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    Ribs after radiation????
    sadblossom posted:
    Friends..........I have another question...........I am approx. one year out from my radiation treatments and lately my ribs under the affected radiated breast are sore and sore. Like I was hit there. I have heard that radiation has lasting effects and can show up at any time but does anyone have any info to share on this. It hurts to touch them or lay on them, it does not take my breath away but is definetely noticable.And it has been a year sense treatments!? Anything to share would be appreciated.
    Thanks and God Bless !
    rachael67 responded:
    Pat, I had my trxs back in 2003 and I still have to position a book just so when I lay on my back to read. This was again something which was not mentioned before the fact. Actually, I learned about it several years later when I happened to mention it to my surgeon who had a doc-in-triaining with her. She looked at him and said, "This is what I was talking about regarding the discomfort done to the ribs with rads." Hmmm. I am so glad at least she said it as I may have continued to think it an anomaly of some sort peculiar to me!

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    judyfams replied to rachael67's response:
    Unfortunately, that seems to be a possible side effect of radiation done in the supine position.

    The doctors do not know who will experience this, or when it might occur. It has nothing to do with osteoporosis, or bone density - it is just a weakness from the radiation.

    I am going for my 3 month post radiation follow up this Thurs. and will ask my radiation oncologist if he has any ideas that can help you. I will let you know what he says - maybe there is something to ease the discomfit you super ladies are experiencing.

    sadblossom replied to rachael67's response:
    I thank both you Rachael and Judy for your quick replies. I know you can understand my concern. Not only is this uncomfortable but it is sort of alarming being so close to that sick breast. My spine bothers me too but it has for awhile but they never even mentioned any rib or back discomfort.The ribs feel as if they are bruised but I see nothing, I feel nothing unusual when I rub them.But thanks to this web site I read about the rib pain that could come about. You would think that a year away from treatment that part would be gone but I guess not seeing how this just started. I know they are skeptical about telling us 'to much' but it makes you wonder if we are told enough. It could possibly save us some anquish if nothing else. A year later no less.
    Thanks again!
    God Bless!
    judyfams replied to sadblossom's response:
    Spoke to my rad. oncologist and he said it is a side effect for women to have rib pain after radiation. They do not know why some people get this side effect or when -if at all- it will even appear.

    So I would encourage you to speak to your rad. oncologist if your pain is so severe it intereferes with your quality of life. Maybe some kind of pain killer taken for a few days would help to relieve your pain.

    Good luck,
    jenna291 replied to judyfams's response:
    Hello ladies,
    I also have experienced the occasional rib pain and shooting pain across my left breast and ribs which was the side I had my lumpectomy and radiation on. I had 36 radiation treatments, been done for 3 years. My radiology oncologist says all of these symptoms are normal and could randomly last for years. I was told the side effects before I started. I feel they are not terribly horrible, nothing is worse that the chemo regimen!
    good luck and hope the symptoms are managable for you~~~
    sadblossom replied to jenna291's response:
    Hello again,
    I thank you all for the replies and hope to even see more on here. Every post is of help fo rme and all of us.
    I do think now that what I am dealing with is not a bone pain in my ribs on that side but rather a muscle pain/spasms like the ones I have had in the calf of my leg on that same side. The other day I turned one way and a charlie horse/cramp hit that exact spot on my upper front ribs/below my affected breast and made for a bog OUCH!! Just like my calf did for a couple of months. This area underneath my breast on top of my ribs is sore from the spasms when I touch it.So comman sense would tell me that there is a muscle involved. I am quite sure I am experiencing muscles cramps side effects from the Arimidex AGAIN ! But in a different place. Now I do have rib pain on both sides and in my spine sense radiation, But now I have mucles involved. Just another form of discomfort to deal with.It is not unbearable but certainly is uncomfortable and irritating. But I keep moving on with this pill. I would rather have muscle cramps than blood clots or uterine cancer so I will just have to tolerate it.
    Just thought I would stop by and say thanks and leave an update.
    Any further info on the muscle cramp thing would still be appreciated.
    Hope all are doing well this weekend.
    God Bless and don't forget to pray!
    trkrpilot replied to sadblossom's response:
    I was searching for patient comments who have had the brachytherapy for breast cancer but was unable to find anything except this WebMD site. In my search I ran across a site that said that rib fractures are not uncommon with radiation. If anyone has had the 5 day radiation treatments and have had late side effects, I would like to see some feedback. I am still undecided as to which way to go 5 day or the traditional 36 week radiation treatments.
    sadblossom replied to trkrpilot's response:
    Now I am no expert here but I will tell you what I know. I recently read a study on the 5 day treatments, and as of one of the latest studies, the 5 day did not have as many positive and good results as the long term radiation. From what I read(and I will try and find that report again for you) the long range treatment have better outcome for patients than the 5 day did.
    Do some research and read all the updates. But from what I read if I were having to choose I would go long term even tho it is a more drawn out affair.But please make this decision for yourself. I always share anything I read/discover with all the ladies on here. And I research all the time.I'm sure other swill stop by and reply for you.They may have more to add or different opinions that will help you decide as well.
    Best of luck and please check back with us and let us know what you decide.
    God Bless!
    trkrpilot replied to sadblossom's response:
    I have not had the lumpectomy yet or node tested so I still don't know for sure that I am eligible for the 5 day treatments. The radiation oncologist is pretty convincing that this has less risks of other organ exposure and is safer. But others that I talked to think that 12 years of historical data is not enough to be certain that there won't be late side effects and reoccurences. Thanks for your reply and I will try to find unbiased information. I feel like the doctors are biased toward the procedure and leave out pertintent information that the patient needs to know. There are so many web sites that it is hard to find unbiased ones.
    kiwiallright responded:
    Hi Pat,

