Breast Cancer: Post Radiation Side Effects

Posted by thielmann1 @thielmann1, Jun 22 7:38pm

Last June 2022, after radiation therapy for 6 weeks daily to my left chest wall, (following breast cancer surgery in February) I developed severe tightening in my entire chest, making it difficult to get a deep breath without pushing against what feels like a tight band wrapped around me (24/7 all day). I went to Physical Therapy to help with regaining movement around the surgical area. In August, I started Myofascial Release Therapy 2x a week (interrupted in September and October), then starting up again in November. In March, after nearly 5 months of MRT therapy and no relief, we took a break. My radiation oncologist suggested we try the Barometric Oxygen Therapy for 6 weeks to see if that might help loosen up the fascia. That treatment did not change anything for me. I am uncomfortable daily with this tight band, and not sure where to turn for relief. Is there any of kind of treatment that anyone knows about that might help me. Even with the uncomfortable tightness, I swim regularly and participate in 2 Qijong classes a week and continue to stretch. Thank you for any suggestions. Nancy

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I am sorry this has happened to you. There are quite a few responses about this very topic on another thread. If you post a question there, I bet there will be some tips or at least some common ground. You are not alone in this.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mastectomy-1/?pg=9#chv4-comment-stream-header
Do you have a sense if this is from the surgery, or the radiation?

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@auntieoakley

I am sorry this has happened to you. There are quite a few responses about this very topic on another thread. If you post a question there, I bet there will be some tips or at least some common ground. You are not alone in this.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mastectomy-1/?pg=9#chv4-comment-stream-header
Do you have a sense if this is from the surgery, or the radiation?

Jump to this post

The surgery involved using part of my dorsal flap to close the gap from removing 2 small lumps so I'm sure there is scar tissue. The symptoms started to surface about the 3rd to 4th week of radiation ( I had a total of 6 weeks), so I'm assuming that it was a combination of radiation and scar tissue.

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I don't know if this could apply in your situation, but I had radio-frequency treatment to break up old scar tissue in another area and I know it's being used for an increasing number of non-surgical protocols including some vein- and cardiac-related procedures. Mine was painless, non-surgical, no blood, almost zero risk of infection and can be done in gentle stages to let changes incorporate and see where more is needed.

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