hi ,the pain can be really terrible at times but I can go months pain free then I stretch or more the wrong way and it can be quite painful.
I had 30 days of radiation in 2013 following lumpectomy and chemo on left breast. Over the last few months I have been very aware of painful ribs, both sides. Very tender to touch but they don't ache. GP (like most) wont accept cancer treatment as cause for anything. I feel so encouraged after reading all your posts, to know that I am not on my own with this awful pain. Best wishes to all my new friends (from Sydney Australia)
I had my surgeries and radiation in 2012. About 3 years ago the rib pain started and has only increased over the years. It can be quite debilitating at times. Believe it or not Icy Hot helps calm the spasms. I've tried to talk to my doctor about it, but she says as long as my mammograms are coming back clean not to worry. She recommended taking magnesium, which has not helped.
I am glad and saddened to hear there are so many of us out here with this issue and all have the same issues with getting help regarding this.
I don't want to live on pain killers and muscle relaxers but if this continues to worsen I may have no choice.
I agree with other commentators out here that this particular side effect would have been nice to have mentioned.
Hang in there and keep talking to your doctors as will I.
Good to be here for another year! 🙂 I too just had an all clear on a recent mammogram but still had concerns over rib pain. Specialist & doctors didn't shed any light when I told them about it & so VERY relieved to have found this site & thread. I had lumpectomy & associated nodes removed from right breast in Jan 18, with follow up radiation treatment. Now taking estrogen blocker (which has its own set of side effects!) but have had constant pain in ribs under right breast through to under right shoulder blade for at least past 12 months. I have stiffness in neck right side & turning head to the right also produces the pain in ribs, as does breathing & lying on right side. I've gone through periods of self medication & inactivity but now just "sucking it up" & trying to move forward. I've been taking Lexapro since my daughter died at 20 from pancreatic cancer in Oct 2015. It's been a roller coaster. Recent tests reveal I now have high cholesterol (very - 8.1) so I'm determined to make serious lifestyle changes to avoid further medication. I've always enjoyed the benefits of yoga in the past & feel OK while doing it now but wondering if it's making things worse? Catch 22? Also having regular shooting pains into bicep (left arm) & other ?BPN symptoms. Still very grateful for life post BC!! Just knowing others in the same boat really helps as it can be quite isolating at times. Can wear you down so I will now try Iboprofen to get some relief.
Up to now I hadn't seen anyone else who gets cramp like you have just mentioned. Swop sides and we almost match! At the strangest times I have to stop whatever I am doing and stretch my left arm really strongly up a wall to try and release the cramp, which really, really hurts. Do get some strange looks if anyone catches me doing it - lol! Same swelling - a touch of lymphoedema down the top of the arm plus a still swollen breast 6 years after the 'adventure' and I'm there with you.
All I can say is you just learn to live with it but you know this already, so commiserations and hugs (not too close 'cos that hurts still too!) xxx
My surgery was in July 2014 and I had a lumpectomy on the right side, with 4 weeks of radiotherapy. I did suffer terrible burns at the time but once that was healed up I had expected things would settle down. WRONG. I get terrible cramp on the right side, from my back around to my chest below my bra level. It completely stops me in my tracks. I have pains all around my rib area and my abdomen on the right hand side is often very hard and appears to be bigger than the left. Chuck in some lymphoedema and it all really gets me down.
Had a mastectomy in 2016 followed by radiation treatment (second time on the same area) in the last year I've fractured a couple of ribs and had a lot of pain and stiffness on the right side (Which tends to come and go depending on how careful I am and resting it when it's bad) Hard to not freak out though but X-rays show no recurrence. I think the other thing to remember is as time goes on fibrous tissue develops along the wound site and scar tissue can be quite easily torn and make the area very stiff and sore so it can be painful if you strain it...I do try (when there's not a really sore event) to do yoga and stretching each day, focussing on my arm and torso...think it defiantly makes things more supple and less likely to be strained doing everyday things. Sometimes a heat pad can help and off course getting the bra off is heaven....Good to know that this is a common thing.....makes me not totally panic, in that way we all tend to do.....and it is indeed a small price to pay for still being here!
I'm getting pain in my rib on the left side . I had 15 sessions of radiotherapy back in January of this year. The pain started as just a feeling I had a bruise but there was no Mark. Now though it is excruciating if I am pushing and pulling over the area when moisturising and seems to me moving further back. I've stopped wearing underwired bras again just in case this is making it worse.
Hi, just found this thread. I'm 5 years on from surgery on left breast, have had what I call cramp, in the area where the bra sides touch, whenever I move in certain ways. Comes and goes, very sharp, also pain in breast all the time, much worse when anyone touches me or even hugs, using pain patches at times to help this when it's very bad. Nipple sensitivity really bad but discovered M&S foam bras for after surgery and they are brilliant! They really help with pain in both nipple and breast and make wearing a bra possible, I'm quite large breasted. Was hospitalised last year with pneumonia - they told me my lungs are damaged and am waiting scans because of strange cardiac waves so they think my heart may also be damaged.
Not taking any cancer medications and am indeed back on hrt (after consultation and agreement). It seems rib damage, breast pain, lung and heart damage my be more common than usually admitted by t'authorities until pressed about it.
On the plus side, I am alive and otherwise fairly well, so sucking it up and trying to get on with life and enjoy whatever I can.
I just had 20 days of radiation and yes I had rib pain and a pain right in the middle where the heart is. That has gone away, but I still have rib pain on the side of surgery. I have been wearing sports bras, they work. I can't go back to a regular bra either. It's like every day I wake up to a new area of pain. My surgery was in May. I was told that it is cummulative with the side effects from radiation. So I will feel crappy for a long while.
I had radation 27 years ago! I still having rib pain..My breast size was 36 D the one I had radaition in is smaller than a A cup now! My ribs have enlarged on the right side I had the radation on today the pain is much worse! When I lay down you can see that it is much higher than the other side! My liver has enlarged also! I was over radiated to where the puss came out of my incesion under my arm where I had the Lymph Nodes taken out! They all so gave me a Colt Bolt treatment! I was suppose to go have the second one when the Doctor called and said he had good news for me! That I didn't have cancer after all! The patholigist had dignoised me wrong! Like that made it all better! Here 27 years later suffering for their mistake what they did to me! If I had it all over I have a mastectomy! Just thought I share! Everyone should get a second or third opinion because Doctors all the time make mistakes!
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.