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All TopicsForum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Radiation Reaction Under Arm

Topic: Radiation Reaction Under Arm

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After — What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Jun 15, 2010 02:16PM - edited Jun 15, 2010 02:17PM by cowgal

cowgal wrote:

I have had a mastectomy on the left side and have undergone 10 radiation treatments so far.  When the doctor and his nurse checked on me yesterday to see how I was doing with the radiation, they indicated that they would need to keep a close eye on an area under my arm that was getting irritated.  The nurse said I might have to stop wearing a bra.  I've been wearing soft 100% cotton sports bras that close in the front and they are not super tight.  I am really too large chested to let my remaining breast hang freely all day.  Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? 

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Jun 15, 2010 02:37PM pj12 wrote:

You might not find this satisfactory but I bought some tight but stretchy sleeveless t-shirts to wear under button up shirts. They did not offer any lift at alll but kind of squashed things down tightly so there was not a lot of jiggle. They were more form fitting than I would ever wear out in public. My radiation was in the summer too so layering up was not so great. At home I would remove the outer shirt but kept it handy in case someone came to the door.

Good luck!


"Nobody told me there'd be days like this ~ Strange days, Indeed. " John Lennon................... Treatment: Lumpectomy, 36 Radiation, Arimidex, now Tamoxifen Dx 3/3/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2010 03:24PM 3monstmama wrote:

I suspect they told you because as rads go on, that part of your arm can become irritated no matter how much stuff you put on it. 

My Zap nurse said to keep as much air circulating as possible and even suggested putting a thin cotton cloth--like a hanky--between my arm and my chest and my boob and my chest [the overhang part].  This was to keep the area dry and moisture free. I ditched my bras from the first day of rads until a month post-rads.  I bought 2 packs of Hanes men's undershirts and wore those under everything and just around the house.  As pam said, not much support but at least no bouncing plus it kept all the lotions off my shirts. To make them slightly less noticeable, i tore off the necks/collars.  Eventually, as we got near the end of rads, my underarm area was more sensitive and I ended up tearing off the ends of the sleeves as well to make them looser.  Ultimately, I wore them inside out because the seams were rubbing and it really hurt.  Honestly, I can't imagine how women manage to wear a bra all through Zaps.  i couldn't have done it.

I came through Zaps quite well with minimal blistering and a month after I was done, there was no sign of the experience.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
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Jun 15, 2010 03:36PM CTMOM1234 wrote:

I, too, just wore a tight t-shirt and button-up shirt. It definitely didn't give me the same support as a C-cup bra, but the bra rubbing pain just became too much and I had to do it. My scar is partly under the fold, and did experience some blistering in the last week of zaps and for about 2 weeks after being done to the point where even the lightest cloth touching was a problem -- and the only thing that helped was to go au natural after everyone went to sleep and just "air it out."

But it was only a moment in time. I was back to bra-wearing within 3 weeks of last zap, and now I really love wearing a bra!!!

When I grow up I want to be an old woman. Jan'10 lump.grade 2 DCIS;SURPRISE1.75mm grade 2 idc in path report,stage 1a; Jan'10 snb 0/3 nodes; 3-4/10 rads: 25 full+5 boosts prone position, stickers/no tats; 5/10 declined tamox. 7/17:I'm doing fine. Dx 11/1/2009, ER+/PR+
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Jun 17, 2010 08:47PM cowgal wrote:

Thanks for the advice one and all.  I truly appreciate it! Smile
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Jul 2, 2010 10:44PM Bethie1 wrote:

I actually wore a loose T-shirt, and a sports bra semi-loose, but tight enough to hold remaining breast up as I had mastectomy.  The trick because I also had rads, and skin was severely broken down, my sister had me put cotton stuffing in sports bra.  Also, at night when I was at her house or home, I'd take bra off and let remaining one fly free just for that necessary break

Dx 12/18/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 5/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+

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