Does continuing pain mean meds are not working?

Sorry, so many questions keep popping into my head. Is it an indicaton that our treatment is not working if we continue to have pain from bone mets? I guess I keep trying to figure out what is going on inside my body by what I feel. Instead of asking myself a question I am too new to answer I thought I would just throw it out there to metsisters who may know the answer. Have any of you had continuing pain only to find out your scans showed regression? Thanks for any response from experience you may be able to offer.

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I have had pain. Thought it might be liver again or rib. Scan came back stable. But always tell your doctor about pain.
vrenee

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Thanks!

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ML,
I'm 4 years out with bone mets and sometimes I've had pain. The times I had were unrelated to progression: I had frozen shoulder & arthritis in knees. I'm sure all of us are more cautious & aware of pain. I've heard if it's consistent for weeks, have it checked.

I had a lot more bone pain early on with treatment but not so much anymore.
Terri

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What treatment are you currently on ibcmets? I didn't understand 7th AC treatment on your page. How can the docs tell by your scans if the bone mets are inactive (not sure that is right verbage.)

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I guess that if the pain is escalating dramatically, it can be a sign of progression. But I have had pain in the past, then suddenly goes away.... We are ALWAYS worrying. So just remind yourself that not every pain is 'progression'.

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Thankyou healthbee. Hugs

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Hi, warrior knows more than me but, here goes...hormone therapy treatments can make your joints hurt.bone treatments like ZOMETA.
Can cause bone pain..if the met is still alive it can hurt.once it is dead the pain will ease up..we take PAIN MEDS because we will
Have some pain.. also, if there is progression the pain usually don't let up much..if you haven't been on treatment. Too long you.
Have to give it some time.
Hang in there.
METSISTER.
Clara

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ML,
Due to stage IV, I'll always be in some kind of treatment. I'm on Zometa for the bone mets and Femara for being ER+, which is still working since 2010. I was diagnosed 6/09.
Terri

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I remember having real bad bone pain I was certain the scans were going to say progression well I was stable.My dr explained you can feel more pain when cancer cells die off so hopefully that is what is going on with you.
F---Cancer is what I have to say!!!

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When I had pain I was stable and when I felt my best I had progression. This made no sense to me but now I've learned to just not alert myself to pain. Of course if I have severe unusual or new pain I would tell my dr. Try not to worry!

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I've been having treatments for diffuse bone mets........and radiation several times. While having radiation treatments, the pain can get worse, before it gets better. Some bone Mets can feel increased with a rise in barometric pressure.......altitude, airplane,.... especially, when it's damp/cool outside ( the same thing that happens with arthritis). Having increased pain doesn't automatically mean a progression. Most times with my bone Mets nothing regressed, it just becomes stabile. BUT having bone Mets pain, a regression or stability doesn't mean that you will be pain free.

I don't mean to sound negative. This has been my experience.

Regression or stabile......sure beats the heck out of progression or new Mets. It would be a great time to figure out which pain meds help for your bone pain.

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Thanks for your respose warrior1. I know you are a wonderful source of experience. Thanks

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I'd sure like to understand more about cells dying and what exatly is going on when this happens. Thanks Cathy

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Thanks Diane. Guess we don't know until the scans are done. : )

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I had fairly large spine mets when I was diagnosed. Before that, there was no bone pain, but some muscle pain, probably the one the largest bone met was poking into.

2-3 months after I started chemo the largest bone met started to really hurt. If I sat in an upright chair, like in the dining room, or if I stood in one place for more than 20 minutes it would hurt. My scan came back saying that it was sclerotic and healing.

So maybe the pain doesn't mean the meds aren't working --- maybe it could mean they are working? That's what happened for me.

Love,

Rachael

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I don't understand how they can tell by scans if a lesion is healing, do you?

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From what little bit I know about it, my CT scan showed that it was "sclerotic," or hardened, and that is a sign that it is healing. My April CT scan (8 months after treatment started) showed the lesions decreased in size, which I understand is a sure sign.

My former onc used to do bone scans too, and one radiology report said there was progression because of increased uptake. But then my second opinion onc at the Cleveland Clinic said it doesn't mean progression, that bone scans show increased uptake when the bones are healing.

Love,

Rachael

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ML9601: experienced doctors become very good at telling exactly what they are looking at from a scan image: when you or I would only see a 'blotch' of some sort, they can tell if it's cancer or not, or leftover tissue, or healing bone, etc. When I was diagnosed with bone mets the doctor ruled out arthritis just by looking at the scan!

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Thanks healthbee. I forget they see this everyday. : )

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I discovered I had breast cancer when they did a CT for abdominal bloating and found fluid and wide-spread bone lesions. CT showed lesions in spine, sternum, pelvis and, after a fall, xray showed lesions around the knee. Never had any bone pain in those areas. I did have pain in my upper arm occasionally for several years. They finally xrayed my shoulder 6 months before MBC diagnosis and they said I had impingement from a strained rotator cuff and also a bone spur. I'm now wondering if the bone spur was a lesion? They have always said my lesions are sclerotic (osteoblastic) rather than the kind that eats into the bone. This is first I've heard about sclerotic lesions mean healing mets. My lesions have not changed since initial diagnosis. I assume since they are sclerotic and a build up of bone, they will never disappear? Warrior, Teri, any opinion? I've been on Herceptin since March 2012, Taxol from March 2012 to March 2013 and have been on Letrozole since stopping the Taxol. Still no bone pain but stiff joints since starting Letrozole. Do sclerotic lesions not cause pain? Also get Zometa. I still feel so new to all this and appreciate all the info and encouragement.

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