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Topic: joint pain after chemo

Forum: Young With Breast Cancer —

Connect with those under 40 who have been diagnosed.

Posted on: Jul 23, 2007 02:11PM

yardsale wrote:

Has this happened to you? I am 38yr; 35yr @ dx. My chemo was 4 dose A/C, then 4 dose Taxol. Each treatment was followed by Nuelasta & Procrit shots. During my Taxol treatments (2yrs ago) my hips hurt like I was wearing a lead belt. The pain was the only reason I missed work. Well now, 2+ years later I still have hip pain. It bothers my 2-5 times/month to where it affects my activity. Haven't found a good pain reliever either. I thought I had heard of other women with this same joint pain last year or so; now I'm digging for some more info.

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Posts 31 - 51 (51 total)

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Dec 28, 2011 11:41AM Beaglesgirl wrote:

I'm nearly 3 months post chemo. I did DD AC and 12 weekly taxols. 33 rads as well. well here I am in all sorts of debilitating pain and I find out it was the taxol. I am so sad. As the days go by the pain doesn't budge. My onc has me on 25mg of fetanyl patches for pain and savella for the nerve pain. I was always fit and active and now when I wake up I think twice before taking that first step. Any advice from others who are in the same boat- ready to try anything.  ~L

More of my journey at....daisiesarebetterthanroses.blogspot.com ~Laura Dx 3/21/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/18/2011 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 5/5/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/3/2011 Breast Surgery 12/1/2011 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 6/17/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Dec 29, 2011 09:48AM Debke33 wrote:

Hi Beaglesgirl,

I had chemo in radiation back in 09 and I am also triple neg.  About 6 months ago I was having pain in my hip and I would take an advil and the pain would go away.  After a fall down my steps and my pain did not get better I had a MRI done and I now have pelvic cancer.  Please do not ignore any pain you may be having.  If the pain persist have a MRI done to look at the area.  Do not assume anything have everything checked out if ANY pain is persistent.  Hope this helps!!!

Dx 1/29/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, 1/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 29, 2011 10:42AM Beaglesgirl wrote:

I will call my onc right now and have him check me out. better safe than sorry! thanks Debke33

More of my journey at....daisiesarebetterthanroses.blogspot.com ~Laura Dx 3/21/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/18/2011 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 5/5/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/3/2011 Breast Surgery 12/1/2011 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 6/17/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Feb 2, 2012 03:46PM - edited Feb 2, 2012 03:47PM by slong

I was diagnosed in June of 2010, finished chemo in December, finished radiation in Feb and started arimidex after that. Within 3 weeks, I had terrible hip and back pain and could hardly get out of a chair.  We stopped the arimidex, and started tamoxifen.  I finished herceptin in August of 2011.  My hip, back and knee pain has continued and may have worsened.  I have wondered if the tamoxifen caused it or if it was a results of the 6 rounds of chemo (carboplatin and taxotere along with herceptin for a year).  My oncologist is not interested in these symptoms and tells me to stay off the internet.  I was physically active before the cancer and now I struggle to walk and have become very sedentary. I have always been a positive person, but this pain is getting me down.  Anyone with a similar story and maybe a suggestion for some help with the pain? I am thankful to be cancer-free but have really traded the quality of my life for this.  Sara 

Dx 6/28/2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IB, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 2, 2012 03:55PM shaah2468 wrote:

Since my last dose of chemo, which was number 3 out of 6, I have been experiencing joint pain in both shoulders and knees and they are making clicking noises and also muscle aches almost everywhere and my sciatica is playing up again.  I am not particularly worried though and my doctor told me yesterday that it is likely the chemo. 

Dx 11/15/2008
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Feb 2, 2012 07:45PM Beaglesgirl wrote:

My onc said it was the chemo a month ago- although he didn't scan me! My next appt is 2/28 and nothing has changed. Sara and Shaah I feel the same way as you both. I am in my mid 40's and feel like I'm 95 these days- my knees click too and my right knee doesn't support my weight and I am a very petit person. The last time I saw my oncologist he put me on fentanyl patches which make it possible to for me to function these days. I change them out every 72 hours. But I would love to just be pain free without them some day. Wish me luck for my doc appt this month, I'm going to beg for a scan again. ~L

