Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-02-2017

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?

Member
Posts: 105
Registered: ‎08-05-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Thanks for the posts on this thread. I had an MX last June and had radiotherapy before Christmas. Have had rib pain for a long time and had X-rays a while ago, thankfully all clear. The rib pain has recently been worse but Drs I saw for follow ups in both radiotherapy and breast surgeon weren't worried. It seems to have calmed down a bit now so I'm hoping all will be well. I seem to go from one ache to the next - my ANC arm is sore today so I'm panicking it's the start of lymphodema! How I long for my carefree days pre diagnosis. 

soi
Member
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎01-05-2012

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I'm the same with rib pain. Had recurrence in 2015 after mastectomy in 2011  They had to go back in as lump was on the scarring. I've had lots of pain on my bone and ribs.  I find it my bra to tight it agribates it as there is no cushioning left..

Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎25-01-2013

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I had radiotherapy in Jan/Feb 2013 after lumpectomy and chemo. My breast and ribs have always been sore and painful and I understand just where you're coming from when you mentioned you're son accidentally hurting you. My grandchildren love to snuggle up on the sofa with me but often catch me with their bony little elbows as they wriggle to get comfortable! The pain is unbelievable! My oncologist and the doctors at the breast unit have told me repeatedly that if I still have pain, then I probably always will!! Wonderful! Still it's a small price to pay at the end of the day. 

Member
Posts: 325
Registered: ‎01-01-2010

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Anne North, your experience sounds very similar to mine. My lumpectomy was at the front of my left breast and it's left a huge crater. Yes, i was offered a fat transfer operation to fill it out, as they tell me the pain is because the chest wall is no longer cushioned. But I too, chickened out of any more surgery. I can live with the scarring and now the fact one nipple is higher than the other, that is the hardest to cope with especially in summer t-shirts, i can live with the discomfort, i can live with the awfully larger-than-they-should-be tattoos of black ink placed on me by a novice at radiotherapy planning, i can and will cope with it because without all this i would no longer be alive at this present time !!!!

 

xxxxxx

Member
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎20-02-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi Egret

I had wle in Feb last year, followed by chemo & finished rads in Aug. I also have rib pain on the affected side - my oncologist who is very sympathetic, sent me for a bone scan to put mind mind at rest - thankfully it was clear, as he reassured me it would be.

He explained that radiotherapy causes inflammation to the covering of the ribs which causes the pain as it is repairing the damage - it can last for many many months.

Knowing I have the same aches/pains followed by a clear bone scan, I'm hoping this can lessen your worries Smiley Happy

Loolyboo xxx
Member
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎08-02-2015

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi Charys and Anita,
Thank you for your posting. Since I found this thread and read that my experience was shared by others, my family said I was back to my old self - and a lot more positive. I didn't realise how much fear, not knowing and imagining the worse and isolation impacted on me. So thank you again. The rads were difficult to deliver, because the bc area was directly above the heart. I was warned that my lungs would be slightly scarred but apparently the heart is very tough. I held my breath (special device) to avoid damage to my heart. No one told me about the ribs.

With anastrozole I have been prescribed calcium tablets with vitamin D. My daughter suggested Epsom salt bath to get magnesium through the skin. Magnesium, she said, helps the absorption of calcium. Perhaps I should take glucosamine for the cartilage too?
Member
Posts: 259
Registered: ‎19-02-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Thank you Charys for directing me to this thread. I had radiotherapy June/July last year & have since experienced rib pain especially after exercising. Like many have said I too have been worried that it was something more sinister as it seems to be getting worse not better. But at least we can reassure each other that it seems to be normal. I did ask the oncologist at my follow up in September & he said depending where the radiotherapy was directed, it can hit the ribs & in extreme cases cause breaks. The only suggestion he had was take painkillers which he would prescribe if I wanted, but I didn't really want to be on painkillers unless it became unbearable which for me it isn't most days. I also get pain at breast bone & collarbone occasionally as I had radiotherapy there, too. But it is worrying when you keep getting aches & pains that don't seem to be improving. At least we have this forum to be able to reassure each other.

