Hi, while rib pain is there for me, breast and armpit pain are greater. I HAD a lumpectomy in OCTOber 2015, finishd radiation December 17th, 2015. All was well until about MARCH 2016. MY BREAst became red, painful, the skin became orange peel and striated. Constant pain was about 4-5 (OUT of10), the acute, stabbing pain was a 7 or 8 (MADe me shriek). The doctors looked for infection, reaction to the estrogen syntheis inhibitor that I am on and took a biopsy. Eight weeks later, I WAS told to see another doctor, who sent me to another doctor. Well, I mmoved from MASsachusetts to OREGOn and started all over again. Every doctor that I saw said that they had seen this reaction to radiation before but never as bad as mine. They recommended a complete matectomy with a tissue transplant (FROM my thigh)>
I was not enthusiatic. And, along the way an Occupational Therapist that I SAw recomended a treatment used in veterinary and sports medicine: Near INfrared LIGHT. (my apoligies, my caps key seems to not release when I move to the next letter!)> IT worked! The pain is not all gone, but is more like a 0 -2, with rare spikes of 4-5. I started APRIL 2017 and over the first few weeks I noticed some iimprovement. By six weeks I HAd plateaued in my progress. As long as I use the light therapy (SEE Below), my pain is managable.
HOWever, last week I HAD my first mammogram since the 10/2015 surgery. Since then, my pain has worsened, which I HOpe is temporary. But, I wonder if my body has become sensitized to radiation.
I would like to learn from others as well as share my experieces to help others. Thank you for listening.
* NEAR INFRAred light act to increase the production of NItrous OXIDe which acts as a vasodilator. The increased blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients while taking away more waste (SUch as damaged tissue).
Thanks to everyone for posting about this. I just keep thinking, 'Why didn't the doctors tell us this could happen?' and I was certainly one of those patients who asked lots of questions of my radiologist and did a lot of research on my owe. I agree with the post that questions how this can happen, that this information is something the doctors seem to be unaware of, with all the major cancer centers and research in the U.S. and U.K. I am 2 years and 7 months post-radiation treatment and for at least 2 years I have had variously back pain, breast pain, and rib pain. It is not continuous and not excrutiating (because it only lasts a short while each time), but it occurs daily, sometimes multiple times a day. It's always frightening because I always wonder if this time it's going to continue in the same spot, which is the sign the doctors tell us to look for to catch metastasis. This is a lot of fear and pain to not be talking more about it. I will see my surgeon and have a mammogram in April and will tell her to put it in my record. Thanks again to you all, and I hope all our pain subsides and does not follow us the rest of our lives.
Hi Margatemum, I'm 2.5 years on from radiotherapy and still have tender ribs, boob and arm on my treated side, it's an ongoing thing my oncologist warned me about so I don't allow myself to over worry , it's hard I know but in time you settle down and not panic over every little twinge Xx Jo
Like everyone else I’m so glad I came across this thread! I wish I’d been told about this pain ongoing after radiotherapy, I would have known what it was instead of worrying it was something worse!
thanks all of you xx
I am in the US. I'm having the same pain you describe. I am 69 years old. I had radiation in May. 2 weeks after I had severe dermatitis and all the skin came off and had open wound for 4 weeks. Then the last 4 months it's been swollen, red, hot and extremely sore. Now, 4 months later this week I developed severe rib pain radiating around my back to my spine that sounds exactly like your pain. I can't bend over, raise my arm and when I get up and down from a chair the pain is excruciating! Taking a shower is awful! I get so tired and fall asleep but when I move the pain wakes me up and I can't go back to sleep. I'm only getting 3-4 hours sleep each nigh. I can't take Ibuprofen because of ulcer. Acetominphen doesn't help. I have tried vitamin E and multi vitamins but they aren't helping either. I am so frustrated. All the Radiation Oncologists say is that they have "never seen this before" - while I found all this info online in about 10 minutes! You would think with all the major cancer centers in the US that their Radiation Oncologists would have seen this. I have an appointment with the surgeon next week and trying to get an appointment with a different Radiology Oncologist. I wish that I hadn't had the radiation. I had the 5 days twice daily. I hope they can do something because I can't continue this. I don't see how you are working. Prayers that your pain will subside.
Finished radio last December the last few days my left rib cage feels very sore nothing visable I have multiple seromas that the sugion does not want to do anything yet I do not see him till spring but a bit concerned
Finished radio last December the last few days my left rib cage feels like it's got a big spot that's the feeling nothing visable I have multiple seromas that the sugion does not want to do anything yet I do not see him till spring but a bit concerned
Just finished radsx15 after masectomy and chemo. My ribs under where breast was itch and are sore but I was told this is very common. I read the actual ribs can fracture years later but it is rare. We are all individuals
and react differently. I had constant itching in the affected breast 2 months before the diagnosis and it is still there and you have this. I do feel sorry for you.
I had Stage 3 as well but only had 3 nodes removed (Sentinel biopsy) whereas you had more removed. I asked several times if they were going to remove more lymph nodes and was amazed they did not but I think this is all very individual . I had a Pet scan which showed cancer in local nodes very slow-growing and the chemo worked well so maybe that is why ? Good luck
Im still having rib pain after have radiotherapy in May 2016 but I've also noticed a thin vein like swelling down the side of my ribs. Has anyone else had this?