More of my journey at....daisiesarebetterthanroses.blogspot.com ~Laura Dx 3/21/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/18/2011 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 5/5/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/3/2011 Breast Surgery 12/1/2011 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 6/17/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Feb 10, 2012 05:00PM Biologybrain wrote:

Man, this really sucks. I'm experiencing chronic pain too. I had 4x FAC while I was pregnant at 28 years old. Then I had 2 rounds of Taxol with neuropathy developing, so I was switch to Taxotere for 1x, but I had an allergic rx to it. I was supposed to have 4 doses of a taxane, but with my reactions and clear PET scans I was allowed to stop. I also found out the hard way that I am one of the lucky ones that get suicidal and homicidal on Neurontin or Lyrica. During all my chemo I had random aches & pain, but my onc always said it was pregnancy related & the OB said it was chemo related. after I had my BMX the doctors told me my pain (mostly upper body) was caused by the expanders. When I had my exchange surgery, the PS didn't know why I still had pain. She referred me to a pain management doctor who basically just shoved pills at me after giving me injections around my breastbone. I got so frustrated I went to a new PS to have DIEP even though I was too thin (BMI of 20). After that surgery I saw a supportive care doctor who recommended testing for thoracic outlet and physical therapy. I've been doing PT for about 3 months now and some of my pain has gone away. I still have some, but it is much more manageable when I go to PT tell them what hurts & get it stretched out and specific exercises to build it back up to 'normal'. According to my PT at least some of my problems are from the repeated traumas of my cancer over the past 2 1/2 years. My posture has gone to hell in a hand basket, which causes pain both in my upper body and lower body. My core strength took a beating between pregnancy and surgeries (I also had to have an open oophorectomy followed by an emergency hysterectomy a month later). I've learned bad habits of 'shielding' what hurts, but that causes problems elsewhere. I highly recommend getting a thorough work-up by a good diagnostician (probably NOT your onc) and possibly referred to PT. Gentle, directed, purposeful stretching is very beneficial - especially if you can find a PT that knows a bit about mastectomy. It may not cure your pain, but hopefully it will give you another option besides living with the pain or taking so many medications you can't see straight. I do have to take amitriptyline nightly and an occasional Lortab to combat my pain, but it is much better than it was before I started PT.

7/1/09 28th b-day; 7/7/09 DX at 20 wks pregnant; 8/09 FAC x4; 11/09 healthy baby girl; 12/10 taxanes x3; 2/10 BMX w/ TEs; 9/10 BSO w/ 4 units blood; 10/10 Emergency hyst; 2/11 Exchange 800cc HP silicone; 10/12 DIEP/TRAM; 11/12 PT & pray for less pain Dx 7/7/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 10, 2012 10:51PM slong wrote:

Wow, bless your heart! I hope you get some help with the pain. I dont have to deal with anything like you do.  I am a young 64, have always been active, jogging and power walking and weight training.  Now I strain to get out of a chair, walk like a hobbling old lady and cant lift or walk holding my grand babies. I went to my Oncologist yesterday about the pain.  He finally admitted that some people can not take tamoxifen.  We will stop tamoxifen for a month to see if that is what is causing my hip, back and knee pain.  I will also have a nuclear bone scan to check for any cancer  in my body.  They are doing other tests as well and I pray it is nothing more than the tamoxifen, althought that means I will not be taking something to fight the recurrence of the breast cancer. It is a hard thing.  I never though about all this when I first was diagnosed. I was just willing to do what it took to make the cancer go away.  We need to help cancer patients be aware of all the of side effects of the meds they will take BEFORE they take them.  I wish you all the best in your fight. Sara

Dx 6/28/2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IB, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 24, 2012 05:39PM CharlotteNC wrote:

Diagnosed August 2008, mastectomy of right breast with no radiation. HER 2+. Had TCH for 3months (TCH every 3 weeks and Herceptin weekly, dropping to every 3 weeks after 3 months, continued Herceptin for a year). Oncology doc says I have an excellent chance as this type is aggressive, usually returns first 3 years or within 5 years. I am so thankful to be alive and to have seen my beautiful granddaughter born last October. But, as many here I experience pain! My lips and tongue are still tingling 3 years later. I take Tylenol PM every night to sleep. My hips and legs, sometimes feet kill me! Overall I am seldom sick but I've had a head cold for 3 days now and had to come home. The pain all over my body is so bad and pain/fever reducers do nothing. I tried to discuss with my oncology doctor months ago who has been great, but he said it could be from the chemo but not likely. He said I guess we needed to do the chemo. Yeah, I am almost 57 and feel 70. I try to exercise but I can't stay with it. We all have a lot to be thankful for, but I don't believe it came without a price! My best to everyone!