    I was first radiated on my right breast in 2001 then again 2009-2010 and I have those spasm/charlie horse and they come when they want. I could be talking to someone and all of a sudden this pain goes across my right breast and can do nothing but literally stop what I am doing and move my arm around to get it to relax. After you have showered or even at night, get lotion and rub all over the area to help length the muscle and also try swinging your arm back like doing back stroke. Last summer I would go to the pool on my lunch hour and do back stroke and it seemed to help - I need to get back but I do do that excerise a couple of times a week when I think about it. Because of two my two experiences with radiation it is worse now than before last year round. It is also very annoying when I go to bed sometimes I cannot get myself out of bed because I become as stiff as a board over night. Sorry if this is discouraging - only time will help it heal - well that is what I hope for me.

    Good Luck
    sadblossom replied to kiwiallright's response:
    Thank you kiwi!
    These cramps/charlie horses are in the rib/tummy edge right under the affected breast. I mean RIGHT under that breast. It is sore to touch like I have been hit there or like I have pulled that muscle right under there or...........leaned over something to far and pulled that muscle. It is uncomfortable to 'touch' it. The 'sore to touch' thing, would that be normal? When I turn a certain way it cramps up like a charlie horse in your calf does.
    Really puzzling. But I am confident it is either an injured muscle or from the radiation. It is just enough to raise still more questions.
    Thanks again, I appreciate it!
    rachael67 replied to sadblossom's response:
    Hmmm...Pat you have me wondering now! I have in recent months had what I would describe as a "catch" on my right side between the breast and my waist. (It literally is on the side as opposed to just below the breast.) When it happens, it hurts like blazes and seems to need a "settle down" period before it relinquishes the grip on me. I couldn't imagine what was causing it, but you've now raised the possibility of it being a fall-out of the rads (about seven years ago for me!)

    As no one had warned me in advance of the rib discomfort being a side-effect, could this be yet another that has remained in the closet until we, here, bring it out into the light of day???

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    judyfams replied to trkrpilot's response:
    I had whole breast external beam radiation - butI had it inthe prone (face down) position which does not irradiate the ribs, the heart, lungs or the armpit. Most radiation oncologists do not mention this position in their initial consultation.

    Of coursr one has to have breast size large enough to hang down the table - I am a "C" cup and the position wasm perfectly comfortable. I had no problems - the radiation comes from the rightbside and the left side not from above and that is why it does not get to the chest area.

    My initial consultation in the radiation dept. of a hospital would not even talk to me about the prone position - all he said was that I should do it in them supine position (face up) because that would be more comfortable. So I went tom another facility and had it done in the prone position.

    I strongly urge you to ask about that when you next see your radiation oncologist.

    sadblossom replied to rachael67's response:
    Yes Rachael, that's exactly how it feels, like a painful 'catch' near the outside of the skin to me. And at times it does kind of 'catch' and I have to let it relax as you would a charlie horse/cramp and then rearrange my position. Mine happens to be exactly under the breast but to the left. When I examine that area all I feel is soreness from the 'catching' and ribs underneath.Like the remains of the cramps we get in our calves or feet.
    I finished rads 1 1/2 years ago. The calf cramps started a few months ago but kind of subsided, this rib area just began and
    'seems' to be in the muscle.Re:Radiation or Arimidex???????

    Ok, now how do we get these after effects noted. If this is a after effect or a side effect it has most definetely been exposed here on this board. The discovery needs to be exposed and listed.
    No one warned me of any of 'this' type of thing either. In light of the rads or the pill. This could be a historical milestone for breast cancer patients and treatments.

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