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Is Chemotherapy Painful For Breast Cancer

Managing Bone Or Joint Pain

IS CHEMOTHERAPY PAINFUL?! | My Breast Cancer Journey

If you have bone or joint pain, talk to your doctor. If your bone pain is due to a specific breast cancer treatment, you may be able to switch to a different chemotherapy or hormonal therapy that may ease your pain.

Medicines, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, are available to help manage bone and joint pain.

Some complementary and holistic medicine techniques have been shown to ease bone pain, including:

Second Cancers After Breast Cancer

Breast cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often a major concern is facing cancer again. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer.

Women whove had breast cancer can still get other cancers. Although most breast cancer survivors dont get cancer again, they are at higher risk for getting some types of cancer, including:

  • A second breast cancer
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Melanoma of the skin
  • Acute myeloid leukemia

The most common second cancer in breast cancer survivors is another breast cancer. The new cancer can occur in the opposite breast, or in the same breast for women who were treated with breast-conserving surgery .

What Does Breast Cancer Look Like

Early warning signs of inflammatory breast cancer along with images of inflammatory breast cancer are mentioned below. Women or men who develop any of the inflammatory breast cancer early signs should seek medical care immediately to ensure timely treatment.

There is a lack of expertise in treating IBC and its resistance to treatment with standard chemotherapy drugs. The 5-year median survival rate is approximately 40%, mainly due to delays in diagnosis. Standard diagnostic tests for breast cancer, such as mammograms, MRI and biopsies generally cannot accurately diagnose IBC. Surgical biopsy and PET scan are used to make a diagnosis for IBC. Inflammatory Breast Cancer is treated differently, because it is different.

Many factors including the type and location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, the patients age and overall general health, and the extent to which the patients disease responds to treatment can influence a cancer patients prognosis. so timely diagnosis of the disease is crucial to maximize the chances of recovery.

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What Causes Pain In People With Cancer

The cancer itself often causes pain. The amount of pain you have depends on different factors, including the type of cancer, its stage , other health problems you may have, and your pain threshold. People with advanced cancer are more likely to have pain.

Cancer surgery, treatments, or tests can also cause pain. You may also have pain that has nothing to do with the cancer or its treatment. Like anyone, you can get headaches, muscle strains, and other aches or pains.

Joint Pain After Chemo

How exercise can make chemotherapy more bearable
Joined: Dec 2011

May 28, 2012 – 7:31 pm

I went through 6 rounds of carboplatin and taxol chemo treatments this past year. I finished in April and a few weeks later I began to feel extreme joint pain. My Doctor said it was probably because I had not been active during my chemo, but as I was reading on here, there are many people who have gone through similar problems. It hurts like crazy in the knees, shoulders, hips, buttocks and calves. When I sit down, it takes everything I have to stand and walk. I am now struggling to sleep because of the pain. Some of the discussions back in 2003 were people who dealt with this for years. I was wondering if anyone has any treatment they found to be successful in handling this pain.

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I Really Don’t Know What

I really don’t know what helps that much and I am probably older than a lot on the boards, but I know the arthritis I had BEFORE the chemo and radiation really accelerated the bone aging, especially with the calcifications and new-growth bone spurs. I move like I’m in my 80’s instead of being 60. Best, debrajo

Managing Pain Related To A Tumor

Surgery, radiation therapy and breast cancer drug therapies may be used to shrink the tumor so it no longer injures nerves, presses against the spinal cord or causes injury to other organs or tissues.

Surgery can also be used to prevent or control problems such as a blockage in the bowel and the pain the blockage causes.

While youre waiting for the drug therapies to work, or if no treatments are shrinking your tumor, your pain can still be treated with medications .

If needed, an anesthesia pain specialist can sometimes inject a drug that combines an anesthetic and a steroid into or around a nerve to block pain.

In some cases, the specialist injects this drug combination or a combination of anesthetics and opioids into the fluid around the coverings of your spinal cord or into the spinal fluid itself to block the pain .

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Intravenous Pain Control At Home And Patient

Opioid medications can be given into the vein through a port-a-cath or a peripherally inserted central catheter .

If you need to manage your pain at home, you can have a small portable pump that contains the medication attached to the port-a-cath or PICC. It will deliver the opioid medication continuously.

You can carry the pump in a special backpack or fanny pack, so it wont limit your activities.

People who need an opioid continuously sometimes also need an extra dose of medication for added relief. The portable pump allows you to push a button to release the extra dose of medication. This system is called patient-controlled analgesia .

PCA allows you to control your pain relief. Its programmed to prevent an overdose.

