liver mets - pain in my shoulder, anyone else?

hi all, hope your all enjoying the sun!!! yippie!!

i have liver mets, and at the moment im getting a pain in my shoulder constantly, its like an achey pain but when i touch it it doesnt hurt as much. i know this is linked to my liver tumor, the doc says it could be internal bleeding due to the tumor shrinking, but it really does hurt. im taking pain killers but it doesnt seem to go away.

anyone else experiencing the same as me and any advice on pain killers to take??


The anecdotes I have heard about referred shoulder pain from liver mets suggest that tumour(s) may be pushing against certain nerves which is then felt in the shoulder.


thanks, ive just been reading up on it aswell. i have been taking neurofen but another site mentioned ibuprofen same thing. i’ll just keep taking the pain killers!


Hi H.

re the pain control - I know this is pretty basic stuff, but if you are anything like me you aren’t into strong painkillers. To be honest they do my head in. Recently because of increased pain problems I finally got assigned a macmillan nurse and because I am not keen on painkillers she has told be to go right back to the simplest and take paracetamol - but to take it regularly, and if it isn’t enough to add to the mix ibuprofen. It hasn’t totally got on top of the pain, but for me is sufficient. But the emphasis is on keeping up a certain level of it in your blood. I bet when she comes back to visit she even checks how many I have left in the box LOL.


Poor you. Unfortunately, there are certain areas in the tummy that cause this type of pain in the shoulder called ‘referred pain’. I know I had it really bad after a laparoscopy and that was just for a few days, I don’t know how you cope with it long term.
I agree with Dawn - often it is best to start with the simplest painkillers like paracetamol and nurofen. Neurofen is the same as ibruprofen so be careful.
definately ask about pain control from a specialist like the Macmillan nurses or hospice nurses. They have really helped me so much with all sorts of symptom control and it doesn’t mean you are expected to live only a short time to see them.I’ve seen mine for the last 18 months and have been wonderful.
Hope you get some relief soon.


I too have recently been diagnosed with liver mets 20 lesions, and have a terrible pain in my right shoulder which feels like a chinese burn crossed witha muscle pain. Has anyone had relief from this after chemo?


I have a pain in my right shoulder as well although it’s not that bad that I need painkillers for it. I think that mines is down to my lump on my chest however I have never heard about it being linked to the liver before and surprise surprise my onc didn’t tell me it could be either.

I would just be careful if you are on chemo and taking strong painkillers because I was on strong tablets whilst on my first dose of Xeloda and they think this added to the diarrhea and sickness I had which lead to a 2 week stay in hospital. Just be careful and make sure if you don’t feel right that this could be the cause.


Just wanted to add my experience in here. I’ve just finished having laser treatment to my liver to zap the 3 lesions on my liver and I have experienced shoulder pain on both occasions. I’ve been told that this is common and is connected to your liver. I’m having this treatment in Germany and the German Onc has recommended that I take ibuprofen and not paracetamol because he says the latter is too harsh for the liver to tolerate.

Just to clarify, I am living in the UK and having NHS treatment but am going out to Germany for private treatment because you can’t get the advanced treatments in the UK.

Good luck