Stiffness in Area of Radiation Treatment

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Last Modified: December 13, 2011

Share article


Question

I feel stiffness in the area where I had radiation. What can I do about this?

Answer

Gary Freedman, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Penn , responds:

Stiffness in the area of radiation is relatively common, depending on the site treated, the technique and equipment used, and the dose used. Most women with breast irradiation can have temporary pains or stiffness of the chest and ribs. Treeatment can be ibuprofen or tylenol. Patients can do stretching and range of motion arm exercises to stretch the underlying pectoralis muscles that can be tight. For more severe cases affecting quality of life, a patient can be referred to a physical therapist for a more formal course of therapy.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat. Series, View the Life After Breast Cancer transcript.


News
Radiation for Lymphoma Can Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Mar 29, 2015 - Getting radiation treatments for Hodgkin's lymphoma increases the chance of eventually developing breast cancer with the risk highest for those whose radiation treatments occurred at a young age, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.



I Wish You Knew

Making treatment decisions is difficult and you can ask for help

View More



Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.


OncoLink OncoPilot

Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!

Learn More