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Lower back pain from TC or just freaking out?

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  • Lower back pain from TC or just freaking out?

    Backstory: For about two months or so I had pain in my left testicle, I got it checked out, confirmed it was nonseminoma Embryonal Carcinoma, got it removed, tumor markers dropped, passed CT scan, and put on surveillance, but I had failed my first surveillance scan 3 months later. I was put on three cycles of standard BEP. I had my last day of chemo on June 25th, and CT scan on 28th confirmed normal lymph nodes. I should say that ever since the surgery my tumor markers never elevated at all, even when I had cancer before chemo. I assume everything is good, but a few days ago I start getting a lower back pain, and while my logical brain says it's nothing, my cynical brain says I still have cancer. So what I am asking is if anyone has been in a similar situation, and can EC be so aggressive that it causes back pain in a little over a month? Like I said, my logical side says no, but my 'cancer traumatized' side says yes. Last day of chemo was June 25th and back pain started August 11th or so.

  • #2
    Back pain at this point is highly unlikely to be TC related. Back pain is one of the most common human complaints,after all,it's much more likely to be from some strain or injury.
    Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
    Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP


    • #3
      I had same. I had lower back pain since orchiectomy. Also had pure embryonal carcinoma, and failed surveillance as well. Got 3xBEP. I have lower back pain but I think it is more muscle than anything. Read about it and did research. Very very rarely TC spread to spine (lymph nodes, lungs almost always first). And if it does pain is getting only worse and worse (mine comes and goes) and if night sweats are not present more likely it is not cancer... I asked my Oncologist each time and each time he said it is muscles, if there would be tumor creating pressure on spine it would be visible on CT scan and if it would be big enough to compress spine and my tumor markers would be elevated. Also there is chance it is stress related. Or during orchiectomy there are muscles and nerves that could get damaged... So hard to say but lower back pain is common and rarely is cancer.


      • #4
        I was thinking that it simply didn't make sense for the cancer to go from virtually gone to causing back pain in the span of a couple of months. I realize that NCTC can be aggressive and cause back pain, but surely even the most aggressive type can't progress that quickly. My real fear of course is doing more chemo, especially the high dose variety. Thanks for the responses.


        • #5
          Very normal "post cancer traumatic stress" response to have.

          I'll tell you that as a big dude, 6'3" and 260lbs, with a history of bilateral inguinal hernias and a body that has literally tried to rip itself in half at times, there's about a zillion reasons for us and for me especially to have pain in the entire midsection of my body. Yes, very nerve wracking for a testicular cancer survivors, and yes it did fuel quite a bit of my anxiety.

          Yes, embryonal carcinoma can grow pretty quickly, and yes if it just happens to be in the right area pressing up against something or hitting a nerve it can cause pain. Believe me I had mental breakdowns more times than I care to admit, but it was always just my stupid body playing mind games with me. It didn't help that the nerves in the midsection of our bodies are all interconnected, so what was actually pain from my left hernia could actually be felt in my remaining good testicle. Lol! I finally had them both repaired a few years after my cancer treatments, and it was the best thing I ever did. Took me awhile just to be able to set foot in an operating room again without freaking out (PTSD) and also had to have my wife come with me.

          On that note, if you don't have a primary care doctor and aren't having annual physical examinations done, you should be. They can help track down things like these.

          In all likelihood it's nothing, but I so get the mind games as I've been there plenty of times myself!
          Young Adult Cancer Survivorship by Steve Pake
          April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month!

          Feb 2011, Stage IIB, 4xEP, RPLND, PTSD
          My Survivorship Thread | All of my Blogs