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Topic: Pain shoulder, armpit and upper chest wall?

Forum: Not Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastases but Concerned —

Meet others concerned about developing a recurrence or metastases.

Posted on: May 5, 2013 01:49PM

Hatteras wrote:

I have had pain in shoulder area, arm pit and upper chest wall on right side for the last few weeks.   I am 2 1/2 years out from left mastectomy - triple negative IDC and DCIS; one lymph node had 0.1 mm focus - so no chemo or radiation; on tamoxifen.

Concerned that this pain could be a sign of metastasis.   Not sure whether to call medical oncologist, primary physician or breast surgeon.  

Dx 9/10/2010, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/10/2010, DCIS, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/10/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 09/29/2010 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my left breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side Hormonal Therapy 01/01/2011
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Posts 1 - 11 (11 total)

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May 6, 2013 01:28PM dlb823 wrote:

Hatteras, I would call your medical oncologist who will order any tests they feel are appropriate.  In the mean time, have you considered that it might be truncal lymphedema?  I have that, and the pain and tightness varies depending on what's been going on in my life, but is in the exact region you're describing -- chest, underarm, and into my upper back.  But absolutely get it checked out for the peace of mind.  

If it turns that it is truncal LE, there are things you can do to minimize it, from avoiding hot baths to self massage.  You  should be able to find some other threads here about truncal LE by using the SEARCH feature to the left.

Good luck, and please let us know what you find out.  I'll be holding B9 thoughts for you!    (((Hugs)))  Deanna

"The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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May 7, 2013 02:20PM Everlastpink wrote:

Hi there,

I have the exact same problem, but mine is on the left side, the side where I had my lumpectomy and SNB.   It has been going on about 2 weeks.  I thought it was maybe a pinched nerve or pulled muscle.  I tried massage and acupuncture, which often help me with muscle pain.  They helped for a few hours then it wore off.  Advil is doing nothing.  I have an appointment with my sports medicine spine orthopedist on Thursday, but it only occurred to me yesterday that it might be breast or lymph related.  The breast and pain at the site of my SNB have become very painful as of yesterday.  I am going to call my onco after I see the sports medicine doc.

I did have radiation, mammosite, so now I am wondering what is going on and what triggered it.  I just woke up with this one day.  I excercise regularly but have quite lifting light weights since this started.

Let's keep each other updated.  Thinking I may need to call my rads onco too.

Katherine

Katherine, lumpectomy, SNB, mammosite radiation, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, Aromasin Dx 12/1/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 7, 2013 02:53PM Karen3 wrote:

Hetteras - I'm going through same thing and TN too. I had a bilateral mastectomy just over a year ago as BC was found in the opposite breast to my original BC. When I was originally diagnosed I opted for lumpectomy but since cancer appeared in the opposite breast so soon after treatment for my first BC it was recommended I had a bilateral. Now I appear to have a 'lump' or swelling under my left arm and I appear to have some pain down my arm and occasionally pins and needles in my fingers. I am due to see the surgeon again in a few weeks so will mention all this then. I have a lump in the back of my head (occipital lymph node) which has been there for months. I am trying not to let dark thoughts take over. I am a teacher and trying to prepare students for exams at the moment.

All the best to you and lets hope everything is O.K. for both of us.

Second diagnosis 17/10/11 DCIS 4cm, grade 3 (high grade) left breast (contralateral breast cancer), Er- Pr -, 0/2 nodes, Bilateral mast 8/12/11. IDC TN 09/09 neo adjuvant chemo nil response. Lumpectomy 01/2010 and rads 03/ 2010. Dx 9/8/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 09/22/2009 Ellence (chemical name: epirubicin), Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide), Taxol (chemical name: paclitaxel), Taxotere (chemical name: docetaxel) Surgery 01/03/2010 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my right breast Radiation Therapy 02/05/2010 Surgery 12/07/2011 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my left breast, Mastectomy of my right breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my right side
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May 8, 2013 05:02AM Hatteras wrote:

Thanks for your posts.   It is strange, but just knowing there are others out there that understand how I am feeling makes it a easier to deal with.   Have appointment with my breast specialist for an ultrasound and exam on Monday.   Calling oncologist to move up my appointment.   

Dx 9/10/2010, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/10/2010, DCIS, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/10/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 09/29/2010 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my left breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side Hormonal Therapy 01/01/2011
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May 8, 2013 12:52PM Everlastpink wrote:

Hi again,

Yesterday the pain in my breast, underarm area became really bad so I called my rads onco.  The nurse said I should definitely come in, even though it has been 4 years since my radiation.  I have an appt. on Monday.  I see the sports medicine doc tomorrow.  I know that I have degernative discs at c5-6 and c-6-7 in my spine, so I am still thinking I could have a compressed nerve that is making the arm tingle, numb and feel like pins and needles.  But the breast/SNB area are much more painful and I am really fatigued.  Maybe I have more than one thing going on?

