Rib pain months after radiation stops

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Rib pain months after radiation stops

by lovey311 on Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:00 AM

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Hi, I had a lumpectomy last Jan followed by 6.5 weeks of radiation.  I am now taking Femara with the usually side effects but about 8 weeks ago I started experiencing pain under my left breast in the rib area (same side as the bc).  As a precaution my doctor sent me for a bone scan which is negative but still no diag for this pain.  Anyone out there with a similar situation?  Thanks

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by leslieSbabyboomer on Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 AM

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On 2/19/2009 lovey311 wrote:

Hi, I had a lumpectomy last Jan followed by 6.5 weeks of radiation.  I am now taking Femara with the usually side effects but about 8 weeks ago I started experiencing pain under my left breast in the rib area (same side as the bc).  As a precaution my doctor sent me for a bone scan which is negative but still no diag for this pain.  Anyone out there with a similar situation?  Thanks

Dear l311:

I also had a lumpectomy followed by 6 weeks of radiation in 2001.  I had a bone scan and it showed that I had 2 broken ribs-each with two breaks.  As far as I can tell this was due to the unintentional radiation of part of my lung.  During radiation I developed a severe cough which everyone ignored.  My family doctor was the one that ordered the scan.  We think that my ribs were weakened during the rads and the coughing caused the breaking.   I still have rib pain on that side and my current onc. says that may never go away completely.  I also was on tamoxifen for 3 years and aromasin for 4 1/2 years and have been in remission for almost 8 years now. I am very grateful for that. 

Leslie

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by chiacin on Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:00 AM

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Hello,

I too had a lumpectomy, followed by chemo and radiation.  A few months later I started having pain in my lower rib under my breast.  After complaining for months to my doctors (radiation oncologist, medical oncologist and surgeon), they sent me for a chest x-ray which showed nothing.  Finally, after 3 years of pain, my radiation oncologist was leaving for a job in another state, and she admitted to me that yes, this was a side effect of the radiation and that it would go away eventually.  I am six years past radiation, and yes, it did go away.  However, one interesting note... when I mentioned to my surgeon that the radiation oncologist told me that the pain was indeed from the radiation, the surgeon said she was surprised the RO admitted that to me.  I felt like they were keeping information from me, and caused years of needless worry.  All not to admit to a side effect???  Is this a conspiracy?  This led me to do a lot of my own research on side effects, which led me to this website.  Other side effects of radiation are thyroid problems, and bruising.  If you bump yourself on something, you could have a sore spot for months.  I hope this has helped you.  Good Luck with everything, feel better and stay healthy.

:)

 

 

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by Iwontoo on Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:00 AM

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I had DCIS and had 40+ radiation treatments.  I remember them telling me that a possible side effect from all the radiation was more brittle bones/ribs.  They said I was more prone to breaking them...My head was spinning at the time with tons of worries but I do recall thinking my football playing days were over!  Take care.  It all gets better.  I've been free and clear for 5 years.

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by aquilter on Fri Oct 23, 2009 03:49 PM

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I had a lumpectomy in 2003 followed by 6.5 weeks of radiation. At that time my oncologist said that as a result of the radiation you can have cracked or broken ribs up to 2 years after. Well it was 2 years and I was pulling weeds in my garden and it happened. After many xrays and scans having a hard time finding what was causing the pain, she sent me for a PET scan that found the 2 broken ribs. I was then told that they never heal completely. This is true because when I do certain poses in yoga I can feel them pull and I have to change position to make the pain go away. Just the other day I was leaning over tying my tennis shoes and I felt another rib crack. So it seems that this condition never goes away. Unless you really, really need the radiation, I would recommend not to have it. My cancer was a stage 1 and if I had it to do over again I would not have the radiation and just take my chances. I hope this helps others.

