Persistent back pain- support please

Hello Everyone,

I could really use some reassuring right now.

I have been on Tamoxifen for 3months. I began having SE’s immediately. The first tablet was nausea, but was gone by the second tablet. Within the first week my lower back was uncomfortable, but not agony. I told the oncologist and he ordered an x-ray which came back clear. Back ache persisted. He then ordered a whole body bone scan which was also clear. I pray that you all can share with me your experiences. I do experience the other pain and joint aches as well, but they seem less persistent and not as annoying. I saw oncologist today to request a ct scan. He agreed and now I wait for approval from insurance and then the scan. My question is how likely are two test to have missed something ? I know an X-ray may not be very informative, but I think the bone scan should offer the doctor enough insight. I could really use the answers and support of you ladies. Thank you all for any advice and support that you all will share.

I also just completed all active treatment 1/29/18 and I’m 54 years old.

Hello Humblepeace,  these s/e really put us through it don’t they?   You should take some comfort that x-rays and body scan didn’t find anything.  I’m now 3 years on, older than you, so started with anastrozole.  I did have intermittent back ache before, but then there were times when it became impossible to actually walk about. Had x-rays, nuclear something or other, MRI - but all showed there was a problem, although not mets, which obviously is the biggest worry. Luckily it was ‘just’ osteoarthritis!!  I now take amitryptiline (20mg) at night, which tackles the nerve pain, allows me to sleep & miraculously seems to have taken the crippling back pain away.  My joints/back are still stiff in the morning, but that goes fairly quickly.

I did find that various brands of anastrozole made the back pain worse - are you taking the same brand of tamox? I now take exemestane (still affects bones though!), also alendronic acid & adcal d3 - feel like I rattle with pills.

I firmly believe that these pills, although essential, do have more s/e than some medics allow.  Good to know that your onc has listened to you.  I also have a theory that the more oestrogen + you are, the more the pills strip that away, and the more the s/e will occur.  I’m at +8!

Do hope you soon get some answers soon - the waiting game is awful, and that all is ok for you.:cathappy:xx


Hey Rubycat,

Thanks so much for your timely and informative reply. I certainly needed it. You are so helpful to so many. Keep encouraging we all need it. ((Hugs)). I will continue on with the oncologist and will let you know the outcome. I’m believing that my body will be pain free.

Hi Rubycat,

Just wanted to update as someone else may have the same or similar symptoms.

I did have the ct scan and it was clear. What was discovered was that I have arthritis in L4 and L5 and the right hip area. Though I thought the back pain was a side effect of the Tamoxifen because it started 3-4 days after I started tamoxifen. I’m relieved to know the cause of the pain, which actually has eased some since, now to see my PC for further info and treatment. I’m 54 and had no issues with back pain or arthritis prior to chemotherapy or tamoxifen???
Thanks again for your helpful advice and kind words.