I didn’t realise this was a side effect of treatment I had radiotherapy about 2 months ago and for the past couple of weeks I’ve had intermittent twinges and fluttering in my right ribs it’s not all the time but enough to make me feel distressed by everything that’s happened this year Glad I found this thread my breast specialist nurse told me the other day about this side effect and so did another nurse specialist I’ve been worrying myself sick over it 😢😢
Hi Lolly, I'm having similar issues. Mainly with one rib in particular. I was told it is permanent. I get multiple rib pain occasionally as well. It will be interesting to hear what my Doctor says tomorrow. I finished my radiotherapy in March 20. Wishing you well, take care of yourself.
Yes it came on a year or so after the rads ended. It was mild but not often. More recently it is much less
often but the pain can be greater and takes my breath away at times but it passes.
I think it is going away finally . Depends on the individual
Hi cazcan. Your sure not imagining the pain and like you say thankfully it is not 24/7 and same here but it can drag you down. Radiotherapy is damaging and Ian sure we are aware of that but it is that bib and brace so to speak which is our final part of active Treatment and we get of that rollercoaster and start the next pArt of the journey. I am on anastrozole 5 years due to age and post menapausal. Not the best of drugs I have to say. Lots of leg pain joint pain weight gain. Oh the joys hey! I have 3 more years and keep telling myself better the devil you know than the one you don’t. I keep in touch with bcn and still on 6 month onc appointments. I do try not to take painkillers but sometimes I have to. Just keep in touch with everbody I your circle as there usually is something than can be done. Have a lovely Sunday and take care.
Thanks Gill. So pleased to know that I am not imagining the pain. Just sad to know so many of us are putting up with this while GPs still deny that it could be an ongoing effect from cancer treatment. It’s not stopping me from doing anything, I would just like my GP to acknowledge it and stop telling me it’s because I am overweight! Another problem caused by the treatment (the Arimidex) but she won’t accept that reason either. I only have 2 more years (out of 10) to go on the Arimidex. I am hoping my world improves after that.
Well ladies one thing for sure I hope my thread makes you smile. I have posted before checking
ha ha what is this below. Arm pit best nose scar!!!!!! Oh dear 😂😂
I have damame to ribs, chest wall, arm pit best nose scar
it should say damage to ribs chest wall arm pit besides node scar.
Hello all you lovely ladies. Hope all is going well and ..... maybe always yeah I’m ok but....... I was just scrolling through the forum as been away for a while getting my head around things, moving forward, reflecting etc etc. I am just 2 years post surgery, and 20 rads plus 5 boosters. And just reading a few of these threads and all so familiar and still is 2 year on. Rads does damage your ribs without doubt I was left sided and breath hold and sailed through rads no problems at all. Spent a lot of time of this forum as seemed to be a lifeline at the time and got to know lots of ladies and a group who still chat to this day on WhatsApp. I have damame to ribs, chest wall, arm pit best nose scar. Rib pain is awful and so damn uncomfortable. I feel for you ladies and been there done it and would love to say got the t-shirt Yes I have and still wearing it. Think it’s o e of those things that may never go away completely. I have been back and forth to my consultant and bcn many times and they said to try ibruprofen gel. Not tablet and tab not to good for you but of course that is choice. I tried the gel along with paracetamol and it seems to work. These days just the gel. All over boob, shoulder, and back almost like an oblong around the Area and on ribs specially just wear bra sits. Unfortunately I am well endoud on the boobage front so a good bra is essential but can be u comfortable at time. Well I am rambling but may be worth a try for you ladies and just giving my story. Take care all xx.
Like everyone else, I'm grateful to read this thread and troubled by the lack of good solutions.
I have stabbing pain around the incision and tumor area, pain on my ribs underneath my right breast, swelling all over from shoulder to hip, decreased range of motion, semi-permanent cramp of muscle next to my spine, and a crunchy/clicky feeling when I move certain ways which I’m guessing is a fractured rib. During the lumpectomy, my chest wall was nicked because the tumor was so close so I’m sure the radiation was equally as “close” if not more.
My surgeon just keeps telling me to stretch, stretch, stretch. I've found if I do the prescribed stretching it offers some relief, however, YOGA has taken on a whole new purpose to me! I think yoga just stretches everything from every possible angle. I was starting to find that if I went a week or more without doing it (even if it's just a 30 min class online) the pain was significantly worse. With this increased incentive to do more yoga, at least the rest of my body gets some benefits too. Two weeks ago, I stumbled on the most incredible massage therapist ever!!!! I had a 90 min massage focusing on these affected areas in particular and it has given me TREMENDOUS RELIEF and improved range of motion. I believe the techniques she used were Myo-fascial massage and Neuromuscular massage.
I will look into the infrared light therapy mentioned below as well.
That hard-vein like thing many have asked about is a condition called "cording". It usually goes away but is greatly helped by, you guessed it, stretching. I can sometimes feel that going all the way through my right hip.
Best wishes and love to all of you! You don't get through this without a bag of rocks, and this issue appears to be ours.
...I really would like to know if anyone has had a doctor give them some good advice on managing this.
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