I often said the surgery part of my cancer treatment was the easiest. Not that there were no problems, but there was less pain than I expected and fewer side effects compared to chemo or radiation. I didn’t know that post-mastectomy pain and complications may come years later. One study found that up to one-half of mastectomy patients report pain three years out from surgery, and one-third reported pain nine years later.
The pain can come from damaged nerves, cut muscles, surgical adhesions, or changes in movement and posture following surgery. I’ve had all of these problems over the years following my radical mastectomy . The nerve damage that gave me creepy feelings along the scar and down the back of my arm got better over time, and I learned to compensate for the muscles I no longer had.
A few years ago, I started having pain along my sternum and collarbone that turned out to be from surgical adhesions. My skin was stick...
Symptoms Blurred vision or double vision (diplopia) Bone pain or tenderness of the breastbone (sternum) Chest pain Confusion Cough -- dry Fatigue Fever Headache Nausea Skin rash , including pinpoint red spots ( petechiae ), ulcers, or other skin lesions Sweating -- unusual, excessive at night Swollen glands Unintentional weight loss Note: People with a normal immune system may have no symptoms at all. Signs and tests Physical examination may reveal: Abnormal breath sounds Fast heart rate Fever Mental status changes Stiff neck Tests that may be done include: Blood culture CT scan of the head Sputum culture and stain Lung biopsy Bronchoscopy Spinal tap to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture and other tests to check for signs of infection Chest x-ray Cryptococcal antigen test (looks for a certain molecule that the Cryptococcus fungus can shed into the blood)
Definition Pectus excavatum describes an abnormal formation of the rib cage that gives the chest a caved-in or sunken appearance. Alternative Names Funnel chest Considerations Pectus excavatum is a congenital (present at birth) abnormality that can be mild or severe. It is caused by too much growth of the connective tissue that joins the ribs to the breastbone. This causes the sternum to malform inward. The child typically has a depression in the center of the chest over the sternum, and this may appear quite deep. If pectus excavatum is severe, it may affect the heart and lungs, making exercise difficult. Also, the appearance of the chest may cause psychological difficulty for the child. Pectus excavatum may occur as the only abnormality, or together with other syndromes. Common Causes Pectus excavatum will often occur by itself without any family history or other defects or problems. Other causes include: Familial pectus excavatum Marfan syndrome Poland syndrome Rickets
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