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Topic: Pain in joints—menopause or cancer??

Forum: Pain —

Share important questions and provide support to others experiencing breast cancer and treatment-related pain.

Posted on: May 18, 2020 06:38AM

Jons_girl wrote:

Hi Friends: I’m hoping those of you with these symptoms or who have had bone cancer will post:

I’m officially in menopause as of April of this year. I’m in my early almost mid 50s. Very healthy overall. Active and thin with no overlying health issues that I’m aware of other than osteopenia

I have very sore/painful joints. Shoulders, neck, ankles, toes, hands, elbows, hips, pubic bone can be painful at times. This is better during day worse at night. To the point when I walk to bathroom in middle of night or even turn over in bed I have pain. Aches and pains have not been this bad til past few months.

I’ve told this to a breast surgeon who’s following me. She told me to take this issue to my primary dr. I’m in the process of getting a new primary dr.

My old primary dr did yearly bloodwork on me recently and no red flags.

My question...if you were to get bone cancer would yearly blood tests be off? Like a CBC, iron level, lipid panel, complete metabolic panel....or would I need to ask for other bloodwork?

I don’t have a MO because I’m not taking any hormone blocking meds. My MO who had sorta followed me for awhile hassemi retired and I’ve been told my breast surgeon who’s following me is enough onco drs for me.

What would you do??

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Jul 25, 2020 09:55AM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

Joint Pain - has anyone tried any IR device? I've seen 2 advertised for joint pain in hands/fingers. I think acupuncture helps. Trying electro-stim with it now, some releif, but does not really persist. Maybe I just need to do longer or more frequently? On the devices, is my electric pad just as good?

IR and backpain https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2539004/

IR Tennis Elbow https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190324090523.htm

Estrogen - but for those who are ER+ , probably not a good idea. http://www.womenshealth.northwestern.edu/blog/joint-relief-estrogen#:~:text=Hormone%20therapy%20can%20be%20used,who%20have%20had%20a%20hysterectomy.

Device https://www.hammacher.com/product/infrared-wrist-and-finger-pain-reliever?promo=search

Device https://www.hammacher.com/product/heated-hand-pain-reliever?promo=search

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Jul 25, 2020 10:03AM MinusTwo wrote:

No personal info, but my SIL swore by the TENS unit that her doc prescribed. She even finally got a remote controlled unit for her back so she could turn in on or turn it up if the pain got worse sitting at a concert.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323632


2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jul 25, 2020 12:40PM SondraF wrote:

My father has used a TENS machine for many years as he has severe spinal arthritis, amongst other places, and they help give some pain relief for him. I've used them off and on and can confirm they have worked wonders in the past for my own non-mets back problems.

Right now for sore back/hip muscles I use a CBD muscle rub as my first line of attack (although here in the UK anything with THC is illegal). If my lower back/pelvis/knees are giving me a lot of hassle then I switch to this really nice aromatherapy gel I got that also has glucosamine and chondroitin in it as well. Other Half slept wrong on his shoulder the night before last and I slapped some on there like I was Mr Miyagi and he felt much better in a half hour. Its called Vitabiotics Jointace Aromatic Massage Gel - Amazon US and Walmart appear to carry it.

I try to keep up with 3-4 liters of water a day, exercise daily for at least a half hour, and try to get some high quality bone broth in the diet weekly. Usually the only painkillers I need are 2 ibuprofen or Tylenol every 48-72 hours or so but Ive also spend years putting up with bad knees and back so maybe its a higher tolerance threshold too.

Dx 9/27/2019, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 11/29/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Jul 26, 2020 08:53AM MMinNC wrote:

i know this sounds strange, but my oncologist had me start Claritin when I started my chemo (TCHP). She specifically said it was to help keep the aching out of my bones, especially the big ones. There have been some aches, but nothing that was toooo bad. An occasional Advil helped, but I didn't have to resort to using it very much.

Dx 1/15/2020, Right, ER-/PR+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Jul 26, 2020 09:27AM MinusTwo wrote:

MMin - many of us have taken Claritin during chemo - at least 24 hours before and several days after. It was particularly useful for me for the joint/bone aches from the Neulasta shots I got 24 hours after chemo. Note - that is plain Claritin, not the "D".

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jul 27, 2020 11:36PM macb04 wrote:

I love this Comfreystuff for musculoskeletal pain. Sometimes I combine it with CBD.

=================================================================================


Also this Israeli study I posted somewhere else about this new microdosing inhaler for THC

THC microdosing reduces chronic pain in world-first clinical trial


https://newatlas.com/medical/thc-microdose-cannabis-chronic-pain-clinical-trial-syqe-inhaler/



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491633/

Comfrey: A Clinical Overview

Christiane Staiger

Additional article information

Abstract

Comfrey has a centuries-old tradition as a medicinal plant. Today, multiple randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of comfrey preparations for the topical treatment of pain, inflammation and swelling of muscles and joints in degenerative arthritis, acute myalgia in the back, sprains, contusions and strains after sports injuries and accidents, also in children aged 3 or 4 and over. This paper provides information on clinical trials and non-interventional studies published on comfrey to date and further literature, substantiating the fact that topical comfrey preparations are a valuable therapy option for the treatment of painful muscle and joint complaints. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Jul 28, 2020 11:37AM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

macb04 - thanks for the post about the Comfrey - will give it a try.

