Shoulder Pain Almost 2 years after surgery

I haven’t posted in ages as I thought every thing was great and it was time to move on and not think about breast cancer so much. I had been feeling fine, was getting used to my new breast (celebrated it’s birthday in July) and had my one year checks in August and all was good. Two weeks ago marked a year since the end of my rads too.

However, for the last couple of months I have been experiencing arm and shoulder pain that is getting gradually worse and is beginning to severely impact my life.I am only the driver at home and changing gear has become very painful and I am due to start working as a nursing assistant next month, but now fear I may not be able to manage this.

I continued my exercises for a full year post recon (so that was 18 months post Axcillary clearance) and had full range of movement and no pain at all until now.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? Any advice on how to deal with it welcomed please. My GP just said take paracetemol and try ibuprofen gel. It helps but I don’t feel that I should be taking all these painkillers indefinitely.

Thank you


Jacqui why not contact your Bcn and ask her if she can organise and appointment with your onc or surgeon just to put your mind at rest… They can refer you on to physio if you need it.

Hope it gets easier. X

I am presumming it is the shoulder on yr effected side?

The reason I ask as I have been experiencing pain in my shoulder for 3 - 4 wks now…but not on my effected side…I went to my GP who dx frozen shoulder…probably not helped by my job…I am a nursery nurse, working with babies and toddlers…he put me on Naprosyn anti-inflammatories for 2 wks and if no bettr at end of that is going to do a cortisone injection.

I am 7.5 year since dx, and don’t have great faith in my GP as it took him 18mths and my persistance to get him to refer me, even though there is a family history of BC.

I would go back o yr GP or see a different one for a second opinion or, as has been suggested ring yr BCN.

Thanks ladies,
I’ll give the BCN a ring. It is my affected arm. You sometimes feel like you are making too much though and I have been putting it off.

Thank you for encouraging me to go to see the BCN. In fact I called her and she got me an appointment with breast surgeon who immediately had x-rays, bloods and bone scan done. It seems that I have cancer on the bone at the top of my axilla. I am having CT scan on monday to confirm.
This is another pretty crap Christmas gift as my original mammogram was on 21 Dec 2009.
It is my only hotspot, do you think this is bone mets or could it somehow be a recurrence of the primary affecting my bone? My BC was low grade and I had lumpectomy and axillary clearance, chemo, mastectomy, and rads, but my surgeon removed both my tumour and lymph nodes (3/14 affected) through one incision, I thought maybe this might mean he had left a lymph node behind?
I’m probably clutching at straws, but in my mind it seems that a recurrence is better than mets.


Hi Jacqui

I am really sorry that you have had this news. I don’t have any answers, but I really hope someone else sees this and can help.



Aww jacqui I’m really sorry to hear your news and the timing sucks!

As for your question a primary is normally within the breast tissue and/or nodes and local recurrence is normally within the the breast or nodes on the same side. A regional recurrence is usually with the chest area such as chest wall muscle or nodes around the collar bone or under the ribs but in the bones or other organs. Usually if you have cancer in the bones or other organs this is classed as secondary breast cancer but your own team will be able to tell you exactly if this is your situation.

Secondary breast cancer in the bone is generally easier to treat and stabilise than if you actually had a primary bone cancer. It’s now not treated as life threatening but as a chronic condition with people having if for many years I know one lady who posts on here and was diagnosed with bone mets 12 years ago and she’s great always off galavanting to foreign shores, and there are a number of other who have been living with bones mets for a very long time.

I hope your pain is now under control.

Take care
Lulu x

Thank you Lulu for more very good advice.

I can do chemo and rads again, but my friend Dawn passed away with liver mets in July and I was starting to write myself off even though I knew that bone mets were much more treatable. :slight_smile:



Without a shadow of doubt, go and INSIST on having a CT scan or a MRI. I state this as fact, as unfortunately, my eldest sister passed away of cancer 6 weeks ago. She was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2015, her chemo and radiotheraphy finished in April 2016. In October (only 6 months after treatment), she went back to her doctor’s surgery, was seen by at least 3 different doctor’s, who ALL dismissed her shoulder pain, which then lead to complete use of her right arm, as a “pulled muscle/trapped nerve”. Not one of them, dispute her history, and having the lump removed out of her right breast, sent her to hospital. She went back and forth, and on her 51st birthday, in January 2017, she had had enough, and went to hospital, the next day, 27th January, she rung me to say after a CT scan, her cancer, secondary, was back in her lungs & liver. She died, 3 1/2 weeks later. Had the GP’s took notice of her originally, they would have spotted this. PLEASE, PLEASE, do not suffer anymore or be fobbed off, INSIST on a scan. I truly wish you good health, and good luck.