chest and other pains - bone scan

Hi Ladies,

Not been on much recently due to trying to move on from the last year since DX and back at full 24/7 shifts at work so feel I have no time!

I have had chest pains in my sternum which started with a vengance about 5 weeks ago set off by a sudden and very sharp stabbing pain the ribs on my left side under my recon. Spent a lovely 4 hours in A&E to be told it was “muscular skeletal pain as not a heart attack and nothing on chest x-ray and ECG” since then I have had chest pains of a burning sensation under my sternum, between my shoulder blades and in my shoulders, sometimes the pain is in my lower back, hips and the worst being my left thigh bone at the knee. I also get pains in both my breasts and have a lump in my good right boob that is more like a length of tissue than round lump but painful.

The pain in my left ribs at times comes on so quick it takes my breath away and I can’t really explain it. The pains in my sternum are fairly constant and of a burning type and leaving my bones there sore to the touch. The pains in my shoulder blades come and go. The pains in my hips and back are almost grinding and the pain in the left thigh bone/knee is burning like my knee is on fire.

Having seen my Onc for my one year check up two weeks ago he grudgingly (after I burst into tears about how I’d been feeling and he’d poo pooed that it was anything BC related) he said he would “give” me a mammogram and bone scan due to my pain and recent “period” on tamoxifen (and probably the angry sobbing woman who wouldn’t be reassured by his limp handshake and statistics!).

I have my bone scan on Friday and mammo a week Friday with appt for results about the 27th.

Stupidly having done a wee bit of reading on secondary bone cancer I have scared myself silly. I am more thirsty too than before.

Can anyone with bone secondaries explain how they found out/the type of pain etc and particularly anyone with pain under their sternum?

Yours, worried, thanks, xxx

Hi ostrich

Whilst you wait for the other users to reply with their advice and experiences you may find it helpful to talk to one of the trained members of staff on the BCC helpline. Here you can share your worries and concerns with someone who will offer you a listening ear as well as support and information. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm.

I hope this is helpful.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

hi ostrich ,sorry you are going through all the pain at the moment without any answers ,i cant tell you its not bone secs as only scans etc can tell you that ,but just wanted to tell you my experiences ,ive had severe pains on my right side opposite my mastectomy site!1 fisrt scan showed nothing but pain was still there and getting worse seems whenever i moved or breathed it tkaes mt breath away! after several appointments with the oncologist and breast surgeon they drew a balnk as to what it is thats causing it ! ive been prescribed strong painkillers but as im allergic to oppiates could not take them ! so struggling to find relief ,i was convinced it was susupicious but the doctors have ruled this out (i do have liver secs )so now i have an appointment at the pain clinic to try and help me get through this ,im thinking maybe its the arimadex i know this gets blamed for almost everything at the moment ,but what else can i do?? i do hope you get some answers to your problem ,its the not knowing thats the worse and im afraid once we have a diognosis of cancer we tend to think every pain is that come back .take care of yourself ,xlynn x

had very similar going on for about a month. doc sending me for a scan and i wont be happy till ive had it and know its not liver mets. the under rib pain, shoulder and back is getting me down sooooo tired !!!

Hi Ostrich,
first my best wishes and I hope your news will be good.
I know I have a diagnosis of secondary bone cancer but your aches and pains sound so much like mine.
The ache in my shoulder turned out to be bone cancer but all the other aches are unrelated. My BCN says that that all the treatment we undergo ages us by 5 years and unfortunately some women still have side effects from the chemotherapy a couple of years on after treatment.
I haven`t been too bad over the summer months but with the last few days being colder I can feel the aches starting again.
My thoughts are with you and lots of hugs

Thanks for all your replies!

Had my bone scan last Friday and have my mammogram this Friday with appt to see my Onc on the 29th for results.

Pain still there and have developed really painful lower back pain in the last week so that its getting to the point where I struggle to sit down and struggle to get in and out of the car.

Hopefully its just old age (40!)

Will let you know how I get on. 3 weeks of waiting but thankfully I am so busy working time is rushing by!

