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Topic: chest pain after radiation?

Forum: Stage III Breast Cancer — You are not alone. Meet others who have Stage III breast cancer.

Posted on: Mar 10, 2009 02:29PM

LittleFlower wrote:

Quick question for all you gals who had rads.....

It seems like i feel some pain in the upper right chest area, where i had rads.  There was some irratation to that area on my last CT (which was 2007) but then a f/u showed that it had improved.  Now i'm feeling some pain in that area.  Rads were in 2007.. could this be from treatment? about 2 years later?

Help, I'm scared! 

LittleFlower

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Posts 1 - 27 (27 total)

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Mar 10, 2009 10:44PM maryannecb wrote:

I still have pain on my rad side. but if this pain is different or new...see your doc...best to figure it out.

Fists up!

Dx 9/20/2005, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 2/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 11, 2009 02:45AM Bugs wrote:

I still have pain on that side, too.  But, it never hurts to get it checked out. Peace of mind is a good thing.

Dx 2/1/2006, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 3/16 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 11, 2009 09:44AM SpunkyGirl wrote:

I have it, too.  I didn't have it for a while, and then I started having it periodically.  I never paid attention to whether it could be environmental factors, etc.  I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one!Smile

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."

Dx 9/4/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 8/20 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 11, 2009 09:57AM, edited Mar 11, 2009 09:58AM by 1Cathi

Hi Little Flower,

While I am not Stage 3,  your post caught my eye. I had rads in 06 (33 treatments - Left breast), the rads covered wide area of my left side because of ILC and wide spread ILCS,  for some reason this year I developed cold after cold after cold,  the last one turning into Pneumonia and I spent time in hospital and on 02 there and at home, turns out I have damage to upper lobe of my left lung from rads (fibrosis) and now being followed by a lung specialist, anyway, nothing ever showed up until almost 3 years later, I always thought I noticed heavyness or slight pain in chest/ling area, but never gave it much thought or concern until all the colds started, just a thought.

Wishing you well.

Cancer may cause my death. But it WILL NOT take my life. **** Bilat Mastectomy 10/17/08 No Recon

Dx 6/25/2006, ILC
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Mar 11, 2009 01:18PM LittleFlower wrote:

Wow,

It's amazing that i'm not the only one, sometimes i think my symptoms are just in my head.. except this pain was is definitely there, on and off through the day.  I do feel that it has spread to my back Sherri just like you explained.  I'll have to google that-- thanks!

And Cathi, last year at this time i was also at the hospital because of pain to my chest... early pneumonia is what the dx was.  Seems like since rads which was 3 years ago, i have something irritating my lungs in the spring. 

Whew, never a dull moment with breast cancer.... during treatment and well beyond.

Thanks for ALL your responses!

Dx 6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 4/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 11, 2009 01:33PM 1Cathi wrote:

LittleFlower, the irritation very well oculd be the pollen, caused by possible lung damage from rads.  Do some deep breathing on a regular daily basis,   I was given instructions from the specialist and Res therepist,  deep breath in hold as long as possible blow out,  right now I am off 02 and thus far have been able to avoid steroids to keep the lungs moist.  If your lungs are "drying" it is very easy for "junk" to get "stuck" in there and cause problems.

I never had any lung issues before rads ( I had not had a cold in years) and my only lung issues now our the left side (rads side),  It is a price I have to pay to stay alive,  just kind of stinks.

Cancer may cause my death. But it WILL NOT take my life. **** Bilat Mastectomy 10/17/08 No Recon

Dx 6/25/2006, ILC
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Mar 11, 2009 06:26PM diana50 wrote:

this is a great thread.  i am 7 years out (TAC, rads< arimidex) and around year 4 started having problems with my ribs and lung on radiated side.  this last year i ended up with four broken ribs....ribs 2,3,4,and 5. two of which were displaced fractures..in which one ended up puncturing my lung resulting in a partially collapsed lung.,  my oncologist really worked at it making sure no cancer was involved...(which it wasn't) however, there has been extensive damage to ribs on radiated side and lung tissue.  grateful the problems weren't cancer; however...really did struggle with the rib problem.  no one can really give me an explanation; however, radiation can be very damaging to tissue.  apparently, many women have no problems with it....and a few have some problems..and a smaller few have really major issues.  i am healed up now so it isn;t bothering me but i have learned...over time....that stuff can happen after really aggressive tx in the long run. women are living longer and longer....and maybe the side effects show up later on.  i don't know. 

hang in warriors***

diana50

Courage is being scared to death...but saddling up anyway...John Wayne..

