healing from radiation

terri64 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I hope someone out there can give some info. I was diagnosed in oct 2002 with invasive ductile carcinoma. Had lumpectomy and auxilary node removal...11/11 pos. went through ACT chemo and 6 weeks of "agressive" radiation treatments. All of this ended in July. I am still having a lot of swelling, redness, pain and heaviness in the treated breast especially around the nipple area and underneath my breast. My oncology radiologist thought I may have an infection, so he prescribed an antiboitic. There was no change. Both he and my meds oncologist believe it may just be that my breast is still healing ( I am 40D) and because they are so large they need more time to heal all that flesh. Has anyone else experienced this? I can't even fathom getting my mammo done yet, I can't even wear a bra comfortably, much less squishing it. Don't you think 4 months is long enough to heal??


  • lindatn
    lindatn Member Posts: 229
    Hi, It sounds like you are walking where I have been. I finished radiation on Dec of last year, one year out soon. In any case I likewise am a 40D, lumpectomy, A/C and Tamoxifen. When I finished radiation all looked fine but for burning under the breast. Went on a long car trip for Christmas, while gone the breast swelled huge and very painful. That was the beginning of more tests, antibotics, did no good, and me buying 25 different bras, none were the least bit wearable but the cheap Wal-Mart sports bras. Did wear a very tight high priced sports bra when the swelling was the worst. I've had three mammograms and two ultrasounds this year, fluid in the breast, and a seroma. I ran into a gal who did my last mammogram at Sarah Cannon who had this same problem five years ago. She said wait until you were one year out and it will improve and after five years nearly normal. My breast was red, hot, nipple area very strange looking. Saved the best for last still most of the time in the sport bras[kind of like them] but no more pain, fairly normal color, a bit bigger, but not ten pounds heavier. The nipple doesn't look so hot but at 60 I can live with it. Hang in there it will get better you just have awhile to go. Love Linda
  • epgnyc
    epgnyc Member Posts: 137
    Hi there. I finished my 6 1/2 weeks of radiation in March of this year. Although I'm only a 34C I'm extremely fair skinned and I think that's why I reacted poorly to radiation. I couldn't wear a regular bra for 6 months afterwards and the entire left side of my breast felt burned to a crisp, just the way it would after a bad sunburn - stinging, hot, lots of discomfort. I used aloe 3x day for those 6 months. And low and behold after 7 months, things started to go back to normal. I can now wear a regular bra (although still not an underwire) and I don't have that burning sensation anymore. Like everyone says, it's just a matter of time. We all heal at our own rate and yours will improve with time too. Hang in there....it does end! Good luck.
  • Sharon345
    Sharon345 Member Posts: 26
    I'm also still red and swollen after radiation. My last treatment was in May of this year. I didn't have chemo. I'm a 38D but no doctors have blamed it on that. I'm very fair and the radiation oncol did blame it on that. He said it might take a year to clear up, my surgeon said it might take 3 years. I am wearing regular bras to work but take it off as soon as I get home. What I need is a 2-size bra. A larger one for the bad breast and my old size for the good breast! If I get one to fit the bad breast then it has too much material for the good one and doesn't look good with knit tops. Oh well, after reading many of these ladies stories my problem is just a drop in the bucket in comparison.
  • Kmds
    Kmds Member Posts: 2
    Hey Terri.....similar situation here. It does get better...I am 6 months post radiation and some days its almost back to normal and some days, fuller than usual but no more pain and the skin has healed. My radiation oncologist did say "we don't know why some people have this kind of reaction" although I am also large breasted and this may be why we all have had similar problems. I will add that I wore sleeveless tees..the stretchy ones. Kinda kept me secure, if ya know what I mean without having to wear a bra. Good luck and best wishes. Karen