Coping with serious illness is something no-one wants to do. Not knowing if there will ever be a way out of your predicament and wondering whether you’re able to make a complete recovery is distressing to say the least. Breast bone pain and associated illnesses are especially hard to deal with, as the consequences of it are at times a mystery.
Breast bone pain comes in a variety of forms, all of which vary in their severity, seriousness and length. At one end of the scale, it can be serious, while more severe strands could be fatal. If you’re worried about it, here are some of the different types of breast bone pain:
- Costochondritis – otherwise known as chest wall pain. It’s where the inflammation of the costal cartilage impacts on the chest wall, causing serious pain to whoever’s affected by it.
- Viral costochondritis – arises from viral infection, straining or coughing
- Bacterial costochondritis – possibly caused after surgery
- Fungal chondritis – rare, it occurs naturally
- Breast cancer – the more serious strand of breast bone pain that starts in the tissues of the breast, heading towards the bone in some instances. Although advancements have been made in treating the disease, in a number of cases, it’s likely to be terminal.
Breast bone pain and breast cancer are usually inflammatory and rarely have any direct causes. The former can happen for anyone suffering with a form of arthritis. It can also happen to anyone suffering with fibromyalgia, causing constant agony for the patient. Breast cancer usually occurs for no apparent reason, although genetics and age (usually over 50) often play a part.
Features and symptoms
When suffering with either disease, there are some things to look out for in order to know for certain whether or not you have it. For breast bone pain including costochondritis, one of the main signs is tenderness around the breast area. Also, sharp pains around the chest, which can spread to the back and abdomen, are indicators of breast bone pain.
In terms of breast cancer, there are a few more obvious signs to spot, one being bone pain. This can spread to the breast tissue, causing serious discomfort. It’s usually persistent, but there are other symptoms and signs to look out for including weight loss, swelling in one arm and skin ulcers.
If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, you must see your doctor or visit your local hospital as soon as you can. Then, they will perform a series of routine tests including:
- A breast MRI scan
- A CT scan
- A PET scan
- Breast ultrasound
Any of the above tests should help to determine whether you have any disease relating to breast bone pain, whether it’s cancer or costochondritis.
As with most cancers, one of the most common treatments for breast cancer is chemotherapy, which will help to kill off some of the cancerous cells over time. Radiation therapy works in a similar way. As a last resort, surgery can also help to boost chances of survival.
Other possible remedies for more temporary breast bone pain include heat or ice application over the affected area, medication like ibuprofen or naproxen to kill pain, while avoiding strenuous exercise can also help to alleviate the pain.
There’s not too much you can do to prevent breast bone pain from occurring. However, avoiding substances that can increase the risk of it happening to you such as tobacco, junk food and excessive alcohol can ensure you’re at least partially immune. Trying not to overstretch yourself during exercise can be useful too.