rib pains

I’ve got to off load here, can’t put worries onto my husband. So sorry if this all sounds like I’m worrying about nothing…

I’ve had persistent sharp pain in rib for about 10 months. Had bone scan that showed suspicious area but follow up 2 x MRI and a Ct scan of chest nothing else has shown up so told not to worry. Now a couple of months later have pain in more areas of ribs on same side. Going for regular check up in a couple of weeks so will raise it then. Am I just sending myself into a tizzy unnecarserily? Is an MRI always accurate at picking up 2ndry cancer?

I think the surgeon put doubt in my mind as said about the original bone scan result that she thought it was 2ndry cancer unless I knew I had broken my rib in that area (which I’m sure I haven’t).

Littlemrs do ring the Helpline re your worries. They are so good at talking through any fears you may have. I hope it is all ok. Tel 0808 800 6000 Mon - Friday 9-5 pm and Sat 9-2 pm.

Ok thanks for suggestion, I will phone. I’ve never phoned before as didn’t feel worries serious enough. Having typed on here managed to talk to my husband while out wiht dogs today. As always he was lovely; supportive although I seem to feel I must play it down with him.

Nothing has changed physically BUT I have seen my lovely oncologist who has taken worries seriously. He has suggested bone damage from radiotherapy. Why was this not mentioned as a posssibility in my 4 appts with surgeon (at different hospital)? Instead she implied it must be 2ndry cancer from bone scan “unless you know you’ve broken your rib there”.

More tests pending but that’s OK as I am lucky enough to be treated at the Marsden so trust the Drs there.

There seems to be quite a demarcation between the doctors in what they acknowlegde or deal with. Well they are specialists! Seems like if they see something they didn’t cause and can’t cure, they send you off to someone else! I think because radiotherapy nearly always comes after surgery, the surgeons frankly don’t have much to do with it, and are maybe less aware of its side effects. Oncolcogists on the other hand frequently see the results of recent surgery and therefore have to be knowledgeable about seromas and possible infections, as this links in with the low blood counts associated with their chemo.

For the surgeon, scans more often come before surgery as part of their equipment to detect where to work, what they are supposed to be dealing with, so they look at scans and ask is there a secondary here which i could cut out? (or occasionally, is there a seroma here that I might have caused? how can I drain it without hitting X major artery?)

Oh and, In my experience the oncologists are generally much more reassuring and tactful than surgeons… “It’s a secondary unless you know otherwise” is hardly the best way to send you home! I had chestwall radiotherapy and they did mention rib-soreness as a common result, inflammation of the soft tissue immediately around the ribs, costochondritis. Sadly we can’t rest that soft tissue as we have to keep breathing! I get one patch on the bra-band that aches a lot and is much better if I can go bra-free (involves staying indoors!) for a day or two, wouldn’t call mine a sharp pain though. Hope your tests go okay.

Can anyone tell me if they have had an enlarged liver following chemo and rads. I had 6 months chemo followed by mx in December and 15 sessions of rads to try to eliminate the cancer in the lymph nodes in my chest area all the nodes under my arm were removed and found to have cancer activity.

I now have a swelling under my ribs in the area of the liver and my consultant arranged for me to have ct scans but as my veins have been damaged with the chemo they could not get the dye into them so had to have the ct scan without contrast - it apparently looked ok but my consultant has arranged for me to have a liver ultrasound to be extra careful - I am glad he is being so thorough but worried he thinks there may be a problem with my liver - I have been told that sometimes the liver does swell following the chemo and eventually settles down - if anyone has had this can they reassure me please.

Hi Marybrim
I recently had to have a liver scan as I had a persistent and really painful area around the liver. I was convinced that it was something sinister. Nothing i took (tramadol, codeine, co-codamol) would ease the pain and I slept with a hot water bottle on the area for two nights. My GP sent me for a chest x-ray as he was concerned it was the ribs but nothing showed up other than degenerative arthritic changes in my neck and a scoliosis. I was a wreck by the time I had the liver scan. I had classic symptoms of gallstones however the liver scan showed my gall bladder was ok. The radiologist said my liver showed signs consistent with the intensive chemo I’d had in that it was a bit fatty. She said sometimes you get ‘sludge’ in the bile duct and I was given a dose of antibiotics which eased the pain. It’s still a bit grumbly and I find that the underwire in my bra can irritate the area just under my ribs on the right hand side. I’m trying to watch what I eat. Hope it turns out ok for you.

Thanks Loupylou

I know it is not gallstones as I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago. I have been told that the pain and swelling under the ribs could be caused by the chemo and rads so I am hoping that is the case. I am also getting lots of pain in my groin and neck and I think every pain is the cancer spreading, although from reading several posts I know lots of people get the same pains and have the same worries. it does help to read other peoples experiences.

Sorry to hear that you’ve all had such problem and worries after the treatments have finished - though I’ve just seen this thread while looking for something else and have to say it’s a relief to read your comments.

I’m on Week 3 of radiotherapy (no chemo), and for the past few days I’ve had some slight twinges/ pains on my right side, below my breast (not the one being treated). As I was told a year ago that my gall bladder is packed with stones, I was assuming it was this causing the trouble, though couldn’t pinpoint why now - for some reason it doesn’t seem logical to me that RT could cause it, after 47 years of it never having bothered me at all.

But hey, what the heck do I know?!
Well I’ll keep an eye on it, hope it doesn’t get worse and mention it to my GP next time I need to go.

And Littlemrs, it just shows, doesn’t it, that it is indeed worth mentioning things even when when we think we might be making a fuss.

Take care everyone.