Pain under rt breast thru to my back

I have had pain under my right breast thru to my back since Oct 2007. Unable to wear a bra because of pain.
I have had MANY tests and the only thing alot of the docs can come with is costochondritis. I have had MRI, CT scan Upper endocsopy, Small bowel seriesX-rays and a colonoscopy, and have had my gallbladder removed 7 years ago. In daily pain and have been told to take vicodin, morphine and ativan. Ativan is the only one that gives me some relief. Any suggestions?

Edited March 26, 2008 at 2:50 pm

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Hi Cindy, is that your only symptom? The reason I was diagnosed with Systemic Mastocytosis is because I had a horrible pain in my chest/sternum which felt like a sword going right through to my back. So they thought it was a pulmonary embolism which is was not...twice...
Have you had a bone marrow biopsy?
Or actually before that party, have you had an MRI?
Was your bone marrow ok?
They only found my illness by doing the bone marrow biopsy, the bloodwork was always perfect, so were the ultra sounds, endoscopy, colonoscopy, laperoscopies etc....
Do you have allergic reactions alot, gastro issues, abdominal pain that no one can explain, migraines that won't go away with migraine meds? Are you allergic to many medications like some pain meds and some anti-biotics...
Sorry my area of expertise is only with the particular illnes I have but if you have some of these symptoms you may want to see an allergist/Immunologist or Hemotologist as well.
I hope you find the answer soon and that it can be treated and you can put this past you! As we speak I feel your pain!
Love and light,
Leslie :-)

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I too have had this pain you talk about for about a year. Come to find out it was caused by pulm. sarc. in my lungs which they found with a CT scan. I have been diagnosed for about 4 years but they treated my symptoms as asthma. I dont have asthma. I went over to the Mayo clinic in MN and got the care I needed. Sorry to say but prednisone, the good, bad and ungly of it, did help my lungs and the pain went away. I have been on the pred. for about 5 months. I was wheasing and could hardly breath when doing limited activity. Now I can do light exercise, mop floors, and all other household chores pretty well. It could be reflux too but that is more centeral in the chest. I also have GERD and had the chest pain which also went thru to the back. I hope this helps. G.

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SO sorry you are having this pain. If they are correct and it is costochondritis, my daughter had that and they told her that anti-inflams were needed but that the pain would last either 3 hr, 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years. I pray it last the lesser, in her case it was about three weeks. I really dislike the effect my body has w/ the steroids but sometimes they are a must as well.

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I assume you have not had any of the therapies we all are subjected to for cancer?

Have you had any injuries to the area? All I can add is: Have you tried physical therapy. breathing exercises, accupuncture, Feldenkrais. . .?

Best wishes,

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Have you had a ct scan? Don't mean to worry you at all but that's the pain I had for years before I was diagnosed with lung cancer. The emergency room doctor told me I had costochondritis and that many women get this after having had a cold or virus. That was not correct for me; my pain turned out to be caused by a 2.5 cm tumor in my left upper lobe. I had it removed three years ago and have been cancer free since. The pain was intermittent for about five or so years before I finally got diagnosed. Sharon

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Hi Cindy:
My suggestion would be to pursue the problem a little more just to make sure you don't have any cancer, such as a cat scan or something that would relieve your mind.

I did have costal condritis many years ago and it is wicked. After the fact, I knew what I did to cause it. I lifted and carried a very large box filled with green bar computer paper from a storage room to the computer room probably half the length of a football field.

Yes, it hurt but I didn't pay it any mind until the next morning and I woke up with such chest pains I thought I was having a heart attack. Well, I was in the hospital for about 3 days answering a lot of questions before they finally told me that carrying that box of computer paper put a terrible strain on my costal nerve which I found out runs horizontally around your middle right below the breast. The neve was very inflamed from what I had done and swelled, causing the pain.

Oh talking about time, i was on an anti inflamitory for quite a while and also pain pills, however, in a few weeks I was able to do things but had to be careful of HOW I did anything. Just the slightest pull of a drawer would cause it to hurt. All in all, I suppose it took a good 6 months to actually heal up. I never picked up another large box of computer paper since then, or anything that heavy either.

Hope this helps but I would not just settle for the answer you got. I would still have it checked out more thoroughly.
Good Luck

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Your dx. is possible I know it takes along time to go away. Our daughter had it. I am talking 6 mos. to recover.

My sister has your symptoms and her diagnosis is sarcoidosis, be thankful it is not that. Did they do a CAT scan or MRI ?

Hang in there.


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Hi Cindy,

I am still waiting to find out what they are going to do about my problem with Zenker's Diverticulum. I do not eat very well and I kind of think it is my dentures as it is hard chewing. I do not think I chew my food properly.


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I know this sounds crazy, but did they check you for a bad gallbladder? I went through the same problems years ago and it took 11 doctors and 2 years to find out my gallbladder was icky. It wasn't found on all those scans you had......they ran a simple sonogram in that area under my breast (the pain ran to my back as well) and tada there it was. I had it removed, pain resolved. One doctor said I was just a nervous woman and gave me &()#!!! VALIUM! Grrrr.

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Flip the pain to the left side and yes, I have that pain too. I hurt my chest in a car accident 9 years ago and thought the chest pain was due to that. Scans show small changes due to injury or Costochondritis. The first time the pain went through to my back was about 7 years ago and now it's constantly there on a low simmer, sometimes flaring into excruciating pains which leave me scarcely able to move for a few days. I have an undiagnosed auto-immune type problem which sparked after the car accident, although recent blood tests suggest I might have Sarcoidosis. I don't think your pain is just Costochondritis if it goes through to the back. Isn't Costochondritis chest wall pain, more to the front? I frequently ask my immunologist that very question. I also take anti-inflammatories for my unlabelled arthritis but they don't stop the chest and back flares. My experience of Costochondritis is that the pain angles from the centre of my ribcage, under my left breast, over towards the heart . When the back part got involved, the chest pain no longer specifically followed that trail and could come from all angles. That's when I stopped believing it was simply Costochondritis.