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Jul 28, 2020 12:03PM SondraF wrote:

Ah nice one - apparently it grows wild in the UK along the highway! hahaha - at least I can actually get it here and there is a good organic option. Nice tip, its always good to have another cream in the arsenal!

Dx 9/27/2019, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 11/29/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Jul 28, 2020 10:57PM Jons_girl wrote:

we grow comfrey here in the pacific nw in the USA. We use it for getting rid of colds or flu. Leaves in water with honey. Boil. And drink. That’s what our family does. It seems to cut a cold and definitely seems to help get rid of the flu when we have been sick. We love comfrey.

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Jul 29, 2020 02:04PM - edited Jul 29, 2020 02:04PM by macb04

Good to know of Comfrey's cold and flu benefits.

Thanks Jons_girl

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Jul 29, 2020 08:07PM LillyWasHere wrote:

Glucosamine and chondroitin were recommended by the orthopedic doctor I saw the other day. He said it was tested in dogs and within a month the dogs who could barely move were able to run :). I ordered mine from Dr. Mercola even though the doctor said Costco's version works just as well.

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, 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 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 29, 2020 10:56PM Jons_girl wrote:

macb04: you’re welcome. Comfrey is pretty amazing stuff.

Lillywashere: yeah I haven’t tried that yet. I’ve heard it works well. After you’ve tried those products for awhile can you let us know how well it’s working?

I’m trying meriva curcumin and the wobenzym. But I’m not seeing a huge difference yet. I need to be taking the wobenzym on empty stomach twice a day tho. And Meriva too. So will see if that makes a difference

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Jul 30, 2020 10:05AM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

LillyWasHere - I also take glucosamine/chondroitin even though mos of the health professionals I see think it is a waste of money. I have used it for quite a while, but not walking on water. How much was suggested by your orthapedist? Whole dose at once?

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Jul 30, 2020 10:52AM LillyWasHere wrote:

BlueGirl, the orthopedist recommended taking it but I didn't ask the details. He said Costco's version is just fine but I got the Pure Encapsulations brand. What I read is you take it with a meal and like calcium supplements, your body can't absorb more than 500mg/meal. This is the reason I got the form that has 3 capsules/day, 300mg each capsule. The orthopedist said they have tested to dogs and it works. After a month of dogs taking it, they were able to run. I assume us people may take 2 months to see the benefits. I also make tea with turmeric+black pepper+ginger and I am loving it. I am feeling better this week as joint pains go. I am not sure if there are the supplements working or the fear while I'm waiting for biopsy results :))

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, 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 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 30, 2020 11:01AM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

LilyWasHere - Hope biopsy shows negative for cancer.

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Aug 2, 2020 12:52PM Jons_girl wrote:

LilyWasHere have you gotten results yet? Hope all goes well.....

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Aug 2, 2020 08:23PM LillyWasHere wrote:

Hi sisters, the biopsy showed no thyroid cancer found. I haven't received the pathology report yet. I waited a few days after the biopsy, a painful one, and then I sent a message to the doctor who ordered it. A nurse who was just about to close the door on Friday night, read the message, and gave me a call. How nice of her! She said it is benign and I have to go once a year to check as follow up visit. I was so happy to get this news. I still have a question on what body changes and pains are from cancer and what are SE of letrozole. No one gives me a clear answer. I feel like a lab mouse sometimes, like we are tested if these meds work and what weird SE do we get from them.

Hugs Northlight 21" Pink Heart Flower With Stem And Leaves Christmas ...

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, 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 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 3, 2020 08:42AM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

LillyWasHere - do you mind sharing what the thyroid check was for? Both my primary and oncologist express concern about a slight distension. Years ago (before BC) my primary ordered an image and biopsy. Nodules, but negative for cancer. The CTs for BC have picked up nodules, but no indication if they have changed over the years. I think I am just a lumpy person.

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Aug 3, 2020 01:06PM LillyWasHere wrote:

Hi BlueGirl, when letrozole started, I had many changes in my body, 6 months into letrozole, I felt a lump on the front-right side of my neck, also the whole right side of the neck was swollen. I went to MO and he said he can't feel any swollen lymph nodes but the muscle seems to have gotten bigger!! Sounds strange and it looks strange too. I asked him for some kind of imaging and he ordered US that showed a 1.6cm nodule. I went to a thyroid specialist and she asked for biopsy, I haven't received the official pathology report but the nurse told me it was benign as thyroid cancers go. Basically, from now on I will go for yearly US and appt. with thyroid specialist. Another one on my list but for as long as it is benign I am OK with that. Can it be SE of letrozole? No one can give me an answer and questions without answers make me nervous :)

How are you Ladies today?

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, 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 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 3, 2020 08:17PM Francesca30 wrote:

Hi @Lillywashere ! I’ve been on Letrozole since Nov 2019. Recently I’ve been feeling some slight discomfort in my neck and collarbone area but nothing my MO or I can feel. Guessing, it could be the femara. I’ve also been experiencing on and off back pain, lots of joint pain but my scans have all been clear so far.

