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Can Breast Cancer Hurt Your Shoulder

Signs Of Breast Cancer That Aren’t A Lump

Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?

For decades, the medical community and the media have waged an effective awareness campaign about the signs and symptoms;of breast cancer, educating the public about the importance of diligently monitoring their breasts for lumps. And the tactic has worked. Early detection has contributed to a 39 percent decline in breast cancer deaths in women from 1989 to 2015, according to the American Cancer; Society. While thats an important step forward, many other abnormalities that may also indicate breast cancer;are lesser known and discussed. Some, then, may be led to assume that no lump and no tumor mean no cancer, but that may be a dangerous conclusion to draw.

The majority of the publicity assigned to breast cancer is a lump, and the majority of patients might feel a mass in the breast, but there are definitely other symptoms besides a lump, says Ricardo H. Alvarez, MD, MSc, who leads the Breast Cancer Center Institute at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® . Visual changes may be especially key in helping detect breast cancer early.

You can see a lot of things just by looking at your breasts in the mirror. When your arms are by your side, you don’t always see everything. Put your hands on your hips or raise them up. Having arms in two different positions while looking is also helpful.– Cynthia Lynch, MD, Medical Oncologist at our hospital near Phoenix

Nerve Damage And Dysesthesia

The nerves that control our hands and fingers go down our arms and travel through the axilla. If these are damaged by surgery or radiation, the result is pain. This common nerve pain feels like sudden, intense, stabbing pain in your underarm, arm, or even hands. It lasts only moments, but is erratic and unpredictable. As the nerves begin to heal from surgery, there can be a resurgence of this pain. The medical term for this type of pain is called dysesthesia.

Free Rotator Cuff Health Check

In celebration of National Physical Therapy Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Orthopedic and Balance Therapy Specialists will host a FREE Rotator Cuff Health Check-Up Event on the following dates and locations:

  • Monday October 17, 2016 at our Valparaiso office
  • Tuesday October 18, 2016 at our Crown Point office

During the event, each attendee will receive:

  • One on one FREE consultation time with one of our Rotator Cuff Specialist physical therapists.
  • You will discover tips on how to:
    • Know which rotator cuff muscle is affected and the grade of the tear
    • Correct the cause of your pain and speed up the healing process
    • Prevent your shoulder from getting worse

    We have 24 FREE consultation spots available for each location. To hold your spot, please call ;219-202-2500 in Valparaiso, or 219-203-3100 in Crown Point.

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    Men And Breast Cancer Warning Signs

    Breast cancer isnt typically associated with people who were assigned male at birth. But male breast cancer can occur in rare instances at any age, although its more common in older men.

    Many people dont realize that people assigned male at birth have breast tissue too, and those cells can undergo cancerous changes. Because male breast cells are much less developed than female breast cells, breast cancer isnt as common in this part of the population.

    The most common symptom of breast cancer in people assigned male at birth is a lump in the breast tissue.

    Other than a lump, symptoms of male breast cancer include:

    • thickening of the breast tissue
    • nipple discharge
    • redness or scaling of the nipple
    • a nipple that retracts or turns inward
    • unexplained redness, swelling, skin irritation, itchiness, or rash on the breast

    Most men dont regularly check their breast tissue for signs of lumps, so male breast cancer is often diagnosed much later.

    Coping With Breast Pain

    Breast Cancer and Pain: Why Treatment Can Cause Arm and ...

    Breast pain can be very distressing, and many women worry that they may have breast cancer. In most cases breast pain will be the result of normal changes in the breasts.;

    Even though you may feel reassured that your breast pain is normal and you dont have breast cancer, the pain often remains. This can be upsetting, especially if your specialist cant tell you the exact cause of your breast pain.;

    Women affected by breast pain may feel many different emotions, including fear, frustration or helplessness. Although understanding more about your breast pain wont cure it, it may help you to get back some control over your life.;

    Having severe, long-lasting breast pain can sometimes affect a womans daily activities which may cause anxiety and, for some, depression. However, this isnt the case for most women and their pain can be helped or managed.

    Having breast pain doesnt increase your risk of breast cancer. However, its still important to be breast aware and go back to your GP if the pain increases or changes, or you notice any other changes in your breasts.;

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    Other Pancoast Tumor Symptoms

    As a Pancoast tumor continues to spread, so can the pain. Patients with an advanced Pancoast tumor may feel intense, constant or radiating pain in their arms, around their chest wall, between their shoulder blades or traveling into their upper back. Patients whose tumor has spread into the scalene muscles may also feel pain in their armpit.

    In addition to disruptive pain in various areas of the upper body, a Pancoast tumor may cause the following symptoms to develop:

    • Swelling in the upper arm
    • Chest tightness
    • Weakness or loss of coordination in the hand muscles
    • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hand
    • Loss of muscle tissue in the arm or hand
    • Fatigue
    • Unexplained weight loss

    If a Pancoast tumor compresses or irritates a nerve in the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates many of the bodys involuntary actions, a patient may experience flushing and/or excessive facial sweating. Physicians occasionally refer to these complications as Pancoast syndrome. These symptoms typically only affect one side of the facethe same side where the tumor is causing the compressionand can develop long before cancerous cells invade nearby tissues.

