Friday, March 17, 2023
HomeCauseCan Breast Cancer Cause Back Pain

Can Breast Cancer Cause Back Pain

How To Preform Breast Self

What Type Of Cancer Causes Back Pain?

There has been some debate over the years regarding just how valuable breast self exam is in detecting the early stages of breast cancer and increasing the rate of survival. However many breast cancer organizations still believe that breast self exam is a useful strategy, especially when combined with regular physical exams by a doctor and screening methods.

The best way to detect the changes that arent associated with pain or strange sensations is by learning about the appearance and size of your breasts. Breast cancer organizations recommend sitting in front of a mirror and examine the structure of the breast. Use your hands to lift the breast and check the variability of skin stretching on both sides.

Dont forget to do this often to make sure you dont miss any sudden changes in appearance. Any of these symptoms should be analyzed by a medical professional for a conclusive diagnosis. If you are not professionally examined, youll be left in a worrying state of uncertainty. Hopefully everything is fine, but even if it isnt, detecting breast cancer in the earlier stages could very well make your chances for survival exponentially better.

Pain In The Middle Back Can Be More Worrisome Than The Lower Area Since This Isnt The Most Common Area Of Back Pain

Cancer as a cause of mid back pain certainly impedes upon the minds of people who suffer from cancer anxiety.

A variety of disorders can contribute damage of intervertebral disks, vertebrae, ligaments, neural structures, muscles and fascia leading to middle back pain, says Ioannis Psallidas, MD, PhD, Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician, Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who has a focus in thoracic oncology.

Although most patients with middle back pain have a benign condition, serious, destructive diseases are uncommon causes of back pain, continues Dr. Psallidas.

Back pain is the presenting symptom in 90% of patients with spinal tumors, and the spine is also one of the most common sites of metastasis: About 20,000 cases arise each year1.

In a study published by Brihaye and colleagues, 1,477 cases of spinal metastases were reviewed and found that 16.5% arose from primary tumors in the breast, 15.6% from the lung, 9.2% from the prostate and 6.5% from the kidney2.

In addition, ovarian cancer has the potential to cause pain in the middle back.

The take-home message is that if you begin having back pain, you should not lose sleep over the worry that it could be cancer.

The No. 1 cause of back pain is a combination of poor biomechanics and insufficiently trained muscles.

Shutterstock/Thaninee Chuensomchit

When To See A Healthcare Provider

Most back pain resolves over a few weeks with conservative treatment. If you have unexplained back pain or pain that persists for longer than six weeks, it is best to seek the advice of a healthcare provider.

If you have back pain along with weakness, difficulty walking, pain when awakening in the morning, or loss of bowel or bladder control you should be examined immediately, as these symptoms can indicate a more serious problem.

If your back pain persists after conservative treatment, let your healthcare provider know. They may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation. Injections to help with the pain can help, or surgery could be necessary. Back pain that is accompanied by signs of cancer should be further evaluated.

Don’t Miss: Which Is Better For Back Pain Aleve Or Tylenol

If You Are On Remission Beware If A Back Pain Starts Bothering You All Of A Sudden

Written by Debjani Arora | Updated : October 13, 2017 1:38 PM IST

Timely diagnosis and treatment can help get rid of breast cancer and also prevent a recurrence. The earlier you get it out, the less the chances are of the cancer cells moving through the bloodstream or the lymph nodes and metastasis in another organ or site, in other words, causing a recurrence. But there are times when a recurrence happens despite treatment and therapy being provided on time. It is usually picked up during a physical examination done by the doctor during a follow-up session or a scheduled mammogram test. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that could be indicative about the same. This is a reason why doctors always advise patients to report about any symptom that makes them suspicious repeated cough and cold, loss of appetite, fever, etc. Sometimes the symptom can be a bit unusual too, like having a back or spinal pain all of a sudden. Here are eight unusual signs of breast cancer recurrence that you should know.

