I'm 6 yrs on from my op and rad. My rib pain comes in the form of a cramp. When I first got it i thought I was having a heart attack. My doctor assured me it was muscular pain and nothing to do with the heart but other than that, no-one has offered me an explanation. It eased a bit but now I've lost a bit of weight in that area it's back with a vengeance. I still have slight pain in my breast and a while back it was very painful, along with my arm and shoulder. It turned out I had 2 oil cysts in my breast and they were dispersing (normal in scar tissue). The pain gradually got better, but always some discomfort. How are you doing now? I noticed your post is from 2013 but I've only just found this website 🙂
Welcome to the forums, I’m sorry to read that you are having a rough time at the moment. I’m sure some of the other the users will be along to support you soon.
In the meantime maybe it would help to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.
Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator
I am 18 months after radiotherapy and I am now suffering severe rib pain and a large swelling below my ribs, pain is so bad I have been put on morphine by my gp. I am going to see my oncologist on Friday. I have been very worried but I am please to see other people also have pain.
Does anyone have a large swelling as well as the pain.
It is so good to hear I am not the only one with rib pain. I have a large red swelling below my ribs in the middle with severe pain. I am currently on morphine for the pain but my GP has requested I see my oncologist who I am seeing on Friday.
Has anyone else had any swelling or just pain.
I'm over 2 years on from rads now and still get the odd stabbing pain when I least expect it, usually in the bottom 2 ribs. I spoke to the Consultant at my last mammogram follow up in December and he said it might never go. I am also still pink on that side and sometimes feel I could do with my left bra cup being bigger than the right because when I take my bra off at night you can see where it has cut in.
Yep, I'm in the rib-pain club too!! Wasn't too bad shortly after radiotherapy but from a few months after it became a regular occurrence. I like the example someone gave of it being as if kicked by a horse. That's just right. I've described it like having being hit with a baseball bat. And its been on my whole rib cage too but not permanently luckilly. Sometimes its only on my bra line. Anyone worked out how to reduce the pain apart from paracetemol? Would rather use something more natural rather than yet more drugs.
I'm part way through my rads & don't have any rib pain as yet, but thought the following would be worth posting.
I occasionally suffer from back pain & see a chiropracter about it. I last went a fews days before my op as I didn't want to be doing breast surgery & back pain at the same time. When I told my chiropracter about my diagnosis, he said that he wouldn't be able to treat me for some time (at least 18 months I think) after my radiotherapy becasue of the risk of damage to bones. A bit of a shame as my back is not good at the moment and I know he could sort it out in one session , but I'm having to manage it with ibuprofen.
I hope all your rib pains are fleeting
I am about 5 weeks post rads now and the rib pain has eased up loads. I will still mention it to my onc when I see her later this week though.
Hope everyone else is feeling better too
Hi Lolly and all rads side effect ladies.........
Keep getting lost on these threads...put my update on a different one duh!
My consultant told me the painful ribs are definitely a side effect from rads. The swelling, lumpiness and redness of the breast is to do with trapped fluid. Was told that we react in different ways to the treatment....hence some ladies having these problems and some getting bad burns. I did have 30 treatments. Was advised to try going bra less as often as I could and that does seem to help although not practical all the time.
They have asked me to go back on 1 June (8 weeks after I last went) and have always said any real worries to contact them sooner. At least they are keeping an eye on it.
Best wishes to you all from Judy x
Just wondering how everyones rib pain is?
Judyw - what did your consultant say?
Im finding that my on/off rib pain is now around the side as well as the front, which makes it harder to lye on that side. BCN says normal part of rads but will check with onc in June.
Oh my god...am I happy I found you ladies!
I have been beside myself for the last couple of days with the tenderness on my mx side around the rib cage. I seem to be suffering with really tender skin more than pain...I feel like I have been kicked by a horse!
Finished rads 2 weeks ago today and am hoping this this is the cause of the discomfort - my mind has been going mad as I'm sure you will understand. Had a bone scan and CT scan October last year which were all fine but still can't help worrying.
Yep painful ribs here too, finished rads early Jan and my discomfort is all over but can change from day to day. I have found my very last ribs around my back to be the worst at times and I was not even zapped there! Also like Judy I cannot sleep that side just too uncomfortable. Does this last forever?
Another rib pain sufferer with swelling and hardness still too. I see my consultant next Friday and will be bringing all my worries up then. I finished my rads last August and the pain seems to be worsening. I can no longer sleep on that side.
Would be great to hear from someone who has found it does go away eventually 🙂
Hi there, I also have struggled with painful ribs and was told that it is down to the rads.I still suffer now and its 18 months since i finished the treatment but i have had 2 reconstruction ops in the past 6 months so im putting it down to that now!
I read somewhere that the radiation can make the ribs brittle and can cause long term damage. I do always think that these things do need checking out though if not to put your mind to rest.
Take care Helenxx
Its strange to see your post as I have had quite painful, bruised ribs which really hurt when I lay on my side, for the past couple of days - and it is 2 years since finishing rads!! Still hurts a bit today but not half as much. I havent done anything which could have caused this out of the blue - havnt coughed for example - so have no explanation but like you I have seen topics on rib pain here but didnt think I could have it so long afterwards?
I had 4 wks of rads a year ago, and for a few months I have been getting a bruised pain on the rib where my bra sits. My bcn said that its normal and its an after effect of the rads. The pain tends to come and go. The last couple of days I have had ALL the ribs on that side feeling bruised and sore to touch. The very bottom rib seem too low to have been zapped with rads? I know there have been some topics on rib pain, but has anyone had/got where ALL the ribs on the rads side feel bruised?
Thanks in advance