Dx 2/26/2002, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 10/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 8/30/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 03/04/2002 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 04/03/2002 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxotereRadiation Therapy 08/06/2002 ExternalHormonal Therapy 08/10/2002 ArimidexRadiation Therapy 10/02/2012 ExternalHormonal Therapy 10/15/2012 Femara
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Mar 12, 2009 08:24AM Alyson wrote:

It is rather reassuring to hear that others have chest pain. I am 18 months out from radiation and get quite a lot of pain. Talked to my onc who sent me for a scan, nothing showed other than lympheodema in the area. He said the pain would be from the radiation as I had very high dose radiation. I know the muscles over the chest area are fried - according to the physiotherapist but it is the area where I can feel my ribs that really aches. I had a radical mastectomy.

Must go and sort out my house as We had carpet laid yesterday and everything had to be shifted, now it has to go back.

Alyson

If you are sent down a stony path God will give you strong shoes

Dx 12/19/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 2, 23/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 01/19/2007 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 02/23/2007 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracil, TaxolRadiation Therapy 08/10/2007 ExternalHormonal Therapy 08/10/2007 Femara
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Mar 12, 2009 02:23PM LittleFlower wrote:

well i placed a call to my onc's office today.  Hopefully will talk with someone about this tomorrow.  Just want to get it checked out... it's basically a fullness/ pain in the upper right lobe of my lung, and also my neck/shoulder area right behind that area feels tight and tender to touch (almost like how my hand feels when it's swollen)

So i'll keep you all posted!

Dx 6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 4/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 12, 2009 04:04PM wallan wrote:

Hi there:

    Sorry to hear about your pain. Its a bummer!

I am 5 years out this month, and i still have chest/rib pain on my radiation side. I am relieved I am not the only one and that the pain is probably from inflamed tissue. I notice it does get worse when I am under stress or the weather changes. In fact, this past week, it has really been bothering me.. I now have a wicked cold. So I think my pain was triggered by the virus.

Just another joy of breast cancer .......

Wendy A 

Dx 3/29/2004, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 2/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2009 04:42PM vivre wrote:

It is amazing how often this keeps coming up, yet doctors do not tell us what is going on. I actually had  chest pain for years before my dx. I had all kinds of tests and they could not find anything. Then I went through all the bc stuff, and decided to ask a chiro about my pain(which was still there) and he said it was costalcondritis just as Sherry says. It is very common in women and a side effect of infection, radiation, injury, etc. I had kept telling my doctors that I think it had something to do with inhaling a cleaning agent, that left my lungs burned for months. Maybe this chemical even led to the bc?  My chiro is able to treat it with deep tissue massage and ultrasound. The pain goes away when I get a few treatments, but then comes back with stress or bad weather, just like Wendy. I really need to be more diligent about treatments because it does affect my breathing and inhibits my rib cage from expanding. It just really makes me mad that I went through all kinds of expensive tests before a chiro figured it out.

Try massaging it yourself by pressing on the tissue between the ribs. It might be sore at first, but the massage will break up the tissue and that is what is needed.

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Mar 13, 2009 12:12PM LittleFlower wrote:

Hey all, got a CT scheduled for next Friday.......until then we'll try to keep sane Undecided
Dx 6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 4/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 25, 2009 02:08PM LittleFlower wrote:

just wanted to update all...

had scans chest/neck last week (CT) and got results today... ALL CLEAR!  whew

doc thinks maybe a little radiation pneumonitis that flares up.. personally, i can live with a little of that every spring!  a small moment of relief today, after a very stressful week.  Also, the pain in my chest has gotten about 80% better.

thanks for all the replies ladies!
littleflower

Dx 6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 4/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 25, 2009 02:14PM everyminute wrote:

Thanks for letting us know!

find "becausemarysaysso" on facebook...Long May She Run

Dx 6/5/2008, IDC, Stage IIIa, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 25, 2009 11:15PM Brenda_R wrote:

I just posted on another BCO forum about the pain I am still having 2 years after.

Tenderness around incision sites, not the incision itself. Pain in chest, breast underarm and worst right now is ribs area. I don't know how much is from rads, or the surgery, or even maybe coming from my spine (pinching nerves?) as far as the rib area. I just know it's debilitating. 

Dx 12/12/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 12/29/2006 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 01/28/2007 Adriamycin, CytoxanRadiation Therapy 05/01/2007 ExternalTargeted Therapy 07/10/2007 Herceptin
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Mar 26, 2009 12:27AM KerryMac wrote:

Thats great news, I am so relieved for you! Isn't it funny how once youy get the "all clear" the pain goes.....

Kerry - Dx Oct 2008, Stage IIIa IDC, ER/PR+ Mx, Chemo, Rads, Ooph, Arimidex, Zometa

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Mar 26, 2009 03:08AM Bugs wrote:

Littleflower that is awesome news!!  So happy for you!

