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Lower Back hurting after Chemo

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  • Lower Back hurting after Chemo

    I just finished 3xBEP for a non-seminoma and otherwise I have been feeling great. My journey started in December of 2016 when a malignant germ cell tumor was found in my left testicle. My tumor markers were all very low and my CT indicated that it was state1. My options after the I/O were to have lymphatic surgery(forget the correct term), but when I had further blood tests/CT scan a month after the I/O, there was an indication that it had spread to 3 nodes in my lower abdomen. They were all less than 2 cm and my chest scan was clear. One thing I always noticed was that my lower back hurt before my I/O and after my I/O when my markers started coming up 3 weeks later. AFP at the start of chemo was 16, HCG was 900. The beginning of the second round they were all back to normal. During the first two rounds of chemo the dull sort of pain came back, even when my markers were all the way back to normal. Now, a week and a half after chemo, my back is starting to hurt again slightly. I know I am probably being paranoid, but did anyone else have this before, after or during? I am just so worried about my CT scan and blood work in May. I am so worried and my anxiety level has been high the past few days.

  • #2
    My son has had intermittent back pain as well. He finished BEP x 3 on March 24, 2017. I can imagine it difficult not to worry after tx and before next Ct Scan, and blood work.
    Hopefully, someone else will chime in
    Son Grant
    dx 12/21/16 at age 17

    BEP x3
    Post Chemo CT Scan on 3/28/17 still showed a few nodes over 2 cm
    2nd Post Chemo CT Scan on 4/27/17 showed all nodes still over 2cm
    Post Chemo RPLND 5/8/17: Periaortic Teratoma, Intraaorticaval Teratoma, and Paracaval Teratoma found.


    • #3
      How old is your son? That's good to hear I'm not the only one. I am sure we are both fine and will be all clear. It's so hard not to think the worst sometimes.


      • #4
        My bet would be that the back pain is likely from your heightened state of anxiety. In that first year post BEP I had a lot of anxiety/stress related pains in numerous parts of my body. Over time I realized that it just that....a reaction to the anxiety/stress. Mostly the "pain" would come on in the weeks leading up to a surveillance checkup. It was my body tensing up/gearing up for bad news and a renewed fight with cancer. In the days after an All Clear that pain would then disappear....until just before the next checkup. I've been through this cycle so many times now that I know it's for real.

        You did mention that you had three lymph nodes that had mets. Were they detected on a CT or other scan ? Where exactly were those nodes ?

        I ask because one of the strongest muscles in our bodies (and one that can contribute to low back pain), the Psoas muscle is often very close/behind to the para-aortic nodes. If the nodes get big enough they can impinge on that muscle and cause pain. This muscle is the muscle that keeps humans walking upright. It's very strong, if cancer was messing with it you'd likely know....the pain would never go away, only get worse, and worse at night, nothing will make that pain go away.

        My onco said that any pain that wakes you up from sleep in the middle of the night is the kind pain you should be concerned about......Again, I bet it's anxiety/stress that you are feeling.

        - Matt
        March 4th 2014: [AFP = 2.5; bHCG = 6; LDH = 618]
        March 13th: Left IO 100% Classic Seminoma
        6.3 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm, no invasion of anything
        LDH never fully normalized
        Stage: IS
        Watchful Waiting
        May 1st: promoted to Stage IIB with two PET active tumors in the para-aortic lymph nodes 2.5 & 2.4 cm
        May 12th: started 3xBEP
        Neupogen during Cycle 2 and 3
        July 8th: Last Bleo shot of Cycle 3 -- chemo completed !
        August 4th: Post Chemo CT/PET scan
        September 4th: Port removed
        July 10th 2018: 4 YEARS ALL CLEAR !


        • #5
          You are probably right. Thanks for posting. I feel better already.

          As for the nodes, they were detected by a CT scan days before I started chemotherapy. This is from my lower abdomen and pelvis CT scan. My chest was all clear.

