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Wednesday, October 27, 2010 Debbie, Community Member, asks

Q: Can breast cancer cause back pain

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Answers (1)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/27/10 7:30pm

Debbie, if breast cancer metastasizes (spreads), it can go to your bones, including bones in you back and Spine. So the answer is yes, it's possible for breast cancer to cause back pain, indirectly. PJH

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Debbie, Community Member
10/30/10 7:41am

Thank you for your response. I went to my regular doctor last week and he found something in my right breast that concerned him very much. He immediately got me in to the Harrington Cancer Center the following morning for a mammogram and a sonogram. The person that did the mammogram seemed concerned and said she could see what I was talking about. After another  person did the sonogram, she called the doctor in to see the area that we were concerned about. I have lost about 50-60 lbs since April 2010 because I have been very sick with other things. And I lost alot of the weight in my breasts (unfortunately). He seemed to think it was just a thickening of the tissue and wants to see me in 6 months at which time they will do another mammogram and will have a base to compare it to. I have been having alot of back pain for some time (in the center of my back). I have had MRI's and nothing shows for the that area of my back. They did find that I have severe Spinal Stenosis and have been treating me for that. They have given me Hyrdrocodone, but it doesn't help my back pain. It just takes the edge off so I don't blow my brains out. After finding out about the breast mass, I started thinking about the back pain. I just wanted to explain to you my thought process. I do thank you again for your response.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/30/10 8:25am

An understandable conclusion to jump to, Debbie, but thankfully, not likely. It would be extremely unlikely for pain in your back to be caused by a spread of breast cancer, when the breast cancer hasn't been identified. Sometimes women have breast cancer that's spread to the bones in their back, without being diagnosed with breast cancer prior to the back pain; but you can't have metastasized breat cancer without any diagnosis at all of an original cancer. So, while it doesn't really help your back pain at all, at least you can be sure it's not doe to breast cancer. I hope and pray you get some relief soon - have you tried a chiropractor? I've known people who got help from chiroproactors when their regular doctors were unable to help... just a thought. PJH

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
10/30/10 7:47pm

Debbie, if you had an unidentified cancer that had spread to your bones, the MRI's you've been having would probably have found it.  Be sure to stay alert to further changes in your breast.  If your symptoms worsen, don't wait six months to see the doctor again.  I hope your back pain and other health problems soon clear up.

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By Debbie, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/29/14, First Published: 10/27/10