Community Champion
Posts: 1,601
Registered: ‎30-03-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I'm not entirely sure what causes it Egret, but was wondering if it wasn't the ribs as such but the cartilage inbetween that had sustained some damage? I gather the rt can also make bones thinner and more brittle, which can be the cause of pain.

Member
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎08-02-2015

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I had a lumpectomy followed by 6 months chemo and 4 weeks radio (Oct 2015). I had ribs pain for sometimes but am too afraid to ask. It is now Jan 2017 and I have episodes of panic thinking the worse. Does anyone know why the ribs pain? What causes it? I keep changing bras, or not wearing them, but nothing works.
Community Champion
Posts: 1,601
Registered: ‎30-03-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

I too am glad to find this thread! My surgery and rads boosters were high on my chest (In April last year), literally where my breast tissue and ribs meet. I have a fair amount of pain, and it has been worrying me (of course...the obvious.....has 'it' gone to my bones?! Pressing or touching areas below the collar bone hurt....almost like deep bruising.  I would also say that definitely the muscles that go across the top of the chest to the shoulder are also affected and hurt. So, I guess these are the 'long term' rt effects. I don't have anything helpful to add really, just wanted to say we are all 'not alone'.

Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎13-01-2017

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

[ Edited ]

Trudy2010 - I was so reassured to read your post.  I had a lumpectomy followed by radiotherepy in June 2010, and this is a fairly new  on and off pain for me.  I too think sometimes its secondaries in my bones,  but doctors  have assured me it isnt. 

Last year I was supposed to go for Lipomodelling to take fat from my stomach  (yay)  to pump it into my small crevice in my left breast,  but also to cushion my ribs.

I actually chickened out of the operation as I was scared to go under the anesthetic,  and I can live witht eh indentation in my breast.....But I really should have gone,  to have the rib cushioning if nothing else. 

I am thinking of going back to my doctor to request it again if they will do it.  

Was this something that you was offered?  

Last night in bed I felt as if I had been kicked in the ribs,  and this morning the pain is dull but still there,  and my breast is sore. And my left arm feels very weak....and until reading posts below I had never connected the two things,  but it seems pretty normal,  even though its awful.  

Worst thing is,  I have a male boss,  and as much as I'd love to go home and relax.... I don't feel like I can ask to go home ,  cos he always wants to know why,  and I dont feel like explaining.  

Underwired bras are no longer in my underwear drawer!  

7 years on I would have hoped that I could try and forget that terrible Breast Cancer time in my life,  but it's always there to remind me one way or another.  

Community Champion
Posts: 412
Registered: ‎31-07-2015

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

So pleased to find this thread. I'm 10 months post rads and the pain in my ribs is not improving. I find not wearing a bra helps as it's on the bra line. Unfortunately no bra doesn't help the seroma. I'm very thankful that it's not all the time, usually if I'm sitting but more often if I slouch. The rib line feels permanently bruised. I don't want to take any medication so any alternatives would be wonderful.   xx

Member
Posts: 325
Registered: ‎01-01-2010

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Rib pains ! My radiotherapy was in august 2011. I'm sure my boob is still shrinking gradually, and just wearing a bra hurts my ribs under my boob. Ive added 2 sizes bigger for my bra cos i cant stand the pressure of them anymore, and i dont wear one usually. I was convinced I was getting secondaries in my ribs cos this particular area is a new pain, but Ive just had a check up and nothing was felt. I didnt thank the BCN for pressing there though, it makes me feel sick. My poor hubby has learnt never to touch that side of me ! My teenage son (in jest) pushed me backwards the other week, his hand placed on the top of my left chest just below the collar bone. The instant pain floored me and I couldnt even catch my breath for a minute. I cant even lift heavy or bulky objects if they have to be supported against me as i carry them, it is just too tender.