Dx 3/14/2019, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 13/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 4/4/2019 TAC Radiation Therapy 8/14/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/14/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/17/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 3, 2020 08:45PM LillyWasHere wrote:

Thank you Francesca30. There are SE of these meds that are not on the list and of course, my mind is not in the optimistic switch. My strange SE are all on my right side of the body. The left side is all well :)

I have a question for you Ladies. I had my anniversary of the diagnose and in a couple of weeks I will have the yearly check-up with MO. He hasn't asked for any scanning other than a blood test to check my liver and kidneys to start Zometa infusion. Should I ask for any scans? I had BMX so I have no real breast anymore but are there any other scans required for this yearly check-up?

Thank you, beautiful Ladies.


Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, 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 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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18 hours ago MinusTwo wrote:

Most docs don't order imaging after a BMX, except maybe soon after to make sure they got everything. I pushed & now have an ultrasound every other year.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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16 hours ago BlueGirlRedState wrote:

LilyWasHere - I've been told that imaging is not standard for monitoring after bilateral, risks of radiation etc. Don't know why the machine can't be tweeked to check women who have had bi-lateral. Why would risk be different from "standard mammo"? Also keep hoping for better methods of early detection. I got BC again after bilateral (3rd time). I've been on Ibrance and Arimidex since Sept 2019, tumor shrunk form 2.5 cm to 7 mm, hoping CT this week shows more shrinking. I asked if CT no longer finds it if a PET would be used to check for any rogue cells, metastasis, and was told no - risk of radiation outweighs potential benefit. But I think it is mostly an insurance issue. Really need better methods for detection. I'll have to ask about Ultra Sound that MinusTwo mentions - how much can be scanned with it?

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16 hours ago MikaMika wrote:

BlueGirlRedState,

From my understanding CT also has radiation. Have you been offered to use MRI or ultrasound?

Dx 8/2019, ILC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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15 hours ago MikaMika wrote:

Lilly,

If you want some scans, just exaggerate your symptoms. As I noticed, my friends get better services at the same cancer center (same doctor, too). Even if their pain is "level 3", they represent like "7-8". So they have, for example, quick appointments with physical therapist and scans. Others (like me) are offered a spot in a waiting list (2 months) :)

Do you see your MO once a year?? Or it's a special type of check-ups?


Dx 8/2019, ILC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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14 hours ago LillyWasHere wrote:

Thank you, Ladies! I get a follow-up visit every 6 months for now. My previous visit in February was just a chat with the new MO I selected. He did see me in May when I told him about my swollen neck. I go to a well-known cancer center however, what I have figured out is that if you are not a part of their research, then you are at the bottom of the list. Even trying to contact a nurse takes forever. I'm told if I was a part of a research, I would get all doors open and all scans and a team that would be organized and willing to check on the patient. I have figured out that if I threaten to quit my medication, I may get some response :) I just didn't know if there is any scanning I should ask for. I read in the forum that even when you had BMX, some tissue may have been left behind but when I asked the surgeon right after my surgery, she said she removed the whole organ. I assume there is no breast tissue left for any scanning. But how can they check if there is any spread in other parts of the body? My previous MO said she won't know because she doesn't have a crystal ball! Funny but sad too :(

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, 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 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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13 hours ago MinusTwo wrote:

My MO ordered both a CT and a PET/CT once I healed from surgery. Both of us wanted to confirm that everything was clear.

In June of 2016 my port failed to allow blood draws. I was only keeping it for blood work since I have LE. I insisted on a PET/CT before the port was removed. That was 4 years out from my recurrence and I've had no imaging until last fall. Except for the routine DEXA scans for bone density.

Seven years out from the recurrence - I had a breast ultrasound and a breast MRI. I went back to the radiologist who originally found the very first DCIS - now 10 years ago. I think he's a magician. He's the one who recommended ULS every other year and sent a message to my MO supporting that. But really I think it's more to check on the implants than worries about more cancer.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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12 hours ago LillyWasHere wrote:

Thank you MinusTwo. Did you have BMX when you were diagnosed with DSIS? Also, what does 410gummies mean? :)

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, 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 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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11 hours ago MinusTwo wrote:

Lilly - yes I had a BMX when I was diagnosed with DCIS in one breast. I will always be glad since they found growths in the supposedly "free" breast too. Even though the surgeon got clear/clean margins, apparently a micromet had already begun it's journey to a lymph node - hence what was called a "local recurrence" two years later. All my docs were shocked & horrified.

I had expanders placed at my BMX surgery and exchanged to Allergan 410 implants 7 months later. These are the original silicone implants that feel like gummy bears. Yes, they are anatomically shaped & textured. Yes, these are the implants that might cause problems. Yes, supplies on the shelves have been recalled, but there has been no recall, let alone guidance to 'explant' existing implants. It is however a hot topic, so I'm explaining ahead. I had an impeccable PS and have had no problems.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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10 hours ago LillyWasHere wrote:

I am shocked and horrified like your doctors. Did you feel the lymph node yourself?

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, 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 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)

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