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I too when to ER with severe chest pain and told it was costochondritis. What they couldn't explain was why my face went numb that night while they kept me overnight in hospital, or why my left arm was completely limp overnight and the next morning. That was Oct 2004. Since then I've had the exact pain described above...and I don't have a bra I can even wear at the moment!

I have been confirmed with fibromyalgia - 18 points of pain confirms it apparently (according to the Internist). She says that this is my reason for the chest pain. However the Lyrica doesn't seem to be helping (it does help the stabbings in my hands, feet and eyes).

My chest xrays/CT scans of my chest and now my ACE tests are all negative. So as much as I still believe I have Sarcoidosis, there are no markers yet to indicate this. I go to the dermatologist in a couple of weeks - hopefully the chest sores are still there for her to biopsy.

I found Leslie's diagnosis interesting - something else I will ask my family doctor about. I had never heard of this - and the pain description is dead on.

Oh yeah - my kidneys continue to go downhill - creatinine is 4 times the levels it should be and I have protein and blood at +3 in my urine. Nephrologist is next week!

I will follow this string closely as I continue to hope for a diagnosis - and get off this "what's wrong with me" bandwagon!

Thanks all
Betty Jo

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Hello, I cannot say if you have a pain like I had but when I was 35 I had a shooting pain from my left breast on the whole left side into my left arm. It was very painful and could not get the doctors to look at it seriously. Finally I went to my doctor and asked for a mammogram. He said I was too young to have breast cancer and they do not run mammograms on 35 year olds. I said I was not leaving until he did this for me. He assured me breast cancer does not have pain but did the mammogram anyway for me and that afternoon called me with the results of cancer. I caught it early because I insisted on a test they thought would not be of any consequence. You may not have any thing like this but if you know of any family issues that have ever had this with disease in their future, please insist on the test. We sometimes,no most all the time, have to be our own doctor. I am now 60 years old and enjoy grandchildren because i took it into my own hands and insisted on help. That was 25 years ago and things have not changed.

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Hi, I too have the same problem. The pain is constantly there, but sometimes just dull. The first time this happend was on the last day of BCG treatment, 10-24-07. Was refered to GI for endoscopy, was told I had Barretts Desease and to come back in oneyear for follow up. Went back in November, with severe stabbing pain in my right back and right rib cage, was given some pain meds and was told to watch my diet. All blood , x-ray's, scans and Hida scan came back normal. Ended up in the ER with severe pain, no answer on this one. Just made another appt. with the NP(have not seen a Doctor in 2 years) I will bring some of the suggestions of possible causes with me. I am not able to drink any alcohol(not even one glass of wine)No cheese, no chocolate or sweets. This would go in minutes to severe pain.
I am very fed up with this situation. Thank you all for your comments

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I experienced the EXACT same thing, and unless you have, you cannot comprehend the pain involved with chostocondritis. It was a very slow recovery. If insurance will pay for it find a physical theripist who is experienced with this sort of thing (they are out there)!
But, tell him that you need actual human touching in between the ribs. My PT did that and the rate at which I began to get better sped up 10 fold. He went in and sort of got under there and massaged between my ribs. It hurt like hell, but after a while, it was gone!
I had already had it for so long that I knew how and where to touch myself to give me minor relief. I knew that someone else could get to places that I couldn't reach, but wanted to so bad because of the pain. That is when I saught out my PT. The KEY:
Tell him what to do!

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I have had this pain many times. When I finally decided to go to the ER for the pain (because doctors were ignoring it and saying it was a pulled muscle) I had many tests, and was sent to a Pulmonologist. I had a lung biopsy and was told it was Sarcoidosis of the lungs!

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My 17 year old daughter has had this same specific type of pain ALL through her rib cartilage-front,back and in-between....when it becomes chronic it is a complication, diagnosed as Tietze's syndrome....
She has had this progressively chronic pain for about 9 months now... we have run out of ideas with the doctors and we still don't know what caused this condition....It started out like pains from her heart but that wasn't it they we went through MRI scan,CAT scan and numerous blood tests, all done at a respectable children's hospital....
Have been trying the pool lately with no relief,as was suggested by the rheumatologist for some physical therapy....
We too are searching for some advice and recommendations for her...we would GREATLY appreciate some help!!!....p.s.: we have already tried a popular herbal treatment for her conditin and it made her very ill!!!!- HELP!!!....Thanks to all....Sincerely, Loving MOM

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Hello, i have a 17 year ol daughter with those same symptoms in her rib cage: front,back and everywhere in-between...
It started as sharp,stabbing pains kind of isolated at her heart....eventually it has progressed throughout..sometimes in her tummy on her left side and then suddenly jumps back to her middle chest...
We can't seem to find any help for her...and she missed the last 6 months of school because of the chronic pain...which has caused anxiety and some depression now...
So, here she is -trying to be determined about starting her senoir year of high school- all the while in this chronis state...any suggestions or other tests you think might help???
I really hope that you feel better...your friend,S.

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I have the same pain. It started on my left side exactly as you descibe it. It spread over the next year to both sides and down though all my ribs. I was worried because I know I don't breathe as deeplly as I should because it hurts. I did find that when I am on Prednisone the pain is bearable. My doctors have told me that this is not an unexpected symptom of Sarcoidosis or any one of several other auto-immune diseases. Have you had a Galiium Scan to see if there is inflamation in the Chest Wall? That might help pimpoint if it is an inflammatory process?

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