Back pain

Dear all

A quick question for you, has anyone experienced bad back pain since being on Tamoxifen? I have been taking it for 18 months now, I do get the pains in the legs but I just give them a good rub but my lower back area aches, not all the time but I would say most, do you think this could be related to the tamoxifen or just a coincidence? How strange.

I do hope you are all keeping well, stay strong and lots of love.

Claire xx

I started tamoxifen in February and happened to mention to my GP a couple of weeks ago that I have lower back pain - he had a prod and a poke and referred me for a bone scan just to be on the safe side, says with a grade 1 tumour it’s highly unlikely I will have bone mets but anyone who’s had a breast tumour and then complains of a sore back has to get a scan.

Lilacbushes - thank goodness some GPs are on the ball. We all know backaches can be due to so many things BUT… we have had cancer and cannot afford to have them take risks with our lives. For many of us it will have a simple explanation but it really worries me that so many GPs don’t even seem to acknowledge the possibility that it could be something more sinisiter. So to Claire and lilacbushes I hope yours is yet one more of the unpleasant side effects of tamoxifen but at least get your minds put at rest.


My GP is fanstastic, won’t leave anything to chance. Also very reassuring - regards the back he said he will refer me for scan just to rule out any nasties but says that tens of millions of ppl get sore backs and a few thousand ppl get bone mets. I’m gonna be one of the millions.

I was diagnosed nearly two years ago and amI also having lower back pain and when I saw my onco cinsultant last month he arranged fro pelvic/spine x-rays and a full bone scan. I also had anther blood test and a liver scan as one if my pevious blood tests was outsude the “normal” range.

Anyway I got letter from him last week in which he said “there is no evidence of recurrent cancer”, just normal wear and tear, in other words old age!!!

I am thinking of trying pilates as I have heard it improves your muscles and I think my problem is probably poor posture, weight and sitting at a computer too long at work. Has anyione else tried pilates???

Take care & best wishes to you all


I went to see my GP today for a routine appointment and mentioned my back pains. He examined me and said they sounded muscular. However he has sent me for a blood test (bone composition - I think they can tell if anything is wrong by the amount of calcium leaching out of the bones). Didn’t want to send me for a scan/X ray as I have already had two different types of cancer and there is some risk from the radiation involved. I will have the blood test next week and get the results two weeksafter that, so hope to have my mind put at rest.

My GP has always been so good, listening to my worries, reassuring me when he can and sending me for tests if it helps. Unfortunately he retires tomorrow!

Best wishes


All of you, thank you so much for your comments and advice, I am hopefully going to see a GP this afternoon…I am on hold at the moment, no didn’t manage to, they have allowed me to make an appointment for Tuesday afternoon, they have a system ‘ring on the morning’.

Anyway, fingers crossed and all that. I hope when you get your results that it is just ‘wera and tear’ and nothing sinister.

Nythejan - I have a pilates table which has sat under my bed for the past few months, I did used to use it and it was fantastic, I never got to classes due to having a small child and work and life in general, but go for it, it is relaxing and extremely good.

Take care all of you and I will let you know what the GP says.

Lots of love

Claire xx


I rang the surgery back on Friday afternoon and managed to get an emergency appointment, they are writing to my oncologist for advice to see what she thinks of the situation…I feel so frustrated now, as I want to get things going quickly. It is normal process for them to arrange a scan? How long do you normally have to wait for these? sorry for all the questions but I don’t know how else to ask. My GP wasn’t very knowledgeable (not my usual doctor) and he kept telling me that this was not his area of expertise, he even took a personal call on his mobile when I was there…what is going on!!!

I trust you are all well.


Claire xx

The GP I saw (who I actually call Mr Wonderful) arranged my bone scan himself - none of this contacting the oncologist or consultants. He said anyone who’s had a breast tumor who then develops back pain has to be referred for bone scan to rule out bone mets.

I was at the GP on 12th June and my scan was due for today … didn’t actually happen cos I went to the wrong hospital (GP had said it would be Falkirk and I never noticed that the letter came from Stirling so I went to Falkirk) - they have re-booked it for tomorrow.