Back pain and cancer recurrence

What Causes Breast Pain

Pain Under Left Breast: 18 Causes with Treatments

There are a number of harmless causes for breast pain and tenderness that may primarily be related to changes in hormone levels. These can include:

  • Puberty in girls and sometimes for boys, too
  • Menstruation and premenstrual syndrome
  • Pregnancy more often during the first trimester
  • Days following childbirth as milk comes in Breastfeeding Mastitis, which is caused by a milk duct that is not properly draining and becomes infected, should be treated. It has no correlation with cancer, but it can become a serious infection if left untreated.
  • Menopause
  • A benign cyst

Don’t Miss: How To Fix Tightness In Lower Back

My Lump Was Tiny And Aggressive Sherree Diagnosed At 47

Sherree had a tiny but aggressive tumor. She received 12 weeks of chemo, six weeks of radiation, and seven years of Tamoxifen. Sherree was also part of a double-blind study for the drug Avastin, which she has been on for the last three years.

When Sherree had a lumpectomy performed to remove the tumor, the margins werent clean, meaning the tumor was starting to spread. They had to go back in and remove more. She then opted for a mastectomy to ensure it was all out. Sherree is celebrating her eight-year survivorversary and is counting the days to hitting the big #10.

Response To Other Treatments

If these treatments do not work and your healthcare provider suspects that there is another cause of your back pain, they may order more tests. These tests can include blood tests, MRI, and computed tomography scans, depending on your symptoms, medical history, and physical examination.

The goal of treatment is to restore function and increase strength so that you can return to your daily activities with little to no pain. When the pain does not respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be indicated in instances where there is disc herniation or other structural damage.

Read Also: What To Do When You Have Back Pain During Pregnancy

Symptoms Of Angiosarcoma Of The Breast

Another rare form of breast cancer, angiosarcoma forms inside the lymph and blood vessels. Only a biopsy may definitively diagnose this type of cancer. Angiosarcoma can cause changes to the skin of your breast, such as the development of purple-colored nodules that resemble a bruise. These nodules, if bumped or scratched, may bleed. Over time, these discolored areas may expand, making your skin appear swollen in that area. You may or may not have breast lumps with angiosarcoma. If you also have lymphedema, which is swelling caused by a buildup of lymphatic fluid, angiosarcoma may occur in the affected arm. Cancer treatment sometimes damages the lymph vessels, which may lead to lymphedema.

What Should You Know About Breast Cancerpain

Back Pain & Cancer

Breast cancer usually does not cause pain, but it can. A tumor in the breast can create pain by pushing up against other breast tissue.

Breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is known as metastatic breast cancer. It is also called advanced breast cancer or Stage IV breast cancer. This form may trigger pain in the areas to which it has spread, such as bones, brain, lungs, or liver. An estimated 70 to 90 percent of people with metastatic cancer have chronic pain.

While some cancer pain is related to the disease, you might also find that some pain is related to treatment. Breast cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy. For many people being treated for breast cancer, pain from therapy is temporary. However, some degree of pain can be lasting and affect your ability to function and your quality of life.

There are different types of pain, including:

  • Chronic
  • Acute
  • Breakthrough pain

Recommended Reading: What Insoles Are Best For Lower Back Pain

Itchy Breast Redness And Pain

The American Cancer Society mentions that while the most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump, other possible symptoms include skin irritation and dimpling, as well as redness, scaliness or thickening of the breast skin.1

Its common for breasts to be sore and sensitive during menstruation, but this symptom could mean something more serious if you have sore breasts sensitivity that persists after that period. There may also be swelling involved with skin that is warm to the touch, indicating the less common forms of inflammatory breast cancer.

It is worth noting that it is rare that breast pain or sore breasts after period is a sign of cancer. Doctors from Harvard Medical School say that sore tender breasts are usually not connected with breast cancer.