My original BC is not as complex as your or Karen's.  Wishing all of us a simple, non-cancer-related solution to our problems.

Thinking of you both.

Katherine

Katherine, lumpectomy, SNB, mammosite radiation, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, Aromasin Dx 12/1/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 9, 2013 05:13PM , edited May 9, 2013 05:16PM by Karen3

Hi revellsk,

Thinking of you too - let us know how you get on. I had a letter today to say that my appointment with surgeon has been changed to 20th May so I am going to wait until then. But, the lump under my arm is still there unfortunately. I just keep hoping it disappears! I am marking work for students at the moment and trying to put all this to the back of my mind. It's difficult though.

Lets hope for B9 results for all of us.

Karen.

Second diagnosis 17/10/11 DCIS 4cm, grade 3 (high grade) left breast (contralateral breast cancer), Er- Pr -, 0/2 nodes, Bilateral mast 8/12/11. IDC TN 09/09 neo adjuvant chemo nil response. Lumpectomy 01/2010 and rads 03/ 2010. Dx 9/8/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 09/22/2009 Ellence (chemical name: epirubicin), Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide), Taxol (chemical name: paclitaxel), Taxotere (chemical name: docetaxel) Surgery 01/03/2010 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my right breast Radiation Therapy 02/05/2010 Surgery 12/07/2011 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my left breast, Mastectomy of my right breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Sentinel lymph node removal (also called dissection) , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my right side
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May 14, 2013 02:18PM Everlastpink wrote:

Hi Ladies,

I have a difference of opinion between the sports med doc and my oncologist, but it looks like whatever is going on is probably not cancer-related, which is good news.  Sports doc said he was sure I had a pinched nerve and prescribed PT for a month, then said to come back.  He said that normally he prescribes steroids for pain, but since I was a cancer patients he could not do that.  He did not know what was going on with my breast or SNB area, just said the numb arm and shoulder pain was due to the pinched nerves.

When I saw Onco yesterday, he said that it did not make sense to him to prescribe PT without having the proper imaging tests done first. In addition, he said that cortico steroids are not contra-indicated for breast cancer and basically said he thought I should get a new sports med doc! He gave me a script for MRI of cervical and thorasic spine.  After the results, he will refer me to the proper specialist who may prescribe PT.  Onco felt is was a waste of time and money to do PT without knowing exactly which nerve was compressed, which makes sense to me.

Onco did a sono of breast and lymph area and said nothing looked suspicious, but that I had large scar build-up since last time he saw me (a few months ago).  He said there are new ways to treat pain from scar tissue, but that he wants to see what is going on with the MRI first, since a compressed nerve could also cause the breast pain.

He thinks I probably have two things going on:  compressed spinal nerve that is making arms numb and shoulder hurt, and thickening of scar tissue that is causing burning in breast and under arm. 

At least it is a start and relief that it is not cancer driven.  But I still am in a lot of pain and can't wait goet relief.  By the end of the day I am so tired.

Hoping for good outcomes for you all.

Katherine

Katherine, lumpectomy, SNB, mammosite radiation, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, Aromasin Dx 12/1/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 14, 2013 03:19PM prayrv wrote:

Hatteras,

I think you should ask your onc why are you on tamoxifen for a triple negative cancer.  That is very unusual to be prescribed a drug that is used for an estrogen generated cancer for someone with your diagnosis.

Gentle Hugs,

Trish

Dx 4/27/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 18, 2013 11:40PM TectonicShift wrote:

Do any of you who are having this shoulder pain have trouble raising your arm? Range of motion problems? It could be frozen shoulder, a common thing that happens spontaneously to middle aged people. It can take a year or more to resolve itself. But it does resolve itself.

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Jun 18, 2013 03:05PM sylviaexmouthuk wrote:

Hello Karen3,

I was looking back at the early pages of the thread Calling all triple negative breast cancer patients in the UK and I was re-reading your post there and looked at your photograph and did not remember a colour photograph. I have often wondered how you were and I was so happy to see that you are still posting. I know that you have been through a lot. I do hope all went well with your appointment with your surgeon on May 20th.

I am still OK and shall have reached 8 years since diagnosis on June 20th.

Very fond thoughts.

Sylvia.

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food - Hippocrates B.C. 390 Preadjuvant chemo 3 months epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, 3 months docetaxel. Mastectomy RB Sentinel node pos Radiotherapy 3 weeks + boosters Dx 6/20/2005, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/31/2005 Ellence (chemical name: epirubicin), Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (chemical name: docetaxel) Surgery 05/16/2006 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my right breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my right side Radiation Therapy 06/14/2006
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Jun 18, 2013 04:10PM LRM216 wrote:

Triple negative and on Tamoxifen??????

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to end, it's about learning to dance in the rain ... Age 62 at diagnose Dx 2/23/2009, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 03/07/2009 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my right breast Chemotherapy 04/25/2009 Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin), Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide), Taxol (chemical name: paclitaxel), Taxotere (chemical name: docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/21/2009