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Thursday, October 06, 2011 Peglove, Community Member, asks

Q: My chest hurts, under my surgery site.

Sometimes, there is a dull thud-like pain under my surgery site. It isn't the breast tissue, it feels like the muscle. And when I take a deep breath, it hurts and makes me worry. My year 2 mammo is coming up. But that just checks the breast, what if there is something under it, closer to my bone? sometimes it just hurts so much? what test can I ask for just in case?
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Answers (2)
Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
10/ 6/11 7:41pm

It could be a pulled muscle, but if it has lasted longer than a muscle strain would, then I'd suggest you call the doctor.  That's who should decide if tests are necessary and which ones.  This could be a problem with scar tissue or even something in your ribs like costochondritis (an arthritis-like inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage.)  Of course, it is possible that it is cancer related, so get the doctor to check you.  In the meantime, try not to worry because there are so many things it could be other than cancer.  Let us know what you find out.

Peglove, Community Member
10/ 7/11 1:10pm

ok. i called and we have an appt for my 2 yr mammo anyway so they will do a chest xray too. maybe because I have been doing Pilates. I have had the pain before, but it does feel dull, like a muscle ache...ACK!! wish I didn't always go down the cancer route with my thoughts. Tryng....Thank you Phyllis. peg.

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
10/ 7/11 1:35pm

It might be the Pilates.  If it gets better when you take an anti-inflammatory and ease back a bit on the exercise, that is probably your answer.  In the meantime, the chest X-ray and mammo can ease your mind.  Let us know the outcome.

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/ 7/11 9:02pm

Peg, I have rib pain on the cancer side that's come and gone over the years; my lymphedema massage therapist says it's probably from radiation. There are just so many long-term side effects you never hear about when you're going through treatment; gradually, over the years, they start to rear their nasty little heads... or not. Some women are lucky. Hopefully you'll get past this current pain, and join the ranks of women who can truly put cancer behind them! Take care- PJH

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By Peglove, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/26/13, First Published: 10/06/11