Cancer Research UK says that itchy breasts can be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, however this is very rare. With this type of cancer, the area of skin over the tumor can become red, inflamed, painful and itchy.2

Inflammatory cancer may also cause swelling and pain in the chest. The skin may look scaly or have small blue marks similar to hemorrhages, somewhat like cellulite holes on the breast.

Doctors on WebMD say that a reddish, pitted surface like the skin of an orange could be a sign of advanced breast cancer. They also mention a marble-like area under the skin or indentation on the breast, which may indicate a tumor that cannot be seen or felt.3

How Is Breast Pain In Women Diagnosed

Your doctor will examine you, ask you to describe your pain, and the location of the pain. He or she may ask you about your health history. During the exam, your doctor will check to see if you have lumps in your breasts.

If youre younger than 30 and dont have a breast lump, your doctor might decide you dont need any tests. If youre older than 30 and dont have a breast lump, your doctor may still want you to get a mammogram and an ultrasound, if youre having pain in a specific area. If you do have a lump in your breast, your doctor might decide you need one or more of these tests:

  • A mammogram.This is a special X-ray of the breasts.
  • A breast ultrasound.This painless test uses sound waves to make a picture of the lump.
  • A breast biopsy. For this test, some tissue is surgically removed from your breast and looked at under a microscope. The area that is removed is numbed to eliminate pain. Its an outpatient procedure.

Read Also: Who Should I Go To For Back Pain

Statistics On Breast Cancer & Pain

A breast tumora hard clump of breast cancer cellsusually doesn’t usually cause breast pain unless it reaches the size of two centimeters in diameter or greater. But a tumor can be larger than two centimeters and still not cause pain.

In fact,only about 5% to 15% of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer complain of breast pain. Only 7% of those diagnosed with breast cancer seek a doctor because of breast pain, excluding other symptoms.

Other Causes Of Pain And Tenderness

What is the sacrum bone, how can back pain be a sign of ...

We often associate pain with something wrong, so when people feel tenderness or pain in their breast, they often think of breast cancer. But breast pain is rarely the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer. Several other factors can cause the pain.

Clinically known as mastalgia, breast pain can also be caused by the following:

  • the fluctuation of hormones caused by menstruation

Also Check: What Causes A Tight Lower Back

How Spinal Cancer Pain May Feel

When back pain is caused by a cancerous spinal tumor, it typically:

  • Starts gradually and worsens over time
  • Does not improve with rest and may intensify at night
  • Flares up as a sharp or shock-like pain in the upper or lower back, which may also go into the legs, chest, or elsewhere in the body

Other signs and symptoms that could potentially indicate the origin of back pain from cancer include unplanned weight loss, nausea, fever, chills, or other troubling symptoms.

Can Breast Cancer Cause Upper Back Pain

Dr. Gurmukh SinghBreast cancermetastasizepaincancerbonesDr. Regina Hamptonbreast cancerbonescancerpainoncologist back painbonesmetastases

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

Don’t Miss: What Can I Take For My Lower Back Pain

Changes In Breast Shape Size Or Appearance

Remember that not all the breast tumors cause a hard lump close enough to the surface to be noticeable. Instead, in some women, the shape and appearance of the breasts may change. Unexplained swelling or shrinkage of the breast only on one side, asymmetry of the breast, a sudden change in shape of the breast are some of the symptoms you should not ignore. They are the possible signs of breast cancer.

What Causes Breast Infections

Can Cancer Cause Back Pain? | Bockmann Technique

The cause of most breast infections is Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which causes what is commonly known as a staph infection. Streptococcus agalactiae is the second most common cause.

For breastfeeding mothers, a plugged milk duct can cause milk to back up and an infection to begin. Cracked nipples also increase the risk of breast infection. Bacteria from the babys mouth can enter and cause an infection. The bacteria that typically cause infection are also normally found on the skin, even when no infection is taking place. If the bacteria get into the breast tissue, they can multiply quickly and cause painful symptoms.