Increased Risk Of Leukemia

Chemotherapy, Effective But An Endurance Test

Very rarely, certain chemo drugs can cause diseases of the bone marrow, such as myelodysplastic syndromes or even acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer of white blood cells. If this happens, it is usually within 10 years after treatment. For most women, the benefits of chemo in helping prevent breast cancer from coming back or in extending life are far likely to exceed the risk of this rare but serious complication.

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Simple Changes To Help Improve Your Appetite

      • Try eating small amounts throughout the day rather than sitting down to large meals at set times.
      • Explain to friends and family why youre not eating big family meals. Make it clear that this is a positive strategy rather than a sign you are not eating enough.
      • Make it easy to eat. Stock up on nourishing foods that are easy to prepare, ask others to prepare food for you, or use healthy, ready-prepared foods when you are too tired to cook.
      • Reduce food and cooking smells turn on a fan or open the windows.
      • Where possible, choose nutritious foods you enjoy but dont force yourself to eat things you dont fancy just because theyre good for you.
      • Keep a glass of water handy if your mouth is dry, but restrict yourself to small sips too much water may make you feel full. You could also try sucking on small ice cubes.
      • Dont rush, and dont force yourself to eat.
      • If you are finding it difficult to eat solid food, drink protein and carbohydrate mixes for energy, protein and vitamins.
      • Soft foods may be more appealing if your mouth is dry or sore. Try soft, slow-cooked stews and soups, custards and yoghurts.

People who eat a quality, balanced diet dont generally need supplements. However, when you have cancer, problems with appetite may mean your diet isnt as balanced as it could be. Daily multivitamin and mineral supplements might help improve your appetite. Your doctor, pharmacist or dietitian will be able to help you find the most appropriate ones for you.

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Ovarian Ablation Or Suppression

In women who have not yet experienced the menopause, oestrogen is produced by the ovaries.

Ovarian ablation or suppression stops the ovaries working and producing oestrogen.

Ablation can be done using surgery or radiotherapy. It permanently stops the ovaries from working and means you’ll experience the menopause early.

Ovarian suppression involves using a medicine called goserelin, which is a luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist .

Your periods will stop while you’re taking it, although they should start again once your treatment is complete.

If you’re approaching the menopause , your periods may not start again after you stop taking goserelin.

Goserelin comes as an injection you have once a month.

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How Pain Medications Are Given

There are many ways to take opioid and non-opioid pain medications. Most are pills taken by mouth.

For people who have trouble swallowing pills, some medications are available in liquid form or a special tablet or strip that dissolves inside the cheek. Pain medications can also be put into feeding tubes. A few pain relievers can be taken in the form of rectal suppositories.

Fentanyl and buprenorphine come in a patch form. This patch is placed on the skin over an area of fat, and releases pain medication continuously into the fat over several days.

In cases of severe pain, when oral medications dont relieve the pain or when a person cant take medications by mouth, many drugs can be given by injection or by vein .

Clr129 I Am Not Sure If You

Frontline Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab Demonstrates Clinical ...

clr129, I am not sure if you are still on the board, I think this thread started before I found this site or before I was famliar with it. I take egg shell membrane for my pain. I had the exact same thing! I felt like the may my 88 year old mother looks! I told my sister “find me something I can take”. She remembered seeing on the Steven & Chris show that this is better than glucosamine and in a few days I couldn’t believe how much better I felt! It was like a miracle. I still take it every day, I still feel some pain, but I don’t think it is anything the way I used to feel.

Good luck to you and all the ladies.

PS – I call B.S. on having the pain because you didn’t excercise. I do not believe doctors know unless they have had this treatment.

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Why You Might Get Chemotherapy

Here are some of the reasons why your doctor might recommend that you get chemotherapy:

  • You’re having surgery to remove your cancer.
  • The cancer has spread to your lymph nodes.
  • You have an aggressive type of breast cancer that could spread quickly.
  • Your cancer is likely to come back after treatment.
  • Hormone therapy probably won’t work for you.

Sometimes people with late-stage breast cancer get chemotherapy not to treat their cancer, but to relieve pain and other symptoms. This is called palliative chemotherapy.

Its a balancing act. Pain relief is a major consideration. But it’s not certain that this type of chemo will improve your quality of life, given how the chemo may make you feel. So if palliative chemotherapy is an option, ask your doctor how it could help you and what the side effects are.

Menstrual Changes And Fertility Issues

For younger women, changes in menstrual periods are a common side effect of chemo. Premature menopause and infertility may occur and may be permanent. Some chemo drugs are more likely to cause this than others. The older a woman is when she gets chemotherapy, the more likely it is that she will go through menopause or become infertile as a result. When this happens, there is an increased risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. There are medicines that can treat or help prevent bone loss.

