Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

What Causes Joint Pain After Chemo?

Monday, 19 July 2010 10:00 AM

Question: I am 49-years-old, and was diagnosed with breast cancer - stage I, grade III, a year ago. I am also triple negative so I am not taking any medication. I had a left mastectomy, and four rounds of chemo. Immediately after chemo, I felt bone or arthritic pain. Sometimes the pain is around my hips, or on my knees, or my shoulders and elbows, and sometimes my entire body aches. I am told this is not cancer. I am worried that my cancer was grade III. What causes this pain and what foods and herbs/supplements should I take to make sure that my cancer does not recur ever again, and to remove or at least minimize the pain in my knees, shoulders, hips?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Your questions are good and I wish the answer was just as good. Breast malignancy recurrence does need to be considered, and can probably be put to rest by a whole body PET scan. Unfortunately, chemotherapy can be quite harsh on our tissues, but remember that it is its toxicity that kills the rapidly-multiplying cells seen in cancer.

If the source of your joint aches is not apparent, request a consultation to a rheumatologist for further evaluation and treatment. There are no known herbs or supplements known to prevent recurrence of breast malignancy. Also, your use of supplements should be done in consultation with your primary care physician.

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