Upper back pain


I have completed chemotherapy, mastectomy and radiotherapy for breast cancer and am currently having 14 rounds of Kadcyla as I did not have a complete response from chemo.

I am really suffering with shoulder blade and upper back pain. It hurts to press and aches. I think it might be muscular as I seem to have a lot of knots in my back. I'm trying so hard not to panic and jump to conclusions.

Has anyone else experienced this type of upper back and shoulder blade pain? I should add that it is the opposite side to my cancer.

Thanks x

  • Hello Harker1

    I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with shoulder and back pain at the moment. It's understandable that you may be feeling anxious about this. 

    It's certainly worth speaking to your breast care nurse about your concerns but I'd also suggest speaking to your GP about the possibility of accessing your local physiotherapy service. Some health boards even have a self-referral scheme that you may be able to use. I know that we've had ladies post here on the forum who have found that following a mastectomy they have developed shoulder/back pain as their body adjusts to living with one breast or the weight of the prosthesis causes issues. It may be something as simple as the way you're sleeping that's aggravating this problem. 

    Either way Harker have a chat with your GP surgery, and breast care team, to see if you can get some reassurance and work towards improving things. 

    Best wishes, 
    Cancer Chat moderator 

  • Hi Harker 1 hope you are doing ok. 
    I had a lumpectomy last November followed by chemo and radiotherapy which ended in June. From about my fourth cycle which would have been in March I experienced some pain between my shoulder blade and als problems with my stomach. If I sat down to a meal I felt full after two forkfuls or nauseous and this has continued. I als had lots of excessive wind after eating and a funny sensation in my stomach, I saw my GP and have had a host of tests as obviously I've been losing weight too. It turns out I have multiple gall stones, this is evidently the cause of my pain. I am confident that this is accurate as I have also had my yearly mammogram and an mri, I've had a gastroscope and a chest X-ray so I know they have covered all avenues. I am now awaiting a referral to the surgical team to have a review, just hoping I don't need surgery. 
    I would speak to your GP to be honest.  I now take lanzoprozole which really helps too.

    Hope you get sorted soon xxx

  • Hi 

    I don't have breast cancer but I can relate to your anxiety and aches and pains.

    I have finished my treatment for throat cancer 3 weeks ago. Before treatment I was getting pain in my spine between shoulder blades and during treatment it seemed to go away. My treatment was 2 doses of chemo and 6 weeks of radiotherapy. About a week ago the pain has returned in my spine and now seems to be in my right ribs too.

    I am really worried that the treatment hasn't worked and cancer has spread but I won't find out till April when o get a pet scan. My cancer was quite small in the lymph nodes and I wish they had did surgery as at the time of diagnosis there was no spread to any organs. 

    I am so worried but I have an appointment with my cancer nurse on the 11th of January and will voice my concerns then.

    My wife's cousin had breast cancer and she had been given the all clear and the way they check to see if treatment has worked was with measurements of the tumor. Sadly in her case the chemo had split and hadn't actually shrunk and spread to her organs. She said that there has to be a scan to check as simply measuring the tumor wasn't enough and started a bit of a campaign. 

    In your case though with surgery it sounds like they got it all and the radiotherapy will be to mop up as my oncologist calls it any potential left over micro cells.

    Best of luck with your recovery.

  • Hi Samster1, been reading your posts and comments and wondered how you got on after discovering the shoulder blades pain?