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rib tenderness

Posts: 120
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi all, I haven't been on in a long while. I never use to pay too much attention to little aches and pains. Just not a doctor person UNTIL breast cancer last year.
So, I passed my one year anniversary of my dx on Aug 11. I am now waiting to see an endocronologist bcuz a rather fast growing nodule was found on my thyroid. That has been an incredible roller coaster of scheduling mix ups, cancelled appts(by the docs), doctor changing his mind about a biopsy etc Grrr. So, now ya know every little anything out of the ordinary makes me think hmmm...
My cancer was on the left side. My left lowest rib has always protruded a bit. But now it's definately sticking out there more and is quite tender to the touch. I've tried to ignore it but as you know there's a little nagging voice that comes to live with ya after a cancer dx. My question is, has onyone had bone mets to the ribs and if so does my symptom sound familiar? Anyone? Thanks bunches

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

sometimes I have to think about how may have hurt mysef withoutrealizing it. You may have a bruise or slept wrong. but if it nags at you ask the doc for an xray.

New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

You are probably on every three months schedule. Please tell your oncologist who will order bone or PET/CT if it is needed.

mollyz's picture
Posts: 753
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi madsters1, i had the same thing,mastectomy side my ribs did the same thing i had bone scan and recently had a pet/scan and it was fine.at times it still hurts and protrudes at times.~~MollyZ~~

Different Ballgame's picture
Different Ballgame
Posts: 868
Joined: Jan 2010

Never ignore. It is far better to have something checked out, only to find out that it is nothing...than not to have it checked out and later find out that it was something. Rule of thumb, wait one to three weeks to see if symptoms disappear. After that time if symptoms are still present, then make an appointment to see the doctor.

Lots of Hugs,

Mariannemm's picture
Posts: 136
Joined: Apr 2010

My 7th rib on the same side as my BC had been hurting. 1 spot not an area, just a spot! Had a PET scan and it did show an uptick in that area. It is suspious for mets, it is really small so it was hard to confirm. I will have another scan in January. I waited 2 weeks and when the pain didn't go away I call my onc. He wan on vacation so I called my radiologist, she ordered the PET scan. Happy I did, know at least I know, it is better for me to know then to wonder. I drive myself crazy with thoughts if I didn't find out what was going on. Keep us posted, I am with you! Marianne

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

There are several here with bone mets (and other mets too). My Doc gave me the same rule of thumb Different Ballgame mentioned...wait 1 to 3 weeks, then ask about it.

I hope things smooth out with the endocronologist, so you can get answers with the thyroid soon.



CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

I had rib mets. My pain started in 2006, but I didn't get my diagnosis until 2009.

When the pain started it was a dull, achy bone pain that was worst at night. I saw my PCP and he did Xrays which showed fractures (very suspicious for mets). I then had the works: bone scan, PET scan, blood tests. Everything was inconclusive. PET scan suspicious but could be healing fractures, markers normal, bone scan showed fractures. To confuse things more, we were recovering from Hurricane Katrina and my spouse broke his leg. I was literally moving most of my possessions and furniture upstairs with little help. So it was feasible that I could have hurt myself.

However, the rib pain persisted. What is interesting (and I have since read fairly typical) is that the pain would disappear for a few months but then come back stronger and persist longer. I described the pain as feeling like there was an alien in my ribs trying to push out of my body--I guess intense pressure. I never felt anything abnormal. The pain was worst at night and I was sleeping with a thermacare heat thingie on my ribs.

Finally the pain was too much. I had another bone scan and this time it came back: metastatic osteosarcoma. My markers were very high. A biopsy showed breast cancer still estrogen receptor positive.

I share all this not to scare you, but to be aware. Rib fractures are not usually caused from lifting, but may be caused by trauma and, occasionally, severe coughing. Get in there and have the tests and stay on top of this, because, in my case, diagnosis was built on many tests, not just one.

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