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Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Bonnie Weber
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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!

Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi monijoy, I finished rads in Oct 16 and find I can go for a while with no pain then I suddenly stretch over to far or the wrong way and the pain is there I guess it's something we are all going to have to live with, but your right I would never have not had the treatment x
monijoy
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi there! I’m new here. I started radiation in August 2010 and finished in October of 2010. I am still suffering from rib pain. If I don’t think about the pain it’s not there. But some days it just hurts. Even if they had told me about this side effect of radiation, I still would have gone through with it.

I am thankful to have other pink sisters to chat with.

❤️ MoniJoy
zLeoKi
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I also have swelling along the ribs were I was radiated in 2008 and persistent rib pain...the pain has been a constant but the veiny swelling is new and about the size of a drink coaster. Bras are quite painful but I am large busted despite the lumpectomies and feel awkward without one.
Durante
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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).

mjackson
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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.

margatemum
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Thank you for your kind words. I thought it would get easier after a year but I am finding it so difficult at the moment. I had my first mammogram since my diagnosis last week and I had a full on meltdown. I couldn’t believe it. I have always been so resilient and practical. X
Jobey68
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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 

margatemum
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi I’m new to this site

I’ve been getting very panicky because over the past few days my ribs have become very sore and hurt when I bend over. I was so relived when I saw these posts as I thought that it may be the worst news. I had a mastectomy Jan 2017 and 15 rads stage one grade one idc and am taking tamoxife. I’m finding this journey really hard and need to move forward so every niggle and pain is another panic.

Still looking fir the new me x

Judeworth
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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

Sunny side
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi
Sorry you are having such a lot of pain hope they can sort it out for you my rib pain has gone again but I spoke to specialist nurse and rib pain can come and go but yours seems extreme I wish you well
sdianel
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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.  

Sunny side
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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

Sunny side
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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

Tralala
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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

LoriH
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hello. New to this group. I had lumpectomy and 28 rounds radiation therapy back in 2010 on left breast close to my lower arm pit and not far from the lymph node surgical site. I'v had just started Having pain under my my ribs on left side these past 7 months but find I get relief when taking off the bra and laying down. I did start a new position at work and sit down quite a bit. I notice I lean to my left and slouch on that side quite often. I have attributed the pain to bad posture. I have picked up weight yes lively tamoxifen and attributed my pain to not getting new bras. My doctor did tell me that he did take out some muscular structure which puts more strain on that side. After reading these posts my worries of what it could be has decreased. I recently had a mammo and everything is clear.
Katiewibbie
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I'm nearly 10 years post breast surgery ...lumpectomy and 25 radio .... so glad to find this forum after googling rib pain and radio ... also had cervical cancer another 25 radio chemo and brachytherapy.... don't know if that would affect my ribs though!! . I seem to strain the intercostal rib muscles and it's getting more frequent or taking less to strain my ribs. I've just bought a rib brace and fingers crossed it seems like good support. Won't wear it all the time but for riding and find it great on long car journeys or sitting for a long time. Anyone else find it's worse as the years go by? Mind you small price to pay me thinks. 🎀
Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi i to had really sore ribs i finished rads October 2016 ,the constant pain has now subsided but still get the random niggle now and then but nothing like it used to be, hope yours is better soon x
Debsx7
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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? 

Humor helps
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

My radiation oncologist at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas told my that some of us are genetically predisposed to have a painful effect from radiation which could remain or even get worse over time...ugh! They continue to evaluate the survivors of the Japanese atomic bomb all these years for answers. Someday. Hugs!
Humor helps
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I had stage IIIc so had a mastectomy as well as all lymph nodes removed under my right arm and up my neck. Had reconstruction after 18 rounds of radiation. Broke 3 ribs just turning in bed then a broken collar bone that could not be set a couple of years after that. Wearing a bra was impossible. Had my reconstructed breast and my left breast reduced as much as possible which made my plastic surgeon cry! It's been 11 years post treatment and my rib and shoulder pain is barely tolerable...also have lymphedema in my right arm. I see the sun rise everyday, saw my kids graduate from college, one got married and have a granddaughter to spoil rotten! My daughter is found a great guy to share her life with and a wedding is being mentioned. It's been so worth it living on this side of the grass! Find something to giggle about even at the worst of times ladies!
Janijan
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I still have rib pain nearly 5 years on and I've been on treatment all the time. The rib pain is iccasional, always when I'm seatef and can be relieved by lying down. I am in serious painkillers for bone mets mainly in my pelvis but this rib pain comes sharply through the painkillers.
I've bought bra extenders which have helped.
Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hope its better soon, how did they discover that xx
PEARLLUCINA
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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.

Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Sorry your not feeling to great and hope today is a bit better.rib pain due to the inflammation can be very painful at times i just try and take some ibuprofen. I find it worse when im in bed and im trying to turn round ,ive been told it will get better but can last for sometime after rads finish x
PEARLLUCINA
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I am so glad I found this site. I finished 16 days radiation on right side MARCH 27, 2017. I am still having burning peeling, tough skin etc. But now even after removing bra I have rib pains in front and my shoulder blade area. Its so bad I can't breath deep, move my arm without severe pain. Sleep is impossible. I am trying to get back to NORMAL work schedule but fatigue is hindering me. I am grateful I can pick and choose assignments. As Caregiver of seniors in their homes I can pick lighter care. I am 78 had stage 2 breast cancer lumpectomy only lost 3 lymph nodes. But I am thinking the cure is as bad as the disease. The Tamoxifen has terrible side effects. Yep I am depressed tonight. But praying better tomorrow. Prayers for all of you on this site too.
Anita
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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

Charys
Community Champion

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hiyer Rd,

Glad this thread helped you 😊 my rib pain...which I think was probably connective tissue rather than bone pain if you know what I mean...has practically gone now. I had rt last June...so maybe by your first mammo yours will be gone too. X
rdschrader
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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!!

JMB
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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.

 

Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

It seems very common Michelle sometimes it was very painful I started to feel it before I went for my first mammogram in March this year and they said it was due to the radiotherapy as it can cause a bit of inflammation but it's not to bad now thank goodness I just took some ibuprofen which did take the edge of it x
mca0617
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Kaitlyn,
I too had a lumpectomy on my right breast in June 2016, radiation (20) in Aug 2016. Have recently been experiencing rib tenderness underneath my armpit and sometimes underneath by breast. I go for a mammogram on Tuesday and was going to mention it to my doctor. Looks like it's non uncommon!
Michele
Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi kaylnf I feel your pain it can be really painful although it seems to be easing a bit now , I was told it was imflammation from rads, I finished mine in October 16 x
KaylynF
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I had a lumpectomy in June 2016 and radiation in Aug 2016 on my right breast. About a month ago (March 2017) I started having a lot of pain behind my right shoulder blade and on my frontside right under my right breast in the rib area. I was worried my Chiropractor may have fractured a rib during an adjustment. The pain was so bad that it hurt to laugh, sneeze, cough or breathe in deep. I finally went to urgent care and they took chest/rib X-rays. The doctor said she did not see any fractures. She said I probably just have inflammation and scarring in tissues around ribs due to radiation. She gave me a dose of Toradol (strong NSAID) in my backside and that took the edge off the pain. So, I guess it truly was inflammation. Now, that I am reading all these comments, I see I am not alone and this seems like a common side effect of the radiation.
Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I understand your pain katelynne it can be really painful at times I find it painful if I turn certain ways to quickly, I ve been advised it's from the radiotherapy and was told to take some ibuprofen as pain is inflammation hope this helps and let's you know your not alone lots of us have it to xx
katlynne
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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.

katlynne

Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

That's good news heatherc , pain in ribs can be really sore at times I find it's worse when I'm in bed and when I turn round it's not so bad when I'm up moving about and I find ibuprofen takes the edge of it
HeatherC
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I have rib pain too, it seems to move around. I thought it was from my Bronchiectasis (lung disease) but now I think it's probably the rads. Mine were last August, I got the all clear today thank goodness!
Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I'm also taking centrum multivitamin and osteocare for the calcium magnesium and vitamin d as told to by gp 😊
Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Yeah and mine was on my left side so I did the deep breath inhalation for the radiotherapy
Charys
Community Champion

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Ah, so that makes sense, we were both 'near the ribs' for rt and boosters.

Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi mine was right underneath just where your ribs are every pain I get I was worried about but feel a bit more at ease since having my mammogram , its bad enough going through everything without the side effects, I have a bit of peripheral neuropathy in my finger tips but it's not to nab and oncologist says it will eventually go but prescribed me amitriptyline and that has helped
Charys
Community Champion

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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 ?

Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I to had lumpectomy chemo and radiotherapy all finished on October 16 egret, and it seems to be immflamation on ribs from radiotherapy, I started taking some ibuprofen which takes the edge of it
Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Thankyou charys, I must have read the letter ten times just to make sure then cried with relief, just this rib pain although ibuprofen seems to take the edge of it thanks again 😊
Charys
Community Champion

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Great news Lane, your first after treatment? 

Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Rib pain is really painful at times , but got good news today results from my mammogram all good so happy
trudy2010
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Lori Jane,

         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.

 

Lane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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.

Lori Jane
Member

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

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?