Dr said no OTC meds. I have internal blood seepage that has not been found yet. I take some lightweight narcotic! And hate feeling doped, cant/refuse to use when working or driving.
I still get rib pain nearly 12 months after finishing radiotherapy. I ran for the first time in years last Thursday - as I'm doing a race for life in July & want to be able to run it. So I bought myself a new sports bra which is under wired & I haven't wore an under wired bra since my op. We'll have I suffered since! But I won't let it beat me - what's a bit of discomfort after what we've been through! X
I happened upon this site today and I'm so glad I did!! I've secretly been a little worried because I too have been having sore ribs. I thought it was in my breast at first, then realized it's under my breast, on the ribs. But they only hurt when I feel around, or when I try to sleep on my left side. (I also will only wear very comfy bras!)
I had a lumpectomy on left side in November 2016, followed by 16 rounds of radiation at the end of December 2016 and into January 2017. The lumpectomy was a breeze compared to the "burn" after radiation. OMG! It was awful! But I healed up nicely, have had really good range of motion, but had pretty bad fatigue. But that's so much better too. Then started getting the sore ribs. So now I can see that it's to be expected and I can totally can handle that. I don't go for my first mammogram until July, but I'm not worried anymore!
Thank you everyone!!
I have only just discovered this site today as I was searching for answers for my rib pain which has moved from the front to under my arm. (Still tender under breast)
I had a lumpectomy in 2002 on my left side and radiation. I have been very blessed with no problems, bar sensitivity the my breast and tenderness under my breast on the rib.
Last year I started to get like a dull pain through my left breast from the sternum across to the left.
Every year I return to RPA hospital for my mammogram and/or ultrasound. I mentioned this to the doctor, and for reassurance she sent me for a bone scan. Turned out all good!
From last week my ribs under my arm is very tender to touch and a pain which is pulse like happens on and off during the day, it does worry me why it is happening, but after reading all your comments I realise this is what is going to happen to us. I didn't think after 15 years it would become more intense.
Has anyone had this experience after 15 years on.
I had a bilateral lumpectomy and a partial mastectomy. I understand rib pain. Sometimes it takes my breath away. I'm not sure if the pain was caused from the operations or most likely the radiation treatment. But it often makes it difficult for me to exercise.
I know exactly what you mean, I can touch and press certain very specific parts of the boney area and it just really hurts. Mine was very high up, literally at the top of the area that is breast tissue, so lumpectomy was done practically on muscles and ribs. Where was yours ?
I hope your rib pains have settled by now. I'm not sure if a CT scan would cause further pains but the scans do use high levels of radiation so it may have produced further inflammation in you. I've never had a CT scan.
Regarding painkillers I just take paracetamol and ibuprofen every so often, dont need them much as I'm not sore unless my ribs are pressed directly and I've found some larger size bras which i can wear quite comfortably now at work for a 12-hour shift, ; with smaller sized bras I ached so much around my chest after work that it hurt to breathe.
It's good to know we are not alone,I finished rads in October last year and at times my left breast is painful and ribs it is very worrying which I suppose is understandable considering what we all have gone through.
Hi I finished radiarion therapy in Oct. 2016. Four weeks ago I had a ct scan done of my abdomen and chest for another health issue. However, since the scan I have had rib pain and acheing. I had breast cancer on my left side, but after finishing all my treatment I felt pretty good. Could this ct scan have re-irritated the tissue on my left side now causing rib and bone pain....thanks. What are people useing for pain relief?
Thanks for the posts on this thread. I had an MX last June and had radiotherapy before Christmas. Have had rib pain for a long time and had X-rays a while ago, thankfully all clear. The rib pain has recently been worse but Drs I saw for follow ups in both radiotherapy and breast surgeon weren't worried. It seems to have calmed down a bit now so I'm hoping all will be well. I seem to go from one ache to the next - my ANC arm is sore today so I'm panicking it's the start of lymphodema! How I long for my carefree days pre diagnosis.
I'm the same with rib pain. Had recurrence in 2015 after mastectomy in 2011 They had to go back in as lump was on the scarring. I've had lots of pain on my bone and ribs. I find it my bra to tight it agribates it as there is no cushioning left..
I had radiotherapy in Jan/Feb 2013 after lumpectomy and chemo. My breast and ribs have always been sore and painful and I understand just where you're coming from when you mentioned you're son accidentally hurting you. My grandchildren love to snuggle up on the sofa with me but often catch me with their bony little elbows as they wriggle to get comfortable! The pain is unbelievable! My oncologist and the doctors at the breast unit have told me repeatedly that if I still have pain, then I probably always will!! Wonderful! Still it's a small price to pay at the end of the day.
Anne North, your experience sounds very similar to mine. My lumpectomy was at the front of my left breast and it's left a huge crater. Yes, i was offered a fat transfer operation to fill it out, as they tell me the pain is because the chest wall is no longer cushioned. But I too, chickened out of any more surgery. I can live with the scarring and now the fact one nipple is higher than the other, that is the hardest to cope with especially in summer t-shirts, i can live with the discomfort, i can live with the awfully larger-than-they-should-be tattoos of black ink placed on me by a novice at radiotherapy planning, i can and will cope with it because without all this i would no longer be alive at this present time !!!!