Rib Fractures of unknown origin

Hi, I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in 2008 followed by mastectomy chemotherapy and tamoxifen. I was diagnosed again with a local ipsilateral breast cancer in the muscle in 2008 followed by chemotherapy, radiation, a lumpectomy, and 10 years of arimidex. In September 2023, I had significant pain in my rib area and pain in that same area when inhaling. An MRI revealed 3 fractured ribs on the left side, which was the same side as my breast cancer. The cause of the 3 fractured ribs is unknown. Here I am not quite a year later, and I have that pain (not to the same extent) in my ribs. I have a couple of other questionable things going on such as headaches that I never used to experience, as well as some sort of angina or painful chest pain like my heart that usually happens at night or when I’m resting. Due to my history, I’m concerned about mets - does any of this sound concerning to you?

Thank you

Hello patrice9808,

Thanks for posting.

You describe having a range of symptoms including chest and rib pain as well as headaches. It’s natural to worry about secondary breast cancer as you had primary breast cancer is 2008.

There could be many causes of these but it’s important to be assessed. Its particularly important to get chest pain assessed. Do contact your GP to arrange an appointment. If you have any difficulty getting an appointment or your symptoms worsen do call 111 or attend your local urgent care service or A & E department.

It might help to talk this through you are welcome to call our helpline. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK - prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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