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Can scar tissue/radiation damage, cause pain?


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Harry is still experiencing a lot of pain in his ribs.

They've ruled out bone mets, which is wonderful, but he's also becoming more and more short of breath when he exerts himself - even a little. (He tried to put up our new mailbox yesterday, and almost fell over).

I'm wondering if it could be damage from the radiation he had, or a build up of scar tissue? Would that cause such pain?

The only other thing I can think of, is that the main tumor has grown, and I don't like that option, so I'm trying to figure out the other possibilities.

He has another scan set up for the 7th of January, so we should know for sure then.

Thanks, and hope you all have a good day today.


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Hi Nova,

Sorry to hear about Harry's pain. The only experience that comes to mind is that Tony began having pain in his ribs, near where the surgical incisions were from the wedge section VAT's procedure, very late into his illness. It wasn't bad during the day, but he did need a light painkiller at night. He had developed loculation, small cavities or compartments, around the top half of his left lung because of all the pleural effusion issues. We figured this created the pressure and pain, because these areas couldn't be drained. SOB also became much worse during this time.

Maybe his fluids have risen and he has pleural effusion, which can cause SOB and sometimes pain.

Don't know if this even relates to what is going on with Harry, but I hope you get some answers soon!



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I'm not sure. All I know is that my Mom has had more aches and pains now then when she was going through chemo. I think after getting 89 radiation treatments and 6 cycles of poison it would make anyone have aches and pains.

I know that with every pain she has her and I both fear the worst-like everyone on here I'm sure-it is

such a horrible feeling-the not knowing until scan time.

Wishing you a good day today.


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I asked the doctor about extra fluid possibly being the problem, when we were there for the bone scan. He listened to Harry's chest (back) twice, and told me he didn't think there was any more then usual. (He's always had "some", but not to the point that they needed to drain it or anything.)

I don't know what's up...... It could be something, or nothing, I guess.

I just hate waiting to know for sure. "Patience is a virtue" ~that I'm running out of! Thanks for writing.

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Just an FYI -- Tony's pulmonologist always said that his lungs sounded deceptively good. The onc/nurses would listen, thought they were okay, then he'd have 1000+ cc's tapped the next day. The pulmonologist said you couldn't trust the breath sounds that you were hearing with his lungs. That may have been a personal anomaly for Tony, but you never know! It would tie in to Harry's SOB. Won't they at least do an x-ray to rule out excessive fluid?

I'm sorry you guys are struggling with this. Cancer sucks. :? It's frustrating and I find patience is very overrated! 8)


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I had radiation in 1999 at the

time no pain, it came later always

in the left ribs, same spot but

never found out why..lungs were


In 2004 I broke two ribs, lot of

pain that time.

After the scan they told me the ribs

broke because the radiation made the

ribs more fragile and brittle, now

I get pain very often in the same spot

but I know what it is........now.

Could be from the radiation for the pain

but the SOB could be checked to rule out


Hope Harry feel better and has less pain.


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Thanks Welthy and Jackie,

I believe what you said about the sounds of too much fluid not always being heard with a stethoscope.

I even thought about the fact that he might have a partially collapsed lung. I know that if it's not a "full" collapse, that you can go on for quite some time without the doctor's knowing about it....

It makes sense that radiation would weaken his ribs too, like you said, Jackie....

Dad-gummit, I hate waiting. Seems like they would at least do a plain old chest x-ray. He hasn't had one of those since before he got diagnosed.

If the pain gets any worse, I'm going to call and see if they can scoot his CT scan date up some.

Thanks for the information.

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Nova, you've already been given lots of advice. I have to agree. Effusions can be difficult to hear. And sometimes fluid can build up very quickly, going from next to nothing to a flood.

I think you're on the right track. He is in pain and I would demand that they do the CT scan sooner. (Dont' let me get on the phone with them! :evil: ) Harry shouldn't be suffering this way. Bottom line. They need to search for the source of pain to find the remedy. I wouldn't accept any less.

Hugs to you both and please keep us posted.

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Thanks Nyka,

I spoke with Harry last night about calling the doctor. He's says he's "fine", and just to wait til the 7th... :? ....

(He ALWAYS says he's fine. When he passed out on the kitchen floor and got a black eye, he said he was fine ~ when he fell over, (again in the kitchen), and knocked a chunk of his head off on the ceramic tile, he said the same thing)....

I wanted to kick the doctor when he went back to re-check Harry's lung sounds at the last appointment. (after I asked him about the possibility of there being too much fluid). He told me to "listen", and asked if I heard what sounded like a ripe watermelon.....??????? He said that meant there was no extra fluid..... :shock:

So much for "modern medicine".

Thanks for writing.

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