    Some patients also experience a tingling or prickly feeling in their hands. This symptom, sometimes referred to as paresthesias, is also a result of nerve compression. In advanced cases, this compression can lead to permanent sensation loss.

    Upper Back Shoulder And Neck Pain

    Are you suffering from;neck, back and shoulder pain;regularly? If yes, then you should be alert. Because, in some women breast cancer is felt in the neck, back, and shoulders rather than in the chest or breast. For this reason, specialists check for the presence of tumors while treating;chronic back pain;that is unrelieved by physical therapy.

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    Arm/shoulder Problems Common After Breast Cancer Surgery

    A;study;found that most women who had breast cancer surgery had some type of arm problem even 1 1/2 years after surgery. The research was presented at the 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium.

    After breast cancer surgery, some women experience numbness, swelling, weakness, or tingling in the arm and shoulder area on the same side of the body on which surgery was done. These problems are more likely to happen after mastectomy surgery and less likely to happen after lumpectomy. The possibility for arm and shoulder problems depends quite a bit on whether any lymph nodes were removed during surgery and if so, how many were removed.

    The researchers studied more 250 women for 18 months after breast cancer surgery. Every;3 months, the women reported any arm problems and had a physical exam to check for any movement or function problems. The researchers tested upper body strength and endurance, hand grip, flexibility, and range of motion.

    The results:

  • Most women with arm problems had more than one symptom.
  • Ache To Agony: A Shocking Breast Cancer Diagnosis

    Breast cancer rehabilitation- a great shoulder stretch

    Like many people, Lisa Harvey was used to the occasional twinge in her back.

    But three years ago, she experienced pain which was so intense that, at times, it took her breath away.

    It came on gradually, starting as a nagging pain just below my right shoulder blade, but soon built up into a constant throbbing sensation – as if someone had pressed a hot needle into my back, says the deputy registrar of marriages and deaths, from Cardiff, Wales.

    I would sit at my desk feeling as if I was about to cry.

    I thought I must have somehow pulled a muscle and I wanted to get as much heat into it as possible. Id go home and push a hot water bottle into my back until my skin was red raw.

    Occasionally, the excruciating spasms would radiate into her breast and armpit, even as far as her elbow.

    But I assumed it was all a knock-on effect of a pulled muscle in my back. I thought perhaps Id picked something up the wrong way.

    After several weeks of agony, the mother-of-two described the symptom to her GP and asked for some naproxen; she had found this powerful anti-inflammatory effective when she suffered whiplash in a car accident a few years earlier.

    But this time the drug only made a slight difference. And it wasnt until three months after the symptom appeared that she discovered what was really wrong: she had breast cancer.

    These can include a swollen arm, breathlessness, weight loss or, as in Harveys case, back pain.



    Also Check: How Can I Tell If I Have Breast Cancer

    Breast Cancer And Shoulder Blade Pain

    Some women may feel back pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades before any other sign of breast cancer reveals itself. The discomfort is usually attributed to muscle pain, inflammation of the spine or stretching the tendon and ligaments in the back.

    Its important to know that tumors will sometimes develop deep within the breast tissue of the chest and felt in the spine or ribcage. There is also the possibility of metasis, a malignant spreading of the disease to the ribs or spine.

    For example, The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports about a patient who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and suffered from a severe back pain.5

    The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association reported that metastatic bone disease secondary to breast cancer is a common cause of low back pain. The report stressed the need for further imaging in patients with a history of breast cancer and whose physical examination and plain film radiographs are inconclusive or suspicious.6

    Pancoast Tumor Risk Factors

    Pancoast tumors and other lung cancers share many of the same risk factorsa characteristic or behavior that may increase the likelihood of developing a certain condition. Established risk factors for Pancoast tumors include:

    • Smoking tobacco
    • Prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos or other industrial substances, such as nickel and chromium
    • Being male
    • Being between the ages of 50 and 60

    Pancoast tumors can affect anyone, including individuals who do not have any known risk factors for this cancer. Still, people with one or more risk factors should be particularly mindful to seek care for symptoms and receive appropriate treatment.

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    You’re Wearing The Wrong Bra

    An ill-fitting bra can cause pain even if you dont have big boobs. The majority of the time women are wearing bras that are too big, says Dr. Swain, and a too-big bra isnt going to support you very well.

    A too-small bra isnt much better, since it might feel restrictive and uncomfortable. If underwire makes your breast pain worse, pick one with more cushioning at the base of the breast, Dr. Swain says.

    She also recommends getting fitted at a department or specialty store where you can buy a well-made bra. Specific brands are more supportive than others, she says.

