Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday, February 03, 2009 Elizabeth Svitenko, Community Member, asks

Q: I have a pain in my center chest that comes and goes.

I am a 62 year old woman who has developed this pain or discomfort in my central chest (between my breasts.)  It began about a week ago and the best way I can describe it is that it kind of feels like an ice cream headache.  It starts mild and gets more severe; lasting about a minute or two, then goes away for several minutes and then begins again.  I have several episodes a day.  I can't really tell if it's in my esophagus or in my chest.  Any suggestions?

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Answers (1)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
2/ 4/09 5:13pm

Elizabeth Svitenko,


Thanks for your question.


I suggest you make an appointment with your doctor for his evaluation of your symptoms.  There is a possibility that your discomfort may be due to heart disease and you are experiencing angina - chest pain due to blockage in a coronary artery.  Though there are many other possible causes that can explain your symptoms, heart disease is the most serious.  If your heart is OK, then the other causes can be explored.


Until seen by your doctor, I would avoid any strenuous activity.  Should you develop this discomfort and it lasts more than 10 to 15 minutes, you should go to the nearest emergency room for an evaluation.  Should this be your heart, and the pain is prolonged, there is a possibility of heart damage.  The sooner you seek medical care, the better the chance of limiting this damage. 


So call today for an appointment as soon as possible. 


Best wishes and feel better.


Martin Cane, M.D.

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By Elizabeth Svitenko, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/24/10, First Published: 02/03/09