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rib pain

Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2003

I am scared and know that these boards are supportive so here I am.
I was dx with bc aug 2002. 2.5 cm tumor, 5 of 18 nodes positive. i had a mastectomy and recontstruction. i had chemo, finished dec 30, and radiation finished mar 12. i am now on tamoxifen. i am 38 years old.

so, my question? I'm having some pain and it's scaring me. the pain feels like a bruise does when you push on it. It is on my reconstructed breast, the cancer breast! it is located right beneath my breast, on top of my rib. I am having a hard time deciding if the pain is in the tissue of my breast or on the bone(my rib). It is kind of in the "fold" of where the breast ends. Does this make sense? I have alot of fat necrosis in that area and wonder if that is what the pain is. I wonder if it's pain from the surgery still(but that was over 8 months ago), and I wonder if I'm just getting some feeling back, it's been really numb. BUT, mostly, I need to know - is this what rib mets feels like? is the pain like a brusing type pain?


miraclemom's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi there,you sound alot like me including the age.Iwas dx in jan 2002,chemo and had reconstruction in november of 2002.Once and awhile Ill get some pain in the breast that was removed from cancer then the recontruction.Asked my doctor about it and said it was because that area is going to take time to heal,it has been through alot.But with yours please call your doctor and get it checked out,I just discovered a lump on my ribs about three weeks ago on an area where my ribs had been broken and its going to be removed next week.If it is causing pain and discomfort,get to the doctor,dont think its just from the surgery.Theres only one way to know for sure,get into the doctor okay.I do the same thing worry about every little ache and pain or lump ,thinking its back so your not alone there.Once you go through this sort of thing,you worry alot more about your health.Takecare and hope you get some answers.If you ever want to e-mail me its miraclemom12632001@yahoo

(((((((HUGS))))))) Lori

Posts: 10
Joined: May 2003

Just left tje chat room and found the particulars! I really think it is probably scar tissue form what you describe, I think once you've had cancer it's always the firdt thing that comes to mind. Try to stay positive. Keep a journal of the pain. How often; does it come and go. What make it better/worse. Exercise, etc. is it sharp, dull, pulling, burning, tingling. This will help you and your md determine the cause. I'm sure you are fine, but probably won't have peace of mind until you get reassurance. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers that it is a positive outcome! pam

Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

It sounds to me like the pain that is common after radiation. I finished rads in August 2002 and still have tender ribs right where my breast ends. I also have a lot of necrosis near my lymph node incision and you're right - that can be painful too. You should probably check with your doctor to be sure, but my bet would be that it's just a side effect of everything you've been through. Take care! Diane

bullfrog13's picture
Posts: 216
Joined: Apr 2002

Dear Reece. I have had sort of the same ''mystery'' pain. mine was higher up..more towards my shoulder. my surgery was two years ago next month and is still sore to the touch -much like the bruise thing you describe. I hit it with the mop handle one day when I was cleaning and it about sent me to my knees in pain! My doc has assured me it is nothing to really worry about. LIKE THAT HELPS! But keep asking and buggin doc till you are satisified. HUgs - it was great talking to you in chat yesterday. Hope to see you again. HUGS

Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2003

I went to my rad. onc today. She examined me and listened to my lungs. She said they sounded fine. She told me that my pain was most likely from the radiation, something called, costcochondritis (sp?). She says it's very common. I asked if I could have a chest xray for my piece of mind and she said sure, if you want one, we can do that, but I don't think it's necessary at all. She says because of the location of the pain and the time frame, that she is pretty sure that it is from the radiation. Because the pain feels better today, I felt pretty comfortable with that, so I chickened out of the xray. HOWEVER, we made a deal that I take vitamin E and Aleve for 2 weeks, then come back and see her then. If I still need to be reassured then we look at tests. That makes me feel better. So, that's my story - thanks for all your support and prayers!


Posts: 206
Joined: May 2003

Glad you brought it up with the DR. Try not to feel foolish about your concerns. Think them through, bring them here and if you are still concerned talk to the Dr. untill you are satisfied. Things have been missed because someone said "that's normal" and it really wasen't.
I have fat nacrosis in my reconstructed breast as well but its not at the bottom of the breast but rather at the cleavage. Plastic surgeon assures me that that will be resolved when all is done. It is tender like a bruise to the touch and much harder than the rest of the breast (sorry, it's still in the mound stage). Happy Thoughts! Beth

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