I have had rib pain, cramps & muscle spasms for years. My breast cancer was found in 2009. Finished radiation in 2010 & tamoxifen in 2015. I reapeatedly complained to doctors about this pain. None seemed concerned. 2 years ago a growth was seen in my lungs. The growth is not cancer. After pet scan & lung biopsy 2 more growths were found on my ribs which caused them to fracture. I am now in a wheelchair soon to be on oxygen. More growths have been found in my lungs. Diagnosed as radiation induced pulmonary fibrosis. All the growths are radiation induced. They do not reduce in size. There are some medications to slow the growths but the side effects don't sound too pleasant. I urge you to request a CT scan with contrast.
I would love some help and advice on this too.
I have been experiencing rib pain for the last fews and radiotherapy finished in November. I have an appointment to see the breast care team but it's not for another 3 weeks. The pain has just been getting worse. Paracetamol and ibuprofen don't work. I am having to use codeine. Getting worried about it and not sure I can wait 3 weeks.
Hi everyone with tender ribs, I had right lumpectomy ,lymph node sampling and 3 weeks radiotherapy and 5 years tamoxifen 13 years ago
My rib under my right boob has been sore ever since, almost feels like ' stitch' some days, it's irritated by some underwired bras so tend to opt for soft bras or tight fitting vests . Ibuprofen does relieve soreness but don't like taking this too regularly.
I remember my oncologist telling me it was a normal thing and may go on for many years of forever.
Last week I had a recall appointment from 3 yearly mammogram and spent a week in absolute terror waiting for the appointment, imagining the worst, thankfully it was scar tissue changes , I had a ultrasound scan as well as repeat mammogram and examination by consultant and he said rib pain was not unexpected after radiotherapy.
Hope this helps ,many hugs ,
I've had problems accessing the Forum so sorry for the late reply.
So glad you're getting some information. Hope it's something simple for you too - however irritating it is to have the pain or discomfort!
Sending warm hugs and thoughts.
June (aka Small Pickles)
Thank you so much for taking the time to post a reply. I completed a Holistic Needs Form the other day and mentioned about the rib tenderness on that, so I await the response of the BCN and will chase it up if necessary.
Sending you big hugs,
Hello all of us "tender ribbers".
I had my treatment 5 years ago last April and reconstruction almost 3 years ago and am on Tamoxifen for 10 years. I also suffer from rib/ scar tissue pain on my lumpectomy/rads side. It is worth talking to your breast nurse about.
When it first started to hurt, a couple of years ago, I of course imagined the worst - like you do - and the clinic took it very seriously and I was sent for a bone scan just to check that all was well. Luckily it was! It seems to be being caused by nerve damage and scar tissue - the nerves try to knit together and it can cause problems for months or even years after our major surgery. Not everyone gets it but some do.
Anyway, the first step is to contact your BCN and get it checked, then you can move forward from there.
Sending hugs to everyone "Moving Forward." xxx
Forgive me for being stupid, but I have been reading about costochondritis on the NHS website and have noticed they talk about "inflammation of the cartilage that joins your ribs to the breastbone." I have occasional tenderness on the side of treatment below the breast, and sometimes behind it on the ribs at the back. Would this are be included in the desription given? Would it all connect to the breastbone?
Thank you so much for taking the time to post such an informative reply. It is great to hear from someone who has "been there" share their experience.
I will certainly follow up what you have said.
Sending you big hugs, Louise X
I'm so pleased you discovered this thread and wish you well with your recovery.
Sending you big hugs, Louise X
You don't know how glad I am to read I'm not alone. I've been having pains in my ribs on the side I had my rads. It comes and goes, not there all the time. I didn't have this immediately after my rads back in Feb. My boob also occasionally feels a little warm. No lumps or anything and it's only affected my ribs on the front and not the back. I did read before that it could years before the extent of the rads damage will show. I'm just hoping my heart holds up because treatment was on the left.
Hello people with tender ribs
My breast cancer diagnosis and treatment was 15 years ago. I had a radical mastectomy with breast and muscle tissue removed, but no radiotherapy or chemotherapy or ongoing drug treatment. I have always had tender ribs and about 8 years ago my breast care nurse noticed lumps on my scar area and all over my ribs, front and back. After various tests and chest x-ray I was diagnosed with 'costochondritis' and was told that this is quite common post breast surgery. It doesn't mean that your cancer has come back or spread, it is an inflammatory condition that affects the ribs and tissues, and is common after any surgery involving the chest such as a lumpectomy, mastectomy, heart surgery etc. I still have this condition and I still worry sometimes that it has developed into something more serious, but my advice to myself and everyone is always get things checked out by your breast clinic. It's normal to be concerned about any health issues after a breast cancer diagnosis but I try to think positively about those concerns now because it means that I'm more aware and always get things checked out.
By offering this information, I'm saying that it's possible that you could have costochondritis and you should definitely get a diagnosis.
Hope that helps!
I'm sorry to read you have been having similar problems to me. Yes, like you, I too have had the rib pain on the same side of treatment, both at the front and back. It's not a constant pain - it comes and goes - but makes a person worry.
I hope we receive a reply soon and wish you well.
Take care, sending you big hugs,
I'm so glad you posted this as I am 4 months post radiotherapy and have had an almost identical treatment to yourself so far, and now have several tender areas on my ribs, both front under boob and back but in the same place. Like you I didn't notice this during or immediately after rads, it seems to have crept up on me and is slightly worrying. I had a cough immediately after rads finished although that got a little better but is also now back again, my head is awash with bad thoughts at present! Mine doesn't require pain relief and just recently I have noticed itching so do wonder if it is radiotherapy damage
Hope someone else has an answer!
I have checked out other posts regarding rib pain following radiotherapy, as I have been experiencing rib tenderness more so now than when I finished a month of radiotherapy back in February. I finished a year of Herceptin exactly a month ago and had FEC-T chemotherapy previously. I have been taking Tamoxifen since last December after a lumpectomy and another op to get clear margins. I didn't seem to have this when I initially finished the rads. The aching does seem to respond to painkillers and Ibuprofen gel. Just seeking further advice/reassurance.