Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
172 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction

Can chemotherapy for breast cancer result in muscle pain?

Hello,

I am a 48 year old woman who is otherwise very healthy, and have just begun chemotherapy for breast cancer, after a bilateral mastectomy. My tumor was Grade 3, 2.5 cm, ER+PR+ and HER2+, with negative nodes. I am having a very rough time with my TCH chemotherapy, which is causing me severe burning muscle pain. Just as I began to recover from my first round, on about day 9, I developed a “chemical” burning type feeling in my upper trapezius and upper back area, and a little bit down the back side of my upper arms. This pain became intense, very similar to the pain I felt just one day after mastectomy surgery. It left me either completely couch-bound or zoned out on vicodin, with really nothing in between, and lasted until just two days before my next treatment (9 days total). The doctor was unsure if it was even related to chemo, and thought perhaps muscle spasms from the large of amount of surgery was a possible cause. I began physical therapy and muscle relaxers to try and help.

However this pain returned earlier in my second cycle, on day two and is getting worse. It is moving down to include the middle back area, and still builds to an intensity that makes it impossible to function. It is a burning type pain that builds to spasm until I am completely weak and down on the couch if I try to back off the narcodics, but they come with their own issues! I am on day 9 of my second cycle and have been barely able to leave the house. As the pain progresses, I feel more and more weak. My oncologist suggested continuing to take vicodin, and has suggested perhaps we will switch to Taxol instead of Taxotere, but I am very concerned about whether I should be continuing with chemo at all. I am not interested in having permanent nerve damage. He says he has not seen this type of reaction, and certainly doubts anything would be permanent. I would very much love some other viewpoints on this type of pain. Is this a presentation of neuropathy we should be concerned about in relation to damage done?

I assume if I discontinue the chemo, continuing with Herceptin and Tamoxifen are still of benefit, but I am trying to balance with risks and benefits at this point. I am an active, strong person and would like to remain that way!

Thank you for any insight if you have experience with this type of symptom.

Kelly Mesenburg
Thu, 8 Jun 2017
Report Abuse
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Drug/Medication
Treatment/Therapy
Medical Procedures ,  
General Surgeon 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service.
I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

Your symptoms are totally due to chemotherapy. As far as for continuing chemotherapy, your tumor profile is good. Being postmenopausal you won't get much with chemotherapy. So, if you find it very difficult with chemotherapy then hormonal therapy with Herceptin is a suitable option for the tumor profile you have.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. B.dinesh
I find this answer helpful
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
This is a short, free answer. For a more detailed, immediate answer, try our premium service [Sample answer]
Share on
 

Related questions you may be interested in

doctor1 MD

Hello, Doctor I am Satirani Das. A cancer patient. I had undergone surgery on 01/07/16.My left breast had been removed. Diagnosis-Medullary...

Recent questions on  Mastectomy

doctor1 MD

I am 35 year old female. I am 5 8 and 160lbs. 6 years ago I had a bilateral mastectomy, and 5 months ago I had a bilateral oopherectomy. Recently I...

doctor1 MD

I am 68 yr old white female. Right side mastectomy 15 yrs ago, Now left breast has painful burning for past 5 days.--no lumps felt. Yearly...

doctor1 MD

I started feeling pain under my breast a week ago. I went to the doctor today. I need a mammogram cause he felt a few small masses on both breasts....

doctor1 MD

I had a rt lumpectomy in 2000 and rt mastectomy in 2003 and dec in 2010 for a brief time and now for 4 straight days I have had pain in the rib...

doctor1 MD

Dear Doc Trust this gets you well. I have been diagnosed with “ INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMA – GRADE II” in my left breast at around 2.0 clock...

doctor1 MD

I have found blood on my pillow off and on. and sometimes on my bed for the past few months. Last time this happened for over a year, I thought it...

doctor1 MD

My aunt had a mastectomy a couple of years back, and now it appears like a relapse. Of course, she is consulting specialists in XXXXXXX but I...