Even if your periods have stopped while you are on chemo, you may still be able to get pregnant. Getting pregnant while on chemo could lead to birth defects and interfere with treatment. If you are pre-menopausal before treatment and are sexually active, its important to discuss using birth control with your doctor. It is not a good idea for women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to take hormonal birth control , so its important to talk with both your oncologist and your gynecologist about what options would be best in your case. Women who have finished treatment can safely go on to have children, but it’s not safe to get pregnant while on treatment.

If you think you might want to have children after being treated for breast cancer, talk with your doctorbeforeyou start treatment. Learn more from our section on fertility concerns for women with cancer.

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Palliative Care And Pain Specialists

Palliative care and pain specialists treat pain from cancer or other causes. They treat people with metastatic breast cancer as well as those with early breast cancer.

Palliative care specialists have special training in treating pain and other symptoms, such as fatigue, anxiety and depression. They work with the oncology team to help people maintain the best quality of life possible.

They also help people weigh the burdens and benefits of different cancer treatments.

Palliative care specialists can also help with advance care planning. This planning helps people identify their personal values and goals that should guide their care.

With metastatic breast cancer, these discussions are especially important. Your oncologist will often be a part of the discussion with you and the palliative care specialist.

Systemic Therapies For Breast Cancer

Chemotherapy Treatment For Breast Cancer

The goal of systemic therapy is to administer medication to the whole body in order to reach cancer cells that may have spread outside of the breast or the nearby lymph nodes. These wandering cells are called micrometastases. Theyre too small for lab or imaging tests to detect.

Systemic treatments come in the form of oral pills and/or intravenous infusions. There are several categories of systemic therapies. People often receive more than one type.

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When Is Pain Management Important

Pain control is always important. Throughout your care, let your health care provider know about any pain or discomfort you have.

Pain is not the same for everyone. People who have similar treatments can react differently, with some feeling more pain than others.

Dont think pain is simply a part of your treatment and you need to be strong and endure it. Even when pain is mild, it can interfere with your daily life and make other side effects, such as fatigue, seem worse.

Pain can be treated and sometimes, treatment plans can be changed to reduce painful side effects.

Here Are Some Common Side Effects Of Treatment For Breast Cancer Along With Ways To Cope With Them:

Nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may be caused by chemotherapy. Your health care team can prescribe medications to help manage these side effects. Your team may also recommend working with a dietitian, who can provide tips on eating and how to stay hydrated during chemotherapy.

Fatigue. Fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness. Your doctor can treat fatigue with prescription medications. Exercise may also help you cope with fatigue.

Chemobrain. Problems with memory, attention and concentration are sometimes referred to by patients as chemobrain. Talk with your doctor if you notice any symptoms of chemobrainhe or she can recommended treatments. Tips for what you can do on your own to cope with chemobrain can be found on CancerCares fact sheet, Combating Chemobrain: Tips for Keeping Your Memory Sharp.

Lymphedema. Lymphedema is a painful swelling, usually in an arm or leg, which happens when the bodys lymphatic fluid fails to circulate properly and builds up in soft tissue. Your doctor or nurse can give you tips to prevent and reduce the swelling. Some treatments for lymphedema include wearing a specially fitted compression sleeve that helps drain the fluid. Your health care team may also refer you to a program of special exercises that are taught by a trained physical therapist and are known to help reduce these side effects.

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Side Effects Of Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer

Like any treatment, chemotherapy can cause side effects. Everyone reacts differently to drugs and some people have more side effects than others. These side effects can usually be managed and those described here will not affect everyone.

Your treatment team will give you information about the drugs you are having, details of any side effects they may cause and how these can be controlled or managed.

Before starting chemotherapy you should be given a 24-hour contact number or told who to contact if you feel unwell at any time during your treatment, including at night or at the weekends.

Between each cycle of chemotherapy, youll have an assessment to see how youre feeling and whether youve had any side effects.

If you are concerned about any side effects, regardless of whether they are listed here, talk to your treatment team as soon as possible.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Neoadjuvant Therapy

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Patients should meet a few requirements to be a candidate for neoadjuvant therapy. The size of the tumor, the type of breast cancer they have, and whether lymph nodes are involved are all things a doctor will consider before suggesting this form of treatment. Some forms of breast cancer are more likely to respond well to neoadjuvant therapy.

Unless a tumor is small and there is no lymph node involvement, most patients who have eitherHER2-positive breast cancer or triple-negative are good candidates for using chemotherapy either before or after their mastectomy.

With the best outcomes, this therapy can eliminate all visible tumors from the breast and produce what is known as a pathologic complete response to the treatment. That means the doctor will find no trace of the invasive tumor in the breast or the lymph nodes after the patient has received treatment.

Women who have estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, which is the most common type, may not be good candidates for neoadjuvant therapy. Instead, these patients may benefit from anti-estrogen treatment to help shrink their tumor before surgery.

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