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Aches and Pains in Arm

Posted 01 Aug 2014 at 08:23

Hello everyone.

My OH has been on HT for 2.5 years with a PSA of less than 0.01.

He had full RT after a failed RP.

He is due to have a full range of scans in October, including bone, MRI, Muga etc.

For the past 6 weeks he has been having some pains in his shoulders and right arm. We initially thought that it was an effect of the statins that our GP started him on, but after 6 weeks of stopping the statins the pain remains.

We are concerned that this pain may indicate a spread to the bones even though the PSA is low. Is this possible.

His PSA was only ever 3.6 at diagnosis of a G3+4 N1 M0.

Any advice would be appreciated.




Posted 01 Aug 2014 at 09:32

Hi Allison,

My partners PSA at diagnosis was only 6.4,. but very high Gleason score. His PSA went down with HT but the disease spread and became resistant to HT at around six months. He had increased lymph and soft tissue spread and to the bones so yes, PSA is not always a reliable marker, check out you have an onco who is aware of this. My attitiude now is never to be complacent with PCa if there is some niggling symptom, perhaps I am over cautious but just sharing benefit of hindsight. May be worth getting scans brought forward for your peace of mind,


Regards, Fiona.

Posted 01 Aug 2014 at 09:39
Yes it is possible that someone can have bone spread or other progression without it showing up in PSA rises, but it is rare. There are one or two types of PCa which don't produce PSA at all.

However, there are other more common causes for this pain. The hormones weaken and slacken the muscles, making aches pains and strains more likely. Has he been doing a lot of gardening and forgetting that he is not as strong as he used to be? Is he taking Cialis? Is he possibly getting a bit of arthritis in his neck? Have you bought new pillows recently?

Did he have a full set of scans before his RP or when they decided that it had failed? Hopefully yes so there will be a good baseline for the medics to compare the October results to. Also, have a look back at your original paperwork to check that he was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma and not one of the rarer types. Time will drag from now until October so perhaps it would be worth him popping along to the GP in the meantime to see whether there is any obvious cause.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 01 Aug 2014 at 09:41
Hi Allison. I agree with Fiona. My partner has never had a psa higher than 12 yet he is gleason 9 with spread to bones and lymphs. He has just gone ht resistant after 18 months and is currently on chemo. Never accept anything with pca as it can be unpredictable. I would bring forward scans. Do you see results of blood tests and is ALP on them? That can be a reasonably good indicator of what is going on in bones.

"You can only play the hand you're dealt"

Posted 01 Aug 2014 at 10:37

Thank you.

Hi Lyn - yes we had extensive scans before the RP and then again afterwards. The reason for the failed RP was due to the lymph spread (determined in theatre).

Have taken your advice am off for up to date PSA test now and visit to GP this afternoon. We have a heavy 2 year old to carry and new pillows - so hoping that is the reason but you cant help but worry.

Max - what is ALP please? I have copies of PSA results that have other blood results on them too.



Posted 01 Aug 2014 at 10:42

Hi Alison,

ALP is Alkaline Phosphatase it is under the liver function test,


Don't deny the diagnosis; try to defy the verdict
Posted 01 Aug 2014 at 11:23
I don't think the oncology department would be persuaded to bring forward appointments and scans based on a shoulder pain. Alison, don't panic if your OH isn't currently having his ALP tested; it tends to be done more for men with known mets and even then it is not routine in all regions. Something you could ask about at his next onco appointment perhaps?

Edited by member 01 Aug 2014 at 13:37  | Reason: Not specified

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 01 Aug 2014 at 11:56
Hi Lyn

Thanks Si.

I do have the full blood results with the Alkaline Phosphatase reading taken as standard with the PSA test.

The reading is 85iu/l as at June 6th.

In brackets it says that 30-130 is normal.

Does this indicate anything reference the bones as per Max's comment?

Thank you for the prompt replies so far. Fab support!

Alison x

Posted 02 Aug 2014 at 16:03
Alp looks fine as it is well within tolerance. When bone mets become active alp tends to rise well above the 130 normal level.

"You can only play the hand you're dealt"

Posted 06 Aug 2014 at 20:51
Thanks Max.

Awaiting some blood results at the moment. Never ending worry!

How are things going for you? I see from your profile you are onto the Chemo now.

Best wishes to you both.


Posted 06 Aug 2014 at 22:15
Yes, this disease is definitely a game changer. First chemo done. A rough first week but on the mend now. Hope all goes well with the test results.

"You can only play the hand you're dealt"

Posted 07 Aug 2014 at 22:18
For anyone following this - had results of X-ray today and bloods.

Arm/Shoulder pain is mild arthritis. Phew!

I should have gone to GP before panicking and contacting Onco - but with this disease can't be too careful.

Hoping for 2 weeks in Mallorca now for a stress free holiday!

Best wishes to all

Alison x

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