Dx 2/1/2006, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 3/16 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 26, 2009 06:13AM Brenda_R wrote:

SherriG, I've been on diclofenac for years. When the rib pain flares up, the anti- inflam doesn't touch it. I may have to see the GP again, but I'm trying to wait until I see the Onc in May.

Dx 12/12/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 12/29/2006 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 01/28/2007 Adriamycin, CytoxanRadiation Therapy 05/01/2007 ExternalTargeted Therapy 07/10/2007 Herceptin
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May 13, 2011 06:19PM Torrdancer wrote:

Hi there,

I am out eleven years from diagnosis, and I have recently experience the chest/rib pain that I see many of you are talking about.  Dr says radiation causes scarring issues and the connective tissue becomes less elastic, causing the tightness and stretched feeing that I get.  Am going for mammo and ultrasound just to be sure.

Jane

Jane Marie

Dx 2000, DCIS, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 16, 2011 12:35PM, edited May 16, 2011 12:36PM by djls

There is a post that was started on one of the boards (I think it was the sugery board) on post mastectomy pain syndrome, which is more common in women who have had radiation.  It can show up immediately after surgery or even develop months or years later. It is nerve pain and can cause pain in the chest, shoulder, back of the shoulder and down the arm.  Definitley look into it.

I do have constochondritis (inflammation of the cartiledge of the rib cage).  Mine happens to have a nerve running through it and when the cariledge swells, it pinches the nerve causing nerve pain down my bottom rib, around to my back and down my back a little ways.  So, chonstochondritis can be excrutiating.  In the upper ribs (on either side of the sternum), it can easily make you feel like you have having a heart attack.  

Either condition really rots!

djls

Dx 3/9/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 17, 2011 03:46PM LittleFlower wrote:

Jane,

hope your test results are reassuring. It stinks that there's always something to worry about :(  keep us posted and hope you feel better soon.

LittleFlower 

Dx 6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 4/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 27, 2012 03:30PM LittleFlower wrote:

Hi Ladies...

well, i'm sitting here with this darn pain in my chest. Right where I had rads about 5 years ago.  I'm getting all nervous about it... start googling and HELLO, here's my post from 3 years back. haha Had to laugh at myself for not remembering the intensity of the discomfort just 3 years ago.  Still, the pain persists on occassion, and reading thses posts helped tonight.  I thought i'd post so that 1. you could all laugh at my persistent chemo brain :) and 2.  maybe some newbies to the boards can benefit from the post. 

I'll do the standard, wait then call the onc.  maybe i'll try an anti-inflamm. too to ease the pain

Big hugs to all my sisters on bco.

LittleFlower

Dx 6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 4/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 27, 2012 04:41PM kathleen1966 wrote:

I think a lot will benefit from your post.  I laughed out loud!  And good for you! I see that you are going on SIX YEARS!!! with a similar diagnosis as me.....so that made me happy to see as well!  Happy six year anniversary! 

Dx 7/26/2010, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 4/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Dx 7/26/2010, Paget's, 1cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 4/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Dx 7/26/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 4/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 08/23/2010 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection, Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 09/07/2010 carboplatin, TaxotereTargeted Therapy 09/07/2010 HerceptinRadiation Therapy 03/01/2011 External
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Jun 28, 2012 07:57AM LittleFlower wrote:

Thanks Kathleen!  Yes, It was 6/26/06 when I had my bilateral mastectomy.  Then 7/27/06 when I started chemo... chemo brain can't erase those dates.  Hey, You really are my bc sister... down to the node!  But i got you beat on tumor size ;-)

Take care!

Dx 6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 4/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 28, 2012 07:59AM LittleFlower wrote:

and just for the record, i took some ibuprofen last night, this am, NO PAIN.  My theory is that it might be related to poor air quality conditions + rad damage.??? glad the pain is gone for today! one day at a time

LittleFlower

Dx 6/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 4/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 28, 2012 11:47AM SpunkyGirl wrote:

LittleFlower,

I'm glad you reposted about this, because after six years (did I say SIX??? woo hoo!!!!) I still get that pain off and on and sometimes it really bothers me. Next time, I'll just reach for the ibuprofen.

Peace,
Bobbie

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."

Dx 9/4/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 8/20 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 29, 2012 04:14AM lkc wrote:

Hey there Little flower. Good to see you! I still have occasional pain on my rad side. It's not too bad.It's all the residuals form my surgery and the rad tx.  I take advil and that does the trick. Ibuprophen is also a great  med for us HER2 gals!

Linda K dx'd May 05 Stage IIIC erpr-, her pos, 12 pos nodes