Have I now got bone cancer???

I’ve recently been diagnosed with aggressive stage 3 BC and am having a mastectomy on the 22<sup>nd</sup>. However, since Christmas I’ve had a severe pain in my ribs, just below the BC site (tumour is close to chest wall at base of my boob). When I press any of the three ribs directly below the BC site it really hurts. It only hurts mildly when taking deep breaths, it’s moving that’s most painful (especially lying down or getting up). There are no lumps there that I can feel. Pills or heat don’t help. I’m not seeing my surgeon for a couple of weeks (day before the mx). Could this be bone mets…does it sound like bone mets?? Should I be worried (I am worried!)? Cheers, Cx

Hi Cazzie

I am sorry to read that you are so worried, would it help to call one of our helpliners to talk your concerns over? Lines are open during the week 9-5 and 10-2 on Saturdays and our team are here to support you through this. (Helpline 0808 800 6000)

Take care


why not phone your bc nurse and discuss this and also mention it to your surgeon when you see him.The only way to be certain if this is spread will be from a ct/bone scan so I am sure they will do one if they are in any way concerned.

Before my MX, I was getting aching in my fingers (a bit like RSI). I think it was due to pressure on the lymph nodes - I do know it went away as soon as I had my surgery. So secondary aches do not necessarily mean anything bad.
Since then, I have been dx with bone mets, in 3 of my vertebrae (not ones next to each other). My initial symptoms were back ache and aching ribs, where muscles were trying to compensate for a vertebra that wasn’t working. Calling a BC nurse or the surgeon’s secretary may help. They would probably hand you over to an Oncologist for further investion (scans or x-rays), but would certainly be able to start the ball rolling.

Thanks AmysMum,
I spoke to my BC nurse and she didn’t seem worried as I’d just had a clear chest x-ray (for an aching chest bone). I guess I’m just going to have to convince myself it’s a pulled muscle until I see the surgeon on the 21st.
I’m sorry to hear about your dx. I hope its treatable xx
My back has been aching too; sometime so much that I have to sit down. I swing between telling myself it’s straining because I’m holding myself differently to stop the ribs hurting; to being convinced it’s bone cancer.

Hi Cazzie - I totally sympathise with you on the back ache and pains…mine started at a similar time to being diagnosed…My surgeon put it down to tension and then I’ve had the roller coaster ride of MX, second op, and chemo (nearly half way through!) my back ache (quite severe at times) has returned and think only disappeared because of all the pain relief. Again the oncologist has put it down to a combination of tension, post surgery and the fact that I am not as active as before…and I am hoping this is the case. Although of course our minds are pretty cruel…anyway i have pushed to have a scan and get my results tomorrow.
Sending you lots of hugs.

Hi Cazzie,it is rotten being in pain and awful when our brains go into overdrive and scare us (though natural in the circumstances). Pain doesn’t always mean cancer spread so try not to worry too much,however the only way to know for sure is to have a scan so if you are really fretting another chat with your team about scans might be in order.
Good luck with your results tomorrow mandyp, everyrthing crossed for good news.Do let us know how you get on. I do have bone mets and was dx over 2 years ago and am on the whole well.Hope you won’t be joining the gang but want you to know there is life and hope even after a secondary dx xx

Thanks Lucinda (I missed your post before) and M. I think I will push for a scan. It seems some Trusts give scans before chemo and others after. I will push for a scan because otherwise I will be really worried and I don’t see the point of waiting, if the cancer has spread it’s best to know ASAP surely. Good luck for tomorrow Mandyp; let me know how you get on. Big hugs Cxx

Hello Just read your posts, I had a Mx in May 2010 and before I had the op I had awful pain in my back that felt really focal and went right through to the front of my chest. It disappeared after my op and I think it was because of the strain of my boob changing shape with the tumours ( I had three as I had lobular cancer), it felt really scary as it was a deep pain in one spot. I had a lot of bone pain and back ache when I had chemo especially with the taxotere and after while my body got used to the letrozole. Sometimes I was in so much joint and bone pain I felt a 100 and could hardly walk. Its amazing how the changes in our bodies cause our muscles to tighten up and shorten and how that effects us in all sorts of places. I have pain in my arm and have been worried but I think its linked to a bit of lymphodema and the way I now hold my arm across my body a lot of the time and the shortening due to the asymetry. What a roller coaster it is, sometimes the anxiety just gets the better of us doesn’t it, even when usually we can keep on rocking.
Lets not forget what we have all been through and how it effects all sorts of things, you can’t have ‘just aches and pains’ anymore!! No one said BC meant we wouldn’t get old and creaky!! Good job our laughing gear muscles still work!!

All my love and big hugs to you my friends, love T x

Thanks T. My consultants have said it will be tension but have given scan for peace of mind. As it wasn’t in nodes it is really unlikely to be in bones, nevertheless I am so worried and have imagined all sorts of conversations in the consultants room tonight. It is so blimmen painful as well. I am praying that it will be ok then can just get on with getting chemo over and done with. Xxx

We posted at the same time yesterday Julie! It’s awful; I can imagine every ache from now on will be put down to cancer in my mind. I’m going to have to toughen up I saw the GP today and she thinks it’s just muscle pain. She told be to take nurofen for a week and check back. If it’s still sore then I’ll ask for scans. Good to hear that there is life after a secondary. I’m all new to the cancer stuff and have avoided looking too far into possible diagnosis and prognosis.
Marylandmanor, that’s exactly the pain I have – a deep pain in one spot; it radiates out to surrounding ribs but there is a definite spot of severe pain. I guess it could be caused by my big lump, and the lump has pulled by boob up quite a bit so maybe this has had an effect on the muscle below. Oh I feel better now, thank you. BC certainly is a rollercoaster!
This site is great, I’m so thankful all us BC sufferers can chat and help each other (although I’m no help at the mo, being a newbie I’m just full of panic!).

Hi all - just wanted to let you know that thankfully my scan was all clear…they have put the back pain down to stress, tension, muscular…I was really worried as had been almost unbearable with painkillers not even touching it…
Julie, Cazzie and T - thank you so much for your lovely messages…46 going on 100!
Still at least I know what it is and just have to get through chemo and recon.

That’s lovely news such a relief for you x x

Phew…great news mandyd xxx

That’s great news mandy! Thanks for letting us know xx

That’s fabulous news! Awful you are in so much pain but great you can be and it not be the worse you imagine!! Does that make sense??!!

Cazzie - My boob was higher than it ever was before when I had the lumps still- I am sure it was pulling it up that caused the pain. I am sure it will go along with the lump but as you say why wait - check it out.

Lots of love T x