Abdominal pain can happen along with other treatment side effects:
Abdominal pain can be caused by the following breast cancer treatments:
- Tykerb (chemical name: lapatinib), a targeted therapy
- Faslodex (chemical name: fulvestrant), a hormonal therapy
Bisphosphonates, medicines that strengthen bones and treat osteoporosis, can also cause abdominal pain.
A number of pain medications, including aspirin and other nonsteroid anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Aleve and Celebrex, may cause ulcers, bleeding or holes in the stomach, which leads to abdominal pain.
Managing abdominal pain
If your abdominal pain lasts longer than 24 hours, or gets worse as time passes, call your doctor right away. Your doctor may want you to stop or switch medications to see if that helps ease your pain.
Abdominal pain from diarrhea can be treated with an anti-diarrhea medicine such as Pepto-Bismol (chemical name: bismuth subsalicylate), Imodium A-D (chemical name: loperamide hydrochloride), or Lomotil (chemical name: diphenoxylate and atropine), and/or Bentyl (chemical name: dicyclomine) may help you. If you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 24 hours, or if you have pain and cramping, call your doctor. Changing your diet can help ease diarrhea. Drink plenty of fluids that contain key chemicals and minerals so you don't become dehydrated. Beverages rich in potassium, such as fruit juice and sports drinks, are especially good for you.
Abdominal pain from nausea or vomiting can be treated with anti-nausea medication. Other tips for managing nausea include:
- wearing a "sea band," a wristband that uses pressure to relieve nausea
- Eating small meals frequently. If you feel sick to your stomach between meals, try to eat 6-8 small meals during the day and a snack at bedtime.
- Eating food cold or at room temperature, not hot, to reduce its smell and taste.
- Not eating in a warm room. The air may seem stuffy and stale and may make your stomach feel worse.
- Rinsing your mouth before and after meals. This helps get rid of any bad tastes in your mouth.
- Sitting up or lying back with your head raised for at least an hour after eating if you need to rest. Keeping your head up helps reduce nausea.
Abdominal pain from constipation can be treated with stool softeners and gentle laxatives. Changing your diet can help ease constipation:
- Avoid foods that may lead to constipation. Some common ones are bananas, cheese, and eggs. Different foods affect people differently.
- Drink more fluids to prevent dehydration -- about 8 to 12 glasses each day (unless your doctor has advised something else). Consider water, prune juice, and warm fluids such as herbal tea or hot lemonade in the morning.
- Eat more high-fiber foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, fresh raw vegetables, fresh raw fruits or cooked fruits with the peel on, dried fruits, dates, apricots, prunes, popcorn, seeds, and nuts. Fiber isn't digested by the body, so it moves through and is excreted. Fiber also absorbs a lot of water in the bowels, which makes stools softer and easier to pass. Make sure you drink more fluids if you eat more fiber, or your constipation might become worse.
- Make sure your breakfast includes high-fiber foods and a hot drink. Warm beverages are calming and may help stimulate bowel movement.
- Drink caffeine in moderation. It has been shown to help constipation. Make sure that you drink plenty of non-caffeinated beverages, too, so you don't become dehydrated.
For more tips, ask the members of the Breastcancer.org Discussion Boards for advice.