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Bone Cancer Pain in Ribs or Injury?
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Bone Cancer Pain in Ribs or Injury?

This is a question for my mother. She is 60 years old. She fell off of a chair about a month ago when standing on it. She landed pretty hard and on her back. Everything seemed okay, not much pain except the day after.

About a month later, she starts noticing a tender feeling of pain on her side that comes and goes. The pain is about the size of a silver dollar in radius and affects what seems to be one of her ribs (hard to pinpoint which one). She got a chest x-ray and it showed no problems. They gave her pain meds. and they haven't really helped at all. The pain stays the same. She is going in for a bone scan after about two weeks of being in pain. It's just hard to wait for results...I would appreciate any help in answers while we wait...

I know it sounds overly-anxious to ask, but could she possibly have bone cancer? Why didn't she get this pain from the fall right after her accident and it came a month later? Would bone cancer have showed up on an x-ray?

Why am I worried? She had breast cancer 14 years ago and uterine cancer 6 years ago. She overcame both, but we're always on guard now, so to speak. Oh and she had her last mammogram a little under a year ago and it was clear too. Please help...I love her dearly.

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Hello and hope you are doing well.

If with movement she is getting pain it is likely to be an inflammation of the skin, subcutaneous tissue or the bone. This can happen with injury, repetitive activity or an infection of the skin. Sometimes it can be costo-chondritis, inflammation of the sterna rib junction. Since the pain is not responding to medications, they are considering further imaging studies. The secondaries can sometimes be missed on an X ray if they are small or if they have the same echogenicity.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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