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Could radiation cause this?
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Could radiation cause this?

It has been 7 years since I had a mastectomy for stage 3 cancer.  I had chemo and radiation and took the anti -cancer pills  Got along OK.  Considered cancer free now, as of last test.
Now I have had shoulder surgery on rotator cuff and tendons, and have been taking therapy.  Had 16 treatments of radiation therepy (guit before the last two) The surgery was on the side of the mastectomy.
The reason I quit is that my arm  feels very heavy, and the skin UNDER  the arm at the top (on the arm itself) is so tender that it hurts and I have to sleep with no clothes on the top because of the pain when the clothing touches the tender spot.  I feel as if it is burning--very hot, but when I feel of the spot with my hand it is not hot.  It feels as if it is within the arm.  
My question, could this all be the result of the therapy which stretched my muscles pretty bad?  Or could it be because of the strong radiation I had?    Or, what could be the reason?Please answer me.  
Tags: Pain
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

The radiation therapy that you received seven years ago for the breast cancer and the therapy you are receiving now for the rotator cuff injury are two different forms of radiation. The radiation therapy given for the cancer can over a long term lead to skin changes such as decreased elasticity, pigmentation changes, decreased skin thickness, decreased blood circulation etc. These changes can affect healing and sensations. This may be the reason for your poor tolerance to the current therapy which probably includes infra red radiation, heat etc. Please consult your doctor for appropriate pain medication.
All the best
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for answering my question.  However, You mention the radiation I just received in the Therapy I had after surgery---------My 16 sessions of therapy after the shoulder surgery was just stretching exercises to regain mobility--no radiation involved!
Would all the stretching involved  aggavate my arm causing the burning, heavy feeling?  Thanks!
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
Yes, the stretching can sometimes aggarvate the skin changes caused by the radiation therapy. Suregry can also lead to stiffness and feeling of heaviness. Your condition may be related to both, the previous radiation therapy which can lead to decreased skin elasticity and blood supply and the recent surgery which can lead to scarring and stiffness. Your physiotherapy needs to be modified in view of the past history of radiation.
All the best.
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