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Back pain, worried about relapse

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  • Back pain, worried about relapse

    Hello, my husband is a IIIb nonseminoma survivor, about two years post 4xBEP chemo (2/2016) and I/O with neck lymph node dissection (4/2016).

    He's been having some back pain for the past couple of weeks... it's more annoying, not severe. We're worried he may be having a recurrence since he never had a RPLND done after his treatment (his team decided against it and opted for surveillance based on his scans). He had tumor markers tested this week and they were normal (AFP, HCG and LDH).

    The only other option is another CT of the abdomen/pelvis and we're scheduled for one in April as part of his surveillance.

    My main question is that even with normal markers, should we still do a CT? He's had so many done that we're hesitant to squeeze in another one... we were told the April one would be pushed back if he was to have one now. Has anyone had experience with relapse in the lymph nodes even with normal tumor markers? Thanks for any insight.

  • #2
    hi juyuhu,

    hard to answer such questions because it is very likely that your husband back pain is not caused by TC but one can't be sure and obviously everyone with TC in his past will think of the worst.

    Back pain (even permanent) can be caused by dozens of conditions and I was also in alarm due to my back pain for such a long time...

    if its causing anxiety and the pain is not getting better you might want to have an earlier CT as you wrote.


    • #3
      Many have said back pain is a asymptom because they’ve had back pain and TC at the same time, but correlation does not prove causation. A doctor told someone here sorry about pain that is constant and doesn’t go away. It also can cause you to wake in the middle of the night. We are all fairly stressed at times over this and high stress and anxiety can cause muscle pain.
      3/29/17 Diagnosed 100% Embryonal 4/10/17 Left I/O CT scan shows a few suspicious lymph (biggest 1.9 cm) 5/8/17 - 7/3/17 3xBEP 7/20/17 CT Scan Clear, AFP has uptick to 19 8/16/17 AFP Drops in half to 10, ALL CLEAR! 11/16/17 All Clear! AFP continues to drop! 3/19/18 All clear!


      • #4
        Thanks for the responses. I just feel like we are living in the shadow of TC... every time my husband complains of any symptoms or aches, I just worry. We are going to at least wait out this week and see if his pain changes or worsens before we schedule anything.


        • #5
          As I've mentioned here a number of times, back pain is one of the most common complaints of humans everywhere. The chances its TC related are so very small that waiting until April is pretty safe. How long ago was his last CT, assuming it was clear & within a reasonable period of time, chances of a tumor growing large enough to cause pain are very small.

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


          • #6
            Dave, his last CT was 10/24/17... they are six months apart, so it’s been a bit over four months. We are waiting to see if there are any changes, hopefully it won’t get worse.


            • #7
              I concur with Dave. you know your husband best, if needed consult a physician.
              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.
              Grant is enjoying his senior year in High School Cancer Free!