Hi Ostrich,
I hope your results are good,it seems along time to wait till the 29th though!
I wish they would do something about the time we have to wait for results.
A lot of people seem to get joint pain on tamoxifen,are you on that?
Have you tried glucosamine?
Fingers crossed for the 29th.

Hi Ostrich, I am sorry hear that you are so worried about your aches and pains. The waiting of results is definately the worst bit of the whole procedure of scans and tests. I DO have bone secondaries and was diagnosed ten years ago, ten years after my first diagnosis of breast cancer. I had pain in my ribs and lower back to begin with and the pain could be really awful . So bad I would be in tears and pacing the floor not knowing what to do with myself. I also suffer from what is loosely known as “referred pain” which has to do with the pain running down the nerves. But you can also get the pain you describe for other reasons so it is not definite that you have bone secondaries. Once you know your results get back to us. I have the pain under control and am undergoing treatment which has kept me active and I am back to enjoying life again. I can remember the agony and fear but honestly once you know the results things will feel a lot better. Would it be possible for you to contact a Braest Care Nurse at the hospital? Tell her how worried you are and perhaps she can help you and/or get your appointment moved forward? Love and hugs, Val ( scottishlass)

im kate and i ve only been diagnosed wityh sec bone mets in june, i started with a nagging lower back pain which drs put down to a sports injury, however with rest the pain did not get better infact became gradually worse until it would keep me awake at night and i would pace the room not knowing wot to do. i also had severe pain in my ribs which felt dsore tender and bruised to touch and i couldnt lie on my side as the pain would be un bearable. following getting to a point where i had severe nerve pains in my legs groin pelvis and bak i was scanned and had mets to my pelvis, lower spine and ribs. now i am on hormone therapy pain control drugs and bone strengtheners and its unbelievable how the quality of my life has changed in 3 months. i can now re go to the gym and plan to go skiing again this year… i just get very tired sometimes.

but who knows hopefully you wont bejoining us on our met journey but if u are then life can still go on :slight_smile: good luck with ur results…its def very fresh i my mind and waiting was the hardest part of it. kep smiling and be strong x

hi ostrich,
when i first had bc in 1991 i had chemo then rads, about a year or so later i developed a pain in my ribs just like you described and the onc ordered a bone scan, but it turned out to be little bony nodules that were also sore to the touch caused by the radiotherapy, it seems radio can cause a lot of damage and side-affects so much so it is a wonder they use it at all.
i don’t have bone mets but have been investigated a number of times as i have a lot of pain and problems with my back and legs due to another back problem, so here’s hoping it could be due to your treatments, as everyone say’s it is a horrible time waiting for results but as soon as you know them you will feel much better either way. if results are good then great if not then they can get on and deal with it.
good luck hope all is well

Hello Ostrich

I just wanted to take time to wish you well and good luck for your results which I hope you get quicker than forecast.

I can understand how worried you must feel, I know we both went through chemo around the same time last year, did you have taxotere? It’s just that my Onc have told me that pain from tax can last for sometime after treatment finishes, and also if you had rads I believe that too can cause quite a lot of pain, especially around the rib area.

I am very sore and uncomfortable from something, I presume its probably from the mx, but as I had a combination of tax/mx/rads and herceptin its difficult to know what causes what.

Fingers crossed for you, its good that you are busy but I’m sure it doesn’t take away the underlying anxiety.

Take care

P xx

Hello Ostrich. Just a wee note to wish you well tomorrow when you have your mommogram done. I know the waiting is h**lish and I find it the worst part of all. All the besy, love Val XX


Thank you all so much for your good wishes! The mammo went ok, results same day as bone scan results - 29th.

I didn’t have radio as had mx so pain not from that. I had FEC chemo and not tax so pain not from that.

Back pain has eased, the most persistent area is my sternum - behind it and to the sides!

I now have swine flu so feel like poo!

Will let you know how I get on but thank you all for thinking of me, xxx

Hi Ostrich, just wondering if you got your results back yesterday and, if so, what they revealed? Hoping that you got the good news you deserve. Let us know how you got on. Hugs, Caro xx