FROM OUR EXPERTS
During breast cancer treatment, you may have different kinds of pain in your chest.
After surgery, you may feel a mixture of pain and numbness in your chest in the area where surgery was done. This is because nerves were unavoidably bruised, stretched, or cut during surgery. As the nerves grow back, you may feel strange, crawling sensations in your chest. Right after surgery, you may feel brief shooting pains in your chest. This is also because the nerves are irritated.
During and after radiation therapy, you also may feel brief shooting pains in your chest. Again, this is because the nerves are swollen and irritated.
If you have an implant in place and the tissues around it are stretched, you may feel more severe chest pain.
Managing chest pain
If you have chest pain after surgery or during or after radiation therapy, talk to your doctor. A number of medicines, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and opiates, can be used to ease pain.
Some complementary and holistic medicine techni...
It is natural for anyone beginning a new medical treatment to be a little fearful. For people beginning radiation therapy, this fear seems to be heightened by some common misunderstandings about the treatment.
Radiation therapy is painful. Not really. Most patients have no sensation of radiation when the machine is delivering the daily treatment. A few patients report a slight warming or tingling sensation in the area while the radiation machine is on. Over time, the skin in the area being treated will gradually become dry, sore, itchy, or burning. These feelings can be uncomfortable, but usually not enough for a person to stop or interrupt her treatment. Read more on coping with skin reactions .
Radiation therapy will cause me to be radioactive. Only in certain cases. If you are treated with external radiation, you will not be radioactive at any time. The radiation you receive delivers its dose to your tissues within an instant — there is no lingering radiation once the treatment mac...
If you had radiation to the chest to treat another cancer (not breast cancer), such as Hodgkin disease or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you have a higher-than-average risk of breast cancer. If you had radiation to the face as an adolescent to treat acne (something that's no longer done), you are at higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life. The amount of risk increase depends on how old you were when you had radiation. The increase in risk is highest if you had radiation during adolescence, when your breasts were developing.
Steps you can take
If you had radiation when you were younger to successfully treat another cancer or to treat acne, you know how important it is to make lifestyle choices that can keep your breast cancer risk as low as it can be:
maintaining a healthy weight
eating nutritious food
never smoking (or quitting if you do smoke)
These are just a few of the steps you can take. Review the links on the left side of this page f...
You should know
Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.