    Swelling In Or Around Your Breast Collarbone Or Armpit

    Shoulder Blade Pain  Melbourne Arm Clinic

    Swelling in these areas can occur for many reasons but may indicate cancer. Breast swelling can be caused by certain types of breast cancer. ; Swelling or lumps around your collarbone or armpits can be caused by breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes in those areas. The swelling can occur even before you can feel a lump in your breast. If you have swelling, be sure to let your health care team know as soon as possible.

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    Unexpected Signs And Symptoms Of Lung Cancer

    What sort of symptoms would be considered unexpected, shocking, or surprising? These signs and symptoms dont appear to be related to our lungs. The general public would not expect these indicators or signals to be a warning of lung cancer.

  • Arm/shoulder pain or eye problems. One kind of lung cancer develops in the lungs upper part. Instead of affecting the lungs, these tumors may spread to the ribs, the vertebrae of your spine, or the nerves or blood vessels. These tumors cause pain in your shoulder blade, upper back, or arms. They might cause numbness or tingling in your hands too. The Pancoast tumors that cause arm/shoulder pain can also cause eye problems. Patients may realize that the pupil of one eye is smaller, that eyelid droops, and less perspiration on that side of your face. This set of eye symptoms is called Horner Syndrome.
  • Hoarseness or change in voice. Some people get hoarse your voice may sound strained or raspy or sound lower in tone or softer in volume. A tumor in the lung can press on the nerve that controls the vocal cords. Hoarseness is caused by many other conditions, too, like a cold or laryngitis.
  • Blood clots. People with lung cancer are more likely to develop blood clots in your legs, arms, or lungs. Researchers believe that cancer increases inflammation in the body. The inflammation, in turn, causes blood clots.
  • Mapping Of The Dorsal Region Of The Shoulder

    In agreement with Binderup et al. and Kawczynski et al. , the distance d between C7 and acromion was measured for each participant to compute the interdistance between the 15 points covering the upper trapezius. Points 1, 3, 5, 10, and 15 corresponded to the musculotendinous sites, and points 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14 corresponded to muscle belly sites. Adjacent PPT points were separated by one-sixth of the distance d except between points 12 and points 34 where the horizontal distance was one-seventh of distance d . Further, the horizontal distance between the spine or the acromion processes and the adjacent points on the muscle was one-twelfth of d .

    Schematic representation of the grid for the pressure pain threshold registers. The PPTs were measured over 15 points located on the trapezius muscle. d=distance between C7 and acromion.

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    What Causes Breast Pain

    If your boobs hurt, your mind may jump right away to the C word. But chances are slim that breast pain is breast cancer.

    Breast pain alone is rarely, rarely associated with cancer, says Monique Swain, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist in the breast division at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

    There are two types of breast pain: Cyclical pain is associated with your period and most often affects both breasts. Noncyclical pain is due to any other reason and doesnt follow a monthly pattern. It can affect one or both breasts, all of the breast, or just part of it.

    Most breast pain goes away on its own or can be easily treated. Talk to a doctor if the pain doesnt go away in a week or two or if it gets in the way of normal activities. You should also contact a doctor if you have other symptoms, including a lump thats not related to your period, discharge from your nipple, or signs of infection like redness, swelling, and warmth.

    Here are some possible reasons why you have breast pain.

    Breast Upper Back Or Shoulder Pain

    Breast Cancer Surgery â Arm and Shoulder Exercises â Week 2

    It is normal to experience some breast pain around the time of your period, due to hormonal changes. Breast pain may also be a sign of breast cancer, especially if it lasts for more than a few weeks. Pain from breast cancer is most likely to appear in the breasts, underarm, or collarbone. It is also possible for pain to appear in the upper back or shoulder.

    Some patients assume theyve pulled a muscle in their shoulder when they have breast cancer. This pain can be due to metastasis, which is when cancer spreads from one part of the body to another. Shoulder and upper back pain are very common and usually dont mean a patient has breast cancer. If youve had shoulder or back pain that wont go away, a doctor can screen you for cancer, along with other conditions.

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    Unconventional Signs Of Breast Cancer That You Must Know About

    Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

    Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of the disease in the world that affects both men and women. The chances of getting the disease increase as you age, but detecting it at an early stage could be life saving. In this article I am going to discuss uncommon signs and symptoms of breast cancer that many people overlook.

    The majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in people who are aged 40 and up, but in the instances where it affects younger people it tends to be more aggressive. This makes early detection an essential part of treating the disease within its onset stages.

    Its important to have a firm grasp of bodily knowledge, as the earliest stages of breast cancer usually come without pain. The most common indicator is the discovery of a lump, but cancer goes through multiple progressive stages before these lumps form. It may sometimes take years for lumps to develop, so people shouldnt rely solely on lumps to indicate breast cancer, as they usually indicate an already progressive disease.

    There are several signs that the American Cancer Society claim should be analyzed closely by a specialist. It is important to remember that these signs arent definitive proof of existing breast cancer. They can sometimes indicate smaller hormonal or health factors, so visiting an expert can clear any ambiguity. Some of the more obvious signs are:

    • Change in breast structure
    • Changes in the skin or nipple


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