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Mar 11, 2012 06:09PM - edited Mar 11, 2012 06:11PM by nanme

i told you my troubles (after chemo and with tamoxofen) last october.  i have found that if i do not exercise, i hurt.  it hurts to start exercising, but over time some of the joint pain goes away.  i had to stop exercising (3 x a week) because of recent foot pain.  i have to get all new shoes for prescribed insoles (i never had foot problems in my life until now!).  since i haven't been exercising lately, the joint pain, expecially leg and hips, has returned.  i walk like i'm 80 most of the time, especially after sitting, even if only for 5 minutes.  i'm anxious to get the foot back in shape, so i can get back in shape.  i never really believed exercise helped with pain until now.  all i knew was that it hurt to exercise, so i never stayed with it long enough.  live and learn!  i still have pain which i'm beginning to think will never go away, but it seems to lessen to tolerable with exercise. 

my other thought is about how many of us suddenly develop something else after chemo, whether it's right away or a year or two later.  and i agree with "albs" when she said we may be getting nerve damage.  i think that's what's wrong with my left hand.  anyway, i like that i can sit here and let it all out.  i'm not sure the doctors know all about the after effects of chemo.  it doesn't help my pain, but it helps my outlook a little when i read that i'm not the only one who is probably going to have to deal with this sh*t for a long time to come.  there are others out there who understand.  nancy

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Mar 30, 2012 01:06PM creeksidek wrote:

It has been interesting to read all the posts.  I also had four rounds of the A/C and Taxel followed by radiation then Tamoxifen.   I am getting close to the two year out of treatment point and I feel like I was pushed off a cliff.   Many days I am just fine - no pain at all.   Then if the weather gets into a rain cycle, I feel like I can't even walk.   It is all I can do to get out of bed.   Today is one of those days.  Three days ago I hiked for five hours and felt great.   Two days ago I was fine all day.   In the late afternoon it hit me like a ton of bricks.   It seems like the more I move, the better I feel.   I dred seeing rain in any forecast.

Dx 9/9/2009, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, 12/22 nodes, ER+/PR-
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Apr 16, 2012 10:52AM Deb720 wrote:

I am 9 weeks PFC and my joint pain continues to get worse.  After sitting for a period of time I can hardly stand up and walk without looking like a 90 year old.  At night when I'm trying to sleep my shoulders hurt the worst.  I had surgery to exchange my expanders for implants two weeks ago and hoped that would help my shoulders, but no such luck.  My tumor was triple negative, so I'm not taking Tamoxifen or any other drug right now, so I can only blame it on the chemo.  I try to walk most days, but that only makes my hips hurt worse.  I don't want to stop exercising.  I'm looking at getting a stationary bike to ride and see if that doesn't hurt my hips so bad. 

Dx 8/16/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 17, 2012 09:41PM - edited Apr 17, 2012 09:43PM by Beaglesgirl

Deb, I am 6 months PFC and have just begun to turn the corner. I am still taking a couple of vicodin a day-most of the time. Its much improved from the fentanyl patches and vicodin in higher doses just a couple of months ago. I am triple negative as well and have felt that I'm going to be this decrepit shadow of my former self due to the chemo, although I wouldn't change my choices. I am all to nervous about the possibility of mets and no hormonals for us TNs. Keep the faith! Your doing all the right things... I added vit D supplements, at least 20 minutes of direct sunshine and magnesium tablets as well. Eat clean, stay away from dairy ( glasses of milk and cheesy meals) if you can- I am not militant about it I am just aware and make good choices. Anything you can do to keep the inflammation down.  ~Laura

More of my journey at....daisiesarebetterthanroses.blogspot.com ~Laura Dx 3/21/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/18/2011 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 5/5/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/3/2011 Breast Surgery 12/1/2011 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 6/17/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Apr 17, 2012 09:59PM DiDel wrote:

OMG I felt the same way after I completed chemo and I just wanted to share with you all that I did Acupuncture and it did wonders!! I did 5 sessions but by the 3rd I felt so much better. I would give it a try...sometimes insurance does cover it...not mine but some do.

Hang in there it will get better.

