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Topic: Shoulder pain

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

Meet others concerned about developing a recurrence or metastases.

Posted on: Apr 8, 2021 08:46AM - edited Apr 8, 2021 08:48AM by dotbaker3

dotbaker3 wrote:

Like most users of this site, I've had my share of scares, but they've been resolved through clear scans. This time I can't get a scan because I'm pregnant (my first). Almost four years after my stage II triple negative diagnosis in my 20s I'm having recurrent scapula pain on my non-cancer side. I'm really worried it's bone mets because it has come on gradually over several months and become persistent, and because I have it most of the time and not just when I'm using my shoulder. It's not excruciating — I don't feel the need for painkillers — but it won't go away. I will be getting an X-ray at some point when it's safest for baby but I know those don't always show mets anyway and I just feel so scared that the end is coming just as I am finally moving on with my life. Does anyone have wisdom to offer on bone pain vs. muscle pain, or any other aspect of my situation? Thank you so much in advance

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Apr 8, 2021 09:35AM DutchieGirl wrote:

Dotbaker3, I've had bone pain in my right shoulder (non-cancer side) for a while. Like you, it came on gradually until it did become unbearable. I went to see a sports medicine doctor and was diagnosed with bursitis. I had cortisone shots and that did the trick. I've found that, through all of this, I've become hyper tuned-in to my body and have a tendency to fear the worst. But we also have to remember that we had pain long before our diagnosis, and we'll have it again after. I am glad that you'll be getting an xray to determine what is going on. Please keep us updated!

Lori-Anne Dx 11/7/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 1/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 3/4/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 7/29/2019 Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Apr 8, 2021 10:48AM LillyIsHere wrote:

Congratulations dotbaker3! So happy to hear great news in our forum. I hope you are feeling well other than shoulder pain.

My experience has been with hip&shoulder&neck pain that was getting worst and finally, MRI showed no problem at all. I do have the opposite cancer side body pain that doctors' can't explain so I have my own theory. It may be in our subconscious the side of cancer and we are trying to protect and we sleep, move, change of body posture towards the other side that creates aches and pains. Can be shoulder, neck, hip. However, the doctor is the one who will recommend the scans and check on you but what I have heard is x-ray doesn't show bone cancer in general. Just an idea, can you try massage, heat pads and all these good stuff?

“Within five years, cancer will have been removed from the list of fatal maladies.” That was the optimistic promise to U.S. President William Howard Taft in 1910 when he visited Buffalo’s Gratwick Laboratory, “What’s taking so long?” Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/19/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 13, 2021 05:11PM dotbaker3 wrote:

Thank you so much for your reply DutchieGirl. It is reassuring to know that your pain had a similar trajectory and didn’t turn out to be cancer. I actually went ahead and made an appointment with a sports medicine office, and I’m hoping they’ll give me reason to be optimistic since I can’t get a scan right now. Thank you

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Apr 13, 2021 05:16PM dotbaker3 wrote:

Thank you for your response and your congratulations, LillyIsHere! I appreciate your theory about the unconscious ways we probably change our movements after cancer. X-ray is not ideal for diagnosing bone mets but my oncologist said it will at least look for changes in the bone while we can’t do an MRI. If it doesn’t show anything and the pain still doesn’t go away, I may have to get an MRI anyway even though it could harm baby. :( I am so scared. I’ve been using a heating pad every night for the past couple of weeks but it hasn’t made a difference. I’m going to go to a sports medicine practitioner in the hopes that they have some insight as to non-cancer possibilities. Thank you again so much for your response

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Apr 14, 2021 05:14PM wallycat wrote:

Out of curiosity, did you get the covid vaccine? Lots of shoulder complaints (I was one of them) afterwards.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Apr 14, 2021 08:14PM dotbaker3 wrote:

Hi wallycat, I have gotten my first vaccine but the pain started many months before that. I wish I could blame it on that — I hope yours is feeling better!

Does anybody know if a chest CT would have shown potential cancer in the bones in my shoulder area? I did have a clear chest/abdomen/pelvis CT scan shortly before I became pregnant but I’m not sure whether I should be reassured by that since the writeup only described my organs.

Thank you everybody

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Apr 15, 2021 12:26PM wallycat wrote:

I hope you can get answers soon and that you'll feel better. I know a few physicians posting on "side effects" type boards said that after the vaccine, any injuries seemed to just have more pain (many specifically said shoulder). So maybe you had mild inflammation and the vaccine is amplifying the pain...?? My pain resolved after 2 weeks but I had a baseball sized lump under my armpit and the "covid arm" rash (not horrible like some describe). The injected arm hurt for over a week. All is better and I am due for shot 2 on the 24th...I'll get it but am dreading it. I'm going to have it in my thigh this time.

My DH has metastatic prostate cancer (into bones) and they do 2 scans 2xyear but they do his whole body. So how far up they did your CT may or may not show the area you are concerned with. Can you ask your provider?

Best to you!

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Apr 25, 2021 07:10PM Nutfarmer wrote:

Congratulations! That is amazing news. So sorry you are dealing with the bone pain issue. I just talked to my husband he said the CT scan could show the shoulder but might not depending on positioning and collimation. But you could call the facility you had it done and ask if the radiologist would review the scan to see if there is any shoulder anatomy in the field of view.

It is always so challenging not to worry. I hope they are able to do some type of testing that will help ease the worry so you can focus on the excitement of being pregnant.

I have been having hip pain keep telling myself it is just because I am getting old but guess I should have it worked up.

Good luck keep us posted.

Dx 7/5/2016, DCIS/ILC/IDC, Left, Stage IA, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/19/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/11/2016 Surgery Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement

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