 

And Dellashay, yes, wherever we go, take God with us, as He is before us in everything and has certainly walked this path with me.

 

xx

Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎07-01-2017

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hello, I have rib pain that just started. I finished my RD April 2016, I was worried until I started reading what everyone is saying ,sure made me feel better, I do see my oncologists on 1-27-17 just to make sure everything is ok, just like you should do for that lump you found, trust, I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, BUT GO NOW, AND TAKE GOD WITH YOU .
Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎31-08-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

The rib pain and lumps seem to be normal after everything.  I had a bad fall afterwards too, broke my leg, tore things in my shoulder on the non breast cancer side and really hurtmy ribs on the breast cancer side.  Have not had xrays of the ribs but they were very painful for a few weeks.  Kept getting flareups of the rib pain and lots of swelling above and below the breast.

 I am 9 months post wide area exision and 5 months post radiotherapy and my breast just has a huge hard triangular lump of scar tissue that takes up whatever breast that is left.  am

Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎15-08-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi

 

I had breast cancer 11 months ago. I had WLE and lymph node removal for invasive breast cancer. Since I finished radiotherapy end of November I have had rib pain. I mentioned to the oncologist who informed me that it was nothing to do with radiotherapy or surgery. I spoke to my breast consultant who informed me that 90 % of women present with rib pain. I am taking naproxen for pain relief.  I recently had a ct scan which included my ribs and the all clear was given so I know there is nothing untoward. I also have lumps in my right breast from surgery and have been informed that this is from surgery and radiotherapy and can take up to 12 months post radiotherapy for any improvements to be seen. I have been informed mine has gone slightly better but the chances of the lumps going is slim, but this is a small price to pay.

 

Just thought I would add my experience as I know reading other people's helps me 

Member
Posts: 85
Registered: ‎12-01-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

[ Edited ]

Hey Everyone,

 

My rads treatment finished end of Feb and I am still suffering from the discomfort of WLE for DCIS. Unfortunately about three months after the rads finished, I fell on the stairs at work and aggravated my right arm and bruised it. This aggravated my breast area where the op was done and so I think my current pain and discomfort is due to this added action. 

My right breast is still lumpy and painful in parts and I just wonder whether this is normal? I had a open forum meeting which is given at my local hospital, once signed off active treatment and after rads finished and the BCN said that it is par for the course to be in relative discomfort for at least 18 months or more.  I often have pain in my back, rib area, right arm, underneath the breast area/top side of the ribs and at one point, I could not even rest on my right side in bed come nightime. It was so excruciatingly painful and too uncomfortable.

I am endeavouring to  monitor my body and feel for any abnormalities but with lumpy post operative tissue, it is difficult to know if the lumps felt are actually the lumps of the op alone.  

Just wanted to add my experience to the forum.

 

 

AC 

Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-07-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi

Have just woken up this morning, again with pain across my ribs, and also tenderness in my breast and 'awareness' in my right arm and had a light-bulb moment. RADIOTHERAPY! POST BREAST CANCER!

I had a lumpectomy and radiotherapy last year. 

Of course, what I have read here all ties in. I didn't Google when I was diagnosed or receiving treatment and have been scared stupid for the last three weeks. I had a heart attack six years ago and thought, 'That's it, it's my heart.' 

I'm going to contact my post-op care nurse @ Barts on Monday but, in the meantime, thank you all for being here. The explanations I have read sound reassuring.

Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎24-05-2016

Re: Rib Pain from Radiotherapy?

Hi,

 

I just joined the group after searching the internet for rib pain after rads and I am 4 years out and started having rib pain.  I have it and it seems to have gotten worse from losing some weight too.  I started getting pain in my breast too, where the internal cutting took place.  He went in from the side to get the tumor out.  My arm and shoulder hurt too.  I'm afraid to check with my oncologist because I don't want them thinking it came back or anything like that....no fun at all.