Diane

Dx 11/12/2009, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/22/2009 Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 3/16/2010 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 8/14/2010 Dx 10/28/2015, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/8/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 1/31/2016 3DCRT: Chest wall
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Aug 21, 2012 07:30PM pwstar wrote:

I am also dealing with joint pain while taking Femara.  I am experimenting with different diets and supplements.  I am having a bit of success but time will tell if my latest diet changes are working.  Will keep you posted.  

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Sep 8, 2012 10:56PM Lmflynn wrote:

Bumping -- and wanted to bring this topic up again... I am 46 YO -- used to be very active and in shape person.  Since chemo -- it hurts to walk, especially the heal of my foot, was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my spine, get "twinges" and pains in my back ... afraid it is too fragile ... I had a PET scan and x-rays, blood tests all negative ...

 I really don't know what to do anymore ... and what caused all this -- I feel like I've aged 20 years since chemo (Jan 2011) ... been in chemo-pause... wondering if its the estrogen (the lack of) -- the chemo etc.. none of my docs seem that concerned -- but my quality of life is diminishing...

Dx 7/12/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/13/2010 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 10, 2014 07:27AM tangandchris wrote:


I know this is an hold thread, but what the heck I figured I'd post anyway. I'm experiencing really bad joint pain, and this week it has just exploded. I have had to delay my last chemo and I'm wondering if my body thinks it is finished with it. It started with my back hurting alot, but now I'm having bad pain in my fingers,hands,wrists, and up to my elbows. Last night my hands felt stiff, almost like I couldn't bend them. I know it is the chemo, just not sure why the chemo is causing this. I'm in TAC, have had 5 rounds.

It is a relief to see others with this issue ((hugs))

My reconstruction with TE's failed...had them removed because of infection. I am still unsure of if or when I will try again. Dx 10/24/2013, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/26/2013 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 2/12/2014 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jul 4, 2017 10:51AM frndlyjen wrote:

Yes - me too!!! I had 12x Taxol and 4x A/C with Neulasta and Neupogen and I was actually pretty much fine (considering) during and after treatment. Now it's been almost exactly 2 years since my last chemo and I have so much joint pain at times that I can barely walk across the room. I'm 47 and very active - I normally work out 7 days a week with lots of cardio and hiking, but lately have had to cut back quite a bit. Until I found this message board, I didn't relate the pain to my treatment at all. I'm wondering if instead of being related to chemo, is it related to Tamoxifen? There's an article in the medical journal The Lancet published in Dec 2016 about joint pain in breast cancer survivors - do a google search. Good to know I'm not alone, however, I'm a bit terrified as to where this is leading... I can't handle it if it gets much worse.


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Jul 4, 2017 02:50PM MinusTwo wrote:

frn - there has only been one post here since 2012 so it's truly inactive.

From what I've read, Tamox and the other anti-hormone drugs can really do a number on your joints. Instead of going to 'quack' google, why not search this site? Many, many people with similar problems and it is has reputable answers.

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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Nov 2, 2017 11:18PM - edited Nov 3, 2017 01:37AM by Kittygirl5

well this was written 7 yrs ago but just want to say it's so true and a bit funny we all have this when the docs blow it off (as funny as cancer can be). I've found humor goes a long way. For me it's a bit different bc I was not very healthy before and had a long history of pain as it is. Nonetheless, I really felt I was going to make it through the cancer and get back to my old self and be ok. Well I am ok, beat the cancer but I feel like I’m a shadow of the person I used to be. The chemo further degenerated my disks and the tamoxifen flat out sucks. I don’t like to be so negative, but Thank you Breast Cancer. Just keeping it real. That being said I'm also grateful to be alive when so many other have not made it.

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Nov 9, 2017 10:52AM Diana0418 wrote:

So very interesting. I have had the teary eyes, although not so bad anymore. I used Miaderm, found on Amazon, for my radiation cream - it was AWESOME! I never burned, got pink, & at the end bright pink, but not one burn. I tell everyone, it's the only thing I'd use. Your cream sounds pretty good too, worth trying out.

I have pain in my finger joints & now my wrist - which is very bad depeneing on movement. I did 4 rounds taxotere, surgery & 35 days of radiation. I can manage the finger pain, although the numbness in my fingertips are a pain, but this wrist pain,I may have to have it looked at.

Thanks for being a supportive and proactive husband, it really does take everyone to deal with this terrible disease.

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