Secondary cancer

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Hi.  I'm in panic mode just now.  Had breast cancer, finished radiotherapy in  Jan 22.  Developed a sore shoulder a few weeks ago and during an appointment for something else, I mentioned to my doctor the shoulder. I have pins and needles in my hand/ finger tips and it goes into spasm which is really painful and I feel like someone is leaning on my elbow. She sent me for xray. Today she called and told my husband (I was out and left my phone) that she is putting an urgent referral into orthopedics. I know is houldn't use Internet as it brings up all sorts of things.  But,  it did mention that an urgent referral could mean it has metastases to bone cancer.  Hence the panic.  I'm not usually one for going ott about health issues and will normally patiently wait for docs/tests etc.  But this has me running scared.  I don't even know why I'm writing this, probably as sharing helped with my breast cancer.  But has anyone here had this happen to them. I've also been going for tests for anemia, as one month my blood count is low then they're not, then they are again. Wondering if this is all linked. 

  • Hi ceegee14

    I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing some problems with your shoulder. I can understand your panic and I think it is very natural to fear the worst with any new symptoms when you have already had cancer.

    It is good that they have taken your symptoms seriously and are looking into them urgently. Although it is scary, it really is best to find out what is happening as soon as possible. A referral to orthopaedics for shoulder problems after a previous cancer- done urgently would seem the normal thing to happen. There may be other reasons, other than cancer for your symptoms or they could maybe be connected to your treatments but it is important for them to rule out any potentially more serious causes first. 

    I am 16 months post treatment for my own cancer and I still have symptoms connected to the treatments- but they always have to check that it is not cancer itself causing it. 

    I think writing things down does help to get those feelings off your chest. If talking things through would help then do give the Support Line a call and if you speak with one of the nurses they will be able to talk you through what is happening to you at the moment. 

    I hope that you get some answers soon and that there is a less serious explanation for your shoulder problems. Please do let us know if there is anything else we can support you with.



    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Thank you so much for your kind words.  I received a call from physiotherapy on Monday saying they had an urgent referral.  

    I called doctors to find out what was happening as I was told (in front of my neice) that the referral was for orthopedics, which is a totally different ball game. Receptionist doesn't understand why I was told it was orthopedics and apologised when I told her that I had been so stressed over the weekend because of this.  

    I will also be speaking to my doctor at next appointment about what happened.  Thankfully I had my neice in the house and she heard what I was told,  or I would think I was losing the plot. 

    Thanks again,  it's appreciated to know someone is always there to talk things through with.