Did your GP say when to expect a response from the oncologist?

Hi lilacblushes

No indication given as to how long it will take…do you think I should contact the breast care team to see if they will know how long it will take?

Glad you’ve got oyur appointment re-done, let me know how is goes.

Love and best wishes

Claire xx

Hi all,

I too have been suffering form back pain lately, along with hip and pelvic pain. Saw my doc yesterday for something else and thought I’d mention it. He said he is confident that my aches and pains are due to the Tamoxifen and Zoladex I’m on, but wanted to err on the side of caution as previous bone and ct scans did show ‘hot spots’ on my spine. Rather than refer me himself for these scans though he has written to my onc asking him to review me asap as I need further investigation. My gp is awesome but I guess he just didn’t wanna tread on anyones toes.

So, just waiting for my appt and/or scan now. Hope you all got on ok of you’ve had them already,

Take care,


Hi Kelly

I am seeing my oncologist tomorrow, i don’t know what will happen and what she will do, I suspect it will be referrals for scans. I will let you know how it goes and I hope your appointment comes through quickly.

Take care and I hope you are okay.

Claire xx


I had been having upper and lower back pain for 2 weeks - over three weeks now - which won’t go overnight or with pain killers and I can’t think of anything I’ve done to it so went to see my GP last Tuesday. He’s fab and said he would do anything I wanted him to (in a medical way of course!) and referred me to the London Bridge Hospital for a bone scan. As I have BUPA cover, this was arranged very quickly and I had the scan last Friday. Now just got to wait for the results - aaaagh.

Just wanted to say that my GP didn’t refer me back to my onc and things have moved very quickly for me. I hope everyone gets the scans and results they deserve!


Sally xx

Hi ladies
Could you tell me what sort of scans you’ve been going for. I have a fear of confined spaces and although I’ve had a few aches and pains I’m to frightened to go to the GP for fear they’ll send me for an MRI scan. I had a CAT scan when I was measured for rads and that was fine just like a big polo mint.
I feel quite embarassed about it but I just can’t help it.
Good luck to everyone
Caz x

Hi Nythejan

PILATES is fantastic. I even prefer it to yoga. Gentle exercise and no pain. I work for a chiropractor and she recommends Pilates to her patients. Hope you find a class in your area.

Good luck,


I had a bone tracer scan a couple of weeks ago … basically jsut lie down on a padded bed thing and they put a flat camera over you … very close the the face to start with but I just closed my eyes until my head was … it started at my head and moved down to my feet.

Not had anything else so can’t comment… but would suggest if the claustrophobia is bad they may be able to sedate you if you need scans … please don’t put off going to get stuff checked out.

Thanks lilacblushes sounds like there are alternatives to the MRI. I’m going to make an appointment with my Gp and get myself checked out.
Have been taking Tamoxifen since Oct 07 seem to be ok on it, I do get the ache around the hip joint when I first get out of the chair but it’s gone in seconds. Had no back pain.
Caz x

Hi Ladies

I have been referred for a bone scan and MRI (or are they thesame thing), I am waiting on the appointment coming but should be within the next week or so then straight back to clinic for the results the following day…I feel as though its taking forever though…

I hope you are all well, my friends and I did the Race for Life in Newcastle yesterday, what a fantastic morning we had, well worth it and we raised loads too so that was even better. I hope you are all keeping well, let me know about your results etc.

Take care

claire xx

Hi Claire,

I know what you mean about feeling as though its taking forever! I am seeing my onc about my pain but not til thurs 24th. Then I’ll have to wait however long for whatever scans he decides he wants! Then another wait for the results I guess. I’m sure they don’t realise just how stressful all this waiting around is for us, they can’t do

All the very best for your bone and mri scan’s. I hope that we get results that show we’ve been worrying over nothing. I would love to be proved wrong, and there to be nothing sinister wrong. Don’t know about you but I’m not sure if I’m prepared for the results to be anything but good?

Good on 'ya for doing the race fo life and raising loads of money, nice one.

Take care and I hope all goes well, let me know when your scans are,


Hi Ladies

My bone scan has been arranged for the 23rd July…fingers crossed.

Claire x