You can continue to breastfeed even when you have a mastitis infection because the bacteria are not harmful to your baby. This condition usually occurs in the first few weeks of breastfeeding, but it can occur later.

Non-lactational mastitis occurs in women with weakened immune systems, including women who have had lumpectomies with radiation therapy and women with diabetes. Some infection-like symptoms are a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, but this is very rare. Learn more about mastitis.

Subareolar abscesses occur when the glands under the nipple become blocked and an infection develops under the skin. This can form a hard, pus-filled lump that may need to be drained. This type of abscess normally only occurs in non-lactating women, and there are no known risk factors for it.

Symptoms of a breast infection can start suddenly and may include:

Also Check: What To Do For Lower Back Pain And Stiffness

Symptoms Elsewhere In The Body

Sometimes breast cancer cells can spread from the breast to other parts of the body. This is known as secondary breast cancer.

Some symptoms to be aware of include:

  • unexpected weight loss and a loss of appetite
  • severe or ongoing headaches

Find out more about the symptoms of secondary breast cancer.

Is The Back The First Place For It To Spread

The most common sites for breast cancer to spread to are:

  • the lungs
  • the bones
  • the brain

As cancer cells rapidly grow out of control, they move into healthy tissues to form new tumors. This spread usually starts with the tissue nearest to where the cancer initially began. When this happens, people may start to experience symptoms in the new area.

When breast cancer spreads to the bones, it can affect:

  • the ribs
  • thirst
  • confusion

These symptoms occur when the bones start releasing calcium into the bloodstream. The bones may also fracture more easily.

Other signs that cancer is spreading include:

  • headaches, dizziness, and possibly seizures if it involves the brain
  • shortness of breath, which may indicate that it has spread to the lungs
  • jaundice and abdominal swelling, when cancer spreads to the liver

A person can often treat back pain at home, but if it persists or gets worse, they should see their doctor.

Home care for back pain includes taking anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen.

However, a person should speak to their doctor before taking any medications, as these may interact with existing treatment.

Other treatments for advanced breast cancer include:

  • chemotherapy
  • hormonal therapies
  • targeted therapy

These methods all aim to reduce the size of tumors or prevent them growing, help with symptoms, and extend someoneâs life.

Read Also: Is Standing Or Sitting Better For Lower Back Pain

Palliative And Supportive Care

Palliative and supportive care focuses on symptom control and support. Its an extremely important part of the care and treatment for many people with secondary breast cancer and can significantly improve quality of life for them and their families.

People often think of palliative care as being associated with end-of-life treatment. However, many people value having it at any stage of their illness, alongside their medical treatment, to help prevent and relieve symptoms such as pain or fatigue. It can also help with the emotional, social and spiritual effects of secondary breast cancer.

You can be referred by your specialist team, GP or breast care nurse depending on your situation. Some people may be able to refer themselves.

Coping With Worries About Recurrence

Breast cancer and back pain: The link, diagnosis, and ...

Nearly everyone who has been treated for cancer worries about it coming back.

At first, every ache or pain can frighten you. But, as time passes, you may come to accept minor symptoms for what they are in most cases warning signs of a cold or flu or the result of over-exerting yourself.

Some events may be particularly stressful the days or weeks leading up to your check-ups, the discovery that a friend or relative has been diagnosed with cancer or the news that someone you met while having treatment is ill again or has died.

We all cope with such anxieties in our own way and there are no easy answers. But keeping quiet about them and not wanting to bother anyone is probably not the best approach.

Just as talking about your diagnosis and treatment may have helped you through the early days, talking about your fears relating to recurrence may help you later on.

Breast Cancer Nows Forum lets you share your worries with other people in a similar situation to you.

You can also read our tips on coping with anxiety and find suggestions in BECCA, our free app that helps you move forward after breast cancer.

Also Check: What Causes Nerve Pain In Lower Back


Most Popular