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by sandylee1999 on Sat Jan 07, 2012 01:43 AM

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On Feb 19, 2009 12:00 AM lovey311 wrote:

Hi, I had a lumpectomy last Jan followed by 6.5 weeks of radiation.  I am now taking Femara with the usually side effects but about 8 weeks ago I started experiencing pain under my left breast in the rib area (same side as the bc).  As a precaution my doctor sent me for a bone scan which is negative but still no diag for this pain.  Anyone out there with a similar situation?  Thanks

I had a lumpectomy in June 2010, then chemo and 35 weeks radiation. I too have rib pain under my breast, it hurts to touch it, I go back to Fox Chase next week for my second followup with the oncologist and will ask again, My gynocologist said she would never have radiation as she was in pain for years. It is just nice to know that I am not the only one with this problem! you hate to keep complaining, but it hurts when I lay a certain way or with the wrong bra on. I have found the new  Geniebras are the most comfortable. I hate not being able to wear an underwire! Well, enough of my complaining, all you want to know is that the pain is normal and then you deal with it instad of worrying.

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by aquilter on Sat Jan 07, 2012 02:12 AM

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I'm so sorry you are having the rib pain. I have questioned this for years. I had my bc surgery and radiation in 2003. I had rib pain on the left side and after many xrays and scans they found 2 cracked ribs in the back area. After conferring with my radiation oncologist I found out that the ribs never heal (due to radiation) and that this can and does happen up to 2 or more years after radiation. At this time if I turn a certain way or do certain yoga positions I will feel intense pain for a minute or so until I get out of that position and return to normal. It seems you just have to live with it. At least I know it was not the cancer that had returned. My suggestion is to have it checked further to make sure you are cancer free. It seems that this happens more than they are willing to acknowledge.

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by sandylee1999 on Sat Jan 07, 2012 02:20 AM

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thanks for the reply, my surgeon suggested an MRI so I think I will follow his advice, If the insurance company will approve it. I don't mind the pain, it isn't constant, as long as I know it is "normal", and not the cancer returning!

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by mamasan38 on Wed Jan 18, 2012 09:47 PM

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On Oct 23, 2009 3:49 PM aquilter wrote:

I had a lumpectomy in 2003 followed by 6.5 weeks of radiation. At that time my oncologist said that as a result of the radiation you can have cracked or broken ribs up to 2 years after. Well it was 2 years and I was pulling weeds in my garden and it happened. After many xrays and scans having a hard time finding what was causing the pain, she sent me for a PET scan that found the 2 broken ribs. I was then told that they never heal completely. This is true because when I do certain poses in yoga I can feel them pull and I have to change position to make the pain go away. Just the other day I was leaning over tying my tennis shoes and I felt another rib crack. So it seems that this condition never goes away. Unless you really, really need the radiation, I would recommend not to have it. My cancer was a stage 1 and if I had it to do over again I would not have the radiation and just take my chances. I hope this helps others.

my oncologist told me that pain in the breast area after radiation is typical and can last forever--off and on.  Mine has subsided quite a bit after nearly two years, but returns from time to time.

RE: Rib pain months after radiation stops

by peg52 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 01:40 PM

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On Oct 23, 2009 3:49 PM aquilter wrote:

I had a lumpectomy in 2003 followed by 6.5 weeks of radiation. At that time my oncologist said that as a result of the radiation you can have cracked or broken ribs up to 2 years after. Well it was 2 years and I was pulling weeds in my garden and it happened. After many xrays and scans having a hard time finding what was causing the pain, she sent me for a PET scan that found the 2 broken ribs. I was then told that they never heal completely. This is true because when I do certain poses in yoga I can feel them pull and I have to change position to make the pain go away. Just the other day I was leaning over tying my tennis shoes and I felt another rib crack. So it seems that this condition never goes away. Unless you really, really need the radiation, I would recommend not to have it. My cancer was a stage 1 and if I had it to do over again I would not have the radiation and just take my chances. I hope this helps others.

This is my first reply on any site regarding breast cancer issues.  I felt like I had to respond to this one.  I also had lumpectomy, and 35 radiation tx's in 2004 followed by  Tamoxifen and Arimidex.  I also have the rib pain even off and on to this day. (which is how I found the site here).  I think it is irresponsible to tell someone with breast cancer, even stage 1, not to have the therapy that their oncologist recommends.  I have worked for an oncologist, and am now working in hospice care.  The radiation very well might have kept your breast cancer at a stage one.  It is not something you can choose not to have and still hope to have the same outcome.  My rib pain can be an annoyance, but I don't like to think of the consequences of not doing it at all.  Breast cancer mortality has improved in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years; but because of good research and treatment.  It will continue to improve as we find out more.  Please do as your specialist recommend.

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