Symptoms of recurring or secondary BC

Can anyone tell me what their initial symptoms were for a recurring or secondary BC?

It will be two years since diagnosis with grade 3 invasive ductal carconma in July, and treatment was chemo, rh mastectomy and rads.all very successful according to CT scan and three monthly checks by oncologist

I have recently experienced some pain (like nettle sting or pin pricking) near scar, and similar pain in back near spine and on ribs, left side. The pains are intermittent and usually occur more a night time. I also feel unbelievably tired, more so than a few months ago.

I’ve been told I’ll know if it comes back as recurrence or develops into secondaries as the pains are continual and unrelenting. However, I didn’t experience pain with my tumour (5cm), and only found it by chance.

If its any help, i often get sharp pains near my scar, like a shooting type pain, and have been told its from the rads i had in April 2008.

Hi Lou Lou. I was diagnosed with secondary BC this year (liver and bones). My symptoms were a bad back. Quite severe backache, though at no point did I think anything was seriously wrong with me. Since my original lumpectomy in 2006 I’ve often felt pain around the scar tissue - this has always been written off as mending scar tissue / rads. I don’t believe there is any connection between this latter pain and my current condition. I would advise seeing your GP and getting a referral to your oncologist, if it is felt necessary. It’s easy to get paranoid about every ache and pain, but it is also important to check things out. I wish I had gone to the doctor sooner.

Best wishes


I’ve had two recurrences now and no pain with either, the way mine showed itself was a dent first time and a lump under my arm second time.

Way back when I had my initial diagnoses and after rads, I had a really bad stabbing pain in that area now and again, I was convinced it had returned. When I mentioned it to my consultant he said that it was my nerves knitting together, it went on for quite a while.

Hope yours settles down soon but if you are worried get checked out just for your piece of mind.

Take care.


Thank you Jan, Tawny and Lolly,

I hope you are all doing ok, and having the treatment and follow up you need and deserve. Another friend is suffering treatment at the moment and it’s made me realise how lucky I am/was to be treated properly.

I’ve an appointment to see my original diagnosis surgeon in a couple of weeks, so hopefully he will clarify things after having a good feel around on my remaining breast…sometimes I wish he’d just chopped that one off too whilst removing the cancerous one!

I agree with Jan that it sounds like nerve pain. I’ve had 3 operations and after the first two I had the continuous prickling of a darning needle in my breast! It frightened the life out of mee but was reassured that it was indeed nerves healing. The professionals say it can take years to be without symptoms, but that’s not very reassuring to you after two years!

Do hope you will be reassured very soon.
It is such a worrying time to be left with a colourful imagination and unknown physical symptoms! Best of luck to be less anxious until you see Dr but if not keep posting…
Really wishing you well.
However, I feel bad that I’m giving you advice because we are all so different and it is so difficult to explain physical pain/feelings to anyone else. I really think a medic is the only one who can reassure you properly.

Welsh girl

hi there

why not get it checked out and ask for your tumor markers to be checked. Better to be safe and also peice of mind .

Victoria :slight_smile:

Hiya - really pleased you asked the question LouLou :slight_smile:

I finished chemo in January and rads in March, and was feeling fine and a bit too upbeat when a ‘friend’ told me an horrific story which has set my down a path that I didn’t ever imagine I would be going down.

I have been left feeling quite shaken and am a bit paranoid now. Like you say welsh Girl, it’s easy to let your imagination get the better of you. I too have some strange sensations going on (base of my ribs on the side of my tumour), and even though the onc said it was probably some inflamed periosteum from the rads, my brain is nagging at me that it could be something more sinister. I hadn’t even considered the possibilities of a recurrence until my so called friend told me what she did.

Normally I can rise above this kind of thing, but she has really knocked me. I have a follow up appointment with the surgeon in July, and was going to wait until then to ask again about the rib thing, but now I’m not sure…Am I just being a paranoid android - and if so how can I regain that wonderful feeling of being free from BC and the hideous treatment?