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Avatar universal

constant pain in breast

For 10 months I have had constant discomfort on my left breast. It feels like it is swollen and very tight around the nipple area. It is also very tender especially on the left side. I am 56, post menopausal, never have been on hormones. Also, my breast are relatively small (large A/small B.) No previous breast problems, general heath good ( no heart problems, not diabetic, arthritic or obese.) Recent chest x-ray & blood work has been normal.
My Gyny sent me for a diagnostic mamogram & it was normal. He told me I had "arthritis in my ribs" and the pain/discomfort was simply referred pain.
My GP thought the pain was more in line with a fibrocystic breast so she sent me to a breast specialist/surgeon.
He assured me that my breast was normal & again said it was probably "arthritis in the ribs."
So I tried ibroprufen 3x/day for about a month, no relief. Then I tried naproxen 3x/day for a month. Still no relief.
So far I have been unable to find any concrete info concerning "arthritis of the ribs." The only condition that even faintly, generally resembles it is Costochondritis. However, as I mentioned, the usual treatment such as ibroprufen & naproxen have had no effect on my symptoms.

I am so totally frustrated, worn out by the constant discomfort, painful ache. Any suggestions for obtaining a more concise diagnosis? Should I consider consulting a rheumatologist?

3 Responses
469901 tn?1276567223
I am so sorry you are suffering.  I hate when they say it is referred pain and do not give you any route for relief.  Yes, I think you should see a rheumatologist.  Keep going to as many different doctors as you have to see in order to get a diagnosis and relief.  You might even see an osteo while you are at it.  Please let us know what you find out and how they treat you.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response. My PCP is still flummoxed, sent me for a CT of chest & a bone scan....now waiting for those results, hopefully will have then & then see PCP in the next week or so.
I feel like such a ditz fussing about this problem! Generally I toterate pain well...but also have also generally known what the problem was and options for dealing with it.
I had hellish gallbladder attacks starting at age 15, finally had surgery when I 30. Thru all those years it could get downright hellish but I knew what I dealing with!
I am a little paranoid, distrustful of  many Docs these days. Couple of bad experiences.
1st was a car accident. Spent 12 hrs in ER in terrible pain, could not move my left leg.
Was told xray normal so they were going to discharge me. "Duh, I can't move leg, am in PAIN"  The suggestion was I go home in an ambulance! So  after much yelling I was admitted to hospital. After 3 days of agony another doc reviewed the xrays & discovered my pelvis had 3 hairline fractures. Spent 6 weeks in skeletal traction. 2nd was my 2nd pregnancy. missed 2 periods,  just knew I was preggers. Note, this was before home tests cheap. Saw Gyny. Had test, was neg. Hmmm. Another month, another test, still neg.
3rd visit....test still neg. Doc is suggesting I'm a bit hysterical, wants to put me on hormones to regulate. So I blow the bucks for a home test & is +++++. Tell Gyny.
He's still skeptical. Grabs the office lab records as well as my chart. OOPSIE. Lab tech was new....she'd written in the lab log "maybe positive" for 3 tests but on the chart notes put results as neg. He fired her, did a sonogram on me & said it's a boy. Actually, that Gyny was great otherwise...except when I was 2 weeks overdue w/my son he said be patient. I said NO. So he said give it another 12 hours then just go to hospital & tell them I was having pains. Did that, lied, got admitted, slapped in labor room, put on pitocin.
Get to delivery room, kid pops. Interesting. Slight complication, cord was around Ben's neck. Had to wait 24 hrs to really hold hold him but he was OK. Gyny admitted if I hadn't fussed so much the kid wouldn't have made it had we waited another couple of days.
One more. Couple of years later, moved so had to find a new gyny. Fellow had fantastic reputation. Examined me, said I had huge fibroids...was in mid 30's,  already had two kids...I really needed a total hysterectomy. No Way. Went to another gyny 2 weeks later, had a sonogram....didn't even have little fibroids.
Oh, just last year. Had 2 abnormal paps, showing endometrial cells A little worrisome, did have CIS in cervix 2 times in last 20-odd years. I get scheduled for an in office biopsy of cervix. Doc takes a good look, says he can't do it, my cervix too thick & scarred from previous treatments.So I get told..."don't worry, don't come back for a year...unless I suddenly start bleeding, then call ASAP."
I was not happy. Went to another gyny. He said no prob, cervix scarred & thick but he could do needle biopsy of uterus. He couldn't understand why other gyny didn't go that route. So, that test was OK.
Anyway, thank you again so much for just the bit "keep going to as many docs..."
I needed to hear that especially now.
Something (probably minor) is wrong. I'd just like to know what. If there is something like "arthritus of the ribs" why can't I find info on it?! Anything close has symptoms of pain when breathing (not me) or is relieved by ibroprofen,etc. Again,not me.
Thanks for listening to my ranting! Take care.
483733 tn?1326802046
Do consult a rheumy but in the mean time I would suggest you find a certified massage therapist who is experienced in myofascial release and breast massage.  They are still pinpointing what type of arthritis I have but whatever it is is in my tissues and the fascia on my body seems to go beserk and attach itself causing a lot of pain, including my breasts.  My massage therapist has done wonders in relieving the pain.  Good luck.
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