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Anxiety symptoms


Re: Anxiety symptoms

Hi Tracey


Thank you for your post.


It sounds like you’ve had a very difficult time and it’s good to read the CBT techniques have helped with the anxiety and that the colonoscopy was normal.


Digestive disturbance and pins and needles are common side effects of anxiety.  Although, Escitalopram (see under undesirable side effects) can also sometimes cause very similar symptoms. It’s worth thinking back to when these particular symptoms started and whether you think there may be some link. 


I’m unsure exactly where you’re experiencing the burning and pin pricking type sensation on your skin.  If it’s in the area where you had your surgery (see sensation changes) or, radiotherapy  (see late side effects) it may be related to your treatment.  The sensations you describe are often related to nerve pain experienced during the healing process when tissue damage has occurred.


I wonder if you’ve discussed your symptoms with your breast care nurse.  It’s always important to let your team know, if you’re experiencing symptoms that don’t resolve.  However, if this sensation is not in the treatment area, it could be related to the severe anxiety you’ve experienced recently.


You may already know about Anxiety UK.  If not, they have a range of services that may help to support you further at this time. You can also speak to your GP about any of your symptoms or worries.


Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open. 


Please be aware that we will be closed on Monday 26 August due to the bank holiday.


Best wishes




Breast Cancer Care Nurse


Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer. This thread will now be closed from further replies. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread.



Re: Anxiety symptoms

Hi Anniej,

Thank you so much for your reply. I did try Yoga at my local Maggies and it really helped. I have my name down for the next session in September. I will look into TiaChi and I do try to walk my dog as often as I can, as I have found that has really helped my digestive system. I will continue to accept help when and where are I can. This whole experience is like a living nightmare, but once you know others are going through it too, it makes it more bearable. 

Thank you and good luck with everything.

Tracey (Shadow)



Re: Anxiety symptoms

Hi Jaybro,


Thank you so much for your lovely reply. It’s reassuring to know that all these symptoms are linked to anxiety and that you have been unfortunate enough to suffer with them for so many years. I really take my hat off to you! I will certainly try the hypnosis video on YouTube by Michael Sealey and the Progressive Hypnosis. I have been using Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques on YouTube and that helps me to calm down a lot before I go to bed. 


You are so right, our bodies and minds have been through so much trauma and we need to be kind to ourselves. I just try to take each day as it comes but some days are easier than others. I will certainly try your suggestions. Thank you so much and good luck to you too.


Tracey (Shadow)



Community Champion

Re: Anxiety symptoms

Hi Tracey, jaybro has given you a great reply, so I’m backing her up to let you know there are more of us out here with anxiety levels than not! 😱 I was lucky to get a referral to the psychological services at my hospital after I scored 22/23 on the anxiety questionnaire I was given. I am now more able to accept my diagnosis ( ER+, op, lymph node removal,chemo, rads, Letrozole, Palbociclib, tumours diagnosed in lungs) and I am getting on with life as best I can, and as fully as I can, but with help from others. Never turn down an offer of help, is my advice, and reach out wherever you can. I found that simple physical exercise helps tremendously, as does attending TaiChi at my local Maggies centre. Haven’t got time to think about the ugly stuff!  Thinking of you, and sending best wishes. X


Re: Anxiety symptoms

Hi Tracey


Arrogant of me to reply as I’m no nurse (hopefully she’ll respond soon) but, unfortunately, I’m an expert on anxiety! Yes. Simple as that. Crawling skin, tummy troubles, a heightened awareness of any change in how your body is acting... I can relate to them. I’ve lived with (but managed) anxiety and panic disorder for 50 years. For me, the internal trembling is related to surges of adrenaline when I control the visible shaking (like when I was working and didn’t want people to see). It was too much control/physical tension causing it.


Oddly, chemotherapy ‘cured’ me of many anxiety symptoms. I finished April, but since December I’ve had no headaches, no IBS, no panic attacks, (also no hay fever but that’s irrelevant!); in fact the only anxiety symptoms I’ve experienced have been normal, heading off for an MRI etc. It’s been great in that respect and I’m working hard now to change my instinctive reactions so anxiety doesn’t become a daily part of life again.


One thing you might consider trying (I was very sceptical but desperate and it helped me a lot) is a hypnosis ‘video’ on YouTube by Michael Sealey. It’s specifically for Anxiety, Digestion and IBS. Repeated listening helped a lot when I had digestive problems caused by chemo and I still go back to it occasionally. Just type the name and title into the YT search box. There are lots of others - I’m particularly fond of Progressive Hynpnosis’ Manifest Healing while you sleep - sent me off in minutes before Anastrozole put an end to sleep.


I hope you find your answers and the anxiety eases. We’ve been through something incredibly traumatic, both physically and emotionally, so I’d guess your response has been unfortunate but normal. For me, it was an interesting one - I was so tied up in my phobias and panics that cancer barely touched it. All my fears focused on surgery and treatment in relation to my panics, not cancer, so I actually had a ‘positive’ emotional experience. The rest was vile lol.


Meantime, no embarrassment, no shame, no ‘I should be able to...’ You’re human. Be gentle on yourself and keep seeking help as you need it. Good luck x




Anxiety symptoms

Dear Nurse,

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of last year after a mammogram at the age of 55.

I had a lumpectomy in January and it was found I had her2 negative grade 2, 1 node positive (micro met only). In agreement with my oncologist, I have opted out of chemo, as the potential benefits were very small 3%. I had 15 rounds of radiotherapy and tried Anastrozole 1mg, but unfortunately because I was suffering from severe anxiety I could not tolerate it. I came off of the drug.  However, now that I am slightly more stable with the aid of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Escitalopram 10 mg I am due to go back to see the oncologist to discuss about trying Tamoxifen this time,


My anxiety has definitely subsided over the last 6 weeks; I no longer have severe panic attacks like I used to. But, I still suffer from an internal trembling; it feels like I have an electric toothbrush buzzing inside my body. I don’t have it all the time, but when I get anxious it starts. I also get a burning and pin pricking type sensation on my skin.  My tummy also trembles and gurgles. I had a colonoscopy at the end of June and all is fine, except for a mild case of diverticulitis. I try using my CBT Techniques and they do help. But I just wanted to ask: Are these normal symptoms of anxiety?


kindest regards,