          Lymph nodes:
          - 1.1 x 1.1 cm left periaortic node (9:57), previously 0.8 x 0.6 cm
          - 0.9 x 0.6 cm left periaortic node (9:62), previously 0.3 x 0.3 cm
          - 1.1 x 0.6 cm left periaortic node (9:48), previously 1 x 0.6 cm


          • #6
            My son is 17 years old. He actually had this back pain before he was actually dx with TC in Dec.2016. He said his pain started in Nov, along with the right testicle pain. Grant told me last night that this pain went away during the BEP x3, but started coming back last week. When is your follow up scan? My son still has nodes larger than 2cm post chemo. I'm trying to get him into a specialist or to move up his followup scan from end of May.
            If you pain only came AFTER chemo, it could be Neuropathy. It can occur in the back I believe.
            Son Grant
            dx 12/21/16 at age 17

            BEP x3
            Post Chemo CT Scan on 3/28/17 still showed a few nodes over 2 cm
            2nd Post Chemo CT Scan on 4/27/17 showed all nodes still over 2cm
            Post Chemo RPLND 5/8/17: Periaortic Teratoma, Intraaorticaval Teratoma, and Paracaval Teratoma found.


            • #7
              I had the same pain before chemo and I/O. This pain was much more prevalent and noticeable in my back and in my left testicle in October/November before I was diagnosed in December as well. I noticed the back pain came back during chemo a little during the first and second round. Mine started coming back last week as well just like your son. I can barely feel it, but I do notice something the past few days in my lower back that is intermittent and present throughout the day. I finished my last BEP session on 4/4/17 and I have my follow up CT scan/blood work on 5/3


              • #8
                I just called my PA here at the Cleveland clinic and she moved up my scan to next Monday. She just told me the chances of my lymph nodes increasing in size during or after the chemotherapy is small, but it can happen. I just asked her what if that did happen. She says that depending on how big they could have grown surgery RLPND or additional chemotherapy would be the options.


                • #9
                  One thing to keep in mind: not every pain or issue is going to be related to your TC or it's treatment. Back pain is one of the most common complaints of humans everywhere, it is far more likely for it to be unrelated than it is to have anything to do with your TC.

                  Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
                  Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP


                  • #10
                    That's true. On my CT they also said I had a small cyst on my right kidney that they said was nothing to worry about. Idk maybe that has something to do with it. Who knows. Thanks for making me feel better everyone. I go in for my CT next Monday and will be most likely fine.


                    • #11
                      Hi, I was diagnosed in May 2014 and choose surveillance protocol. I have lower back pain for 2 years but my CT scan´s are OK. My lowe back pain always increase month before my CT scan or oncologist appointment and immediately dissapears when my results are OK. So yes, your lower back pain can be related to the anxiety! Anyway, fingers crossed for you to have clear CT on Monday!
                      04/24/2015 – pain in the right testicle – USG confirmed mass, blood results B-HCG = 12 U/l, AFP = 6.14 ug/l, LDH = 9,
                      05/05/2015 – I/O (100% Embryonal carcinoma, LVI presented)
                      05/06/2015 – post-operative CT scan negative, 2xBEP suggested
                      6/2015 - surveillance (my decision)
                      7/2015, 9/2015 - markers negative
                      9/2015 - 2nd CT negative, 6 months later CT re-checked and found one node which measured 16x12mm
                      10/2015, 1/2016, 2/2016 - markers negative
                      2/2016 - 3rd CT scan - 2 nodes (border) - 12x8mm, 13x9mm
                      3/2016, 5/2016, 8/2016, 11/2016, 2/2017 - markers negative
                      2/2017 - 4th CT scan - 11x7mm (was 12x8mm) and 8x5mm (was 16x12mm)
                      7/2017 - markers negative


                      • #12
                        well of course. I am feeling less anxiety now and my back doesn't hurt at all anymore. Funny how that works!