @Preston mentioned we always recommend that you report any problems you’re having to your treatment team or GP.

In the meantime, taking a regular dose of an anti-inflammatory medication may help.

We 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.

For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link.

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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