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Arthritis vs. Bone Mets

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  • Emelee26
    Emelee26 Member Posts: 98
    edited April 2009

    My friend was just told her pet scan shows an area on her left scapula that grew and a new area on her left rib..she gets pain on the right side...and the surgeon said she thinks it's arthritis..but we don't know how she would know that..she's sending her for xrays of her ribs and to a osteo dr. for the shoulder..any thoughts?

    Love Marisa

  • BcMomOf3
    BcMomOf3 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2009

    I beg of you FORCEE your friend to get another pet scan, biopsy everything. i am 43 was dx 3 yrs ago with stage 3 breast. I was told I was fine, in remission. 3 years ago when the breast began, there was a spot on my arm. For 3 yrs doctors told me it was arthritis. A few weeks ago I had severe pain in my pelvis. The spot on my arm was not arthritis and now i'm stage 4. That spot spread to my arms, hips, pelvis and back.... to serious to not get checked out.

  • mumito
    mumito Member Posts: 2,007
    edited May 2009

    I am 6 months out of treatments and am now having a foot problem.BIG LUMP on the bone on the top of my foot followed now with swelling and alot of foot discomfort> Not sure if i should book an appt with a reumatologist or go back to my medical onc>Any suggestions.

  • hope_m
    hope_m Member Posts: 24
    edited May 2009

    Thanks everyone who posted to me.  I went to my therapist who helps me with my arm and she worked on my back.  (She's a cranial-sacral therapist.) My pain is better, so the edge is off my worry.  She is not so sure that arthritis is the cause of my problems.  

    Mumayan, at least go and see the podiatrist!!!  

    Hope M. 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited May 2009

    mumayan - I agree with Hope... start with a Podiatrist.

     Marisa - Any word about your friend? Hope it's not mets!

  • mumito
    mumito Member Posts: 2,007
    edited May 2009

    family doctor seemed quite concerned order xray and ultrasound of the foot.Do you think its possible for a tumor to show up on the foot.

  • WellWater
    WellWater Member Posts: 4,524
    edited May 2009

     mumayan:  I think it's possible for a tumor to show up anywhere.  I'm glad you're getting the tests done pronto. 

    I've just been scheduled for a ct scan on Friday - I  have pain (actually ache is a better word) in the tailbone (which was broken in 1996 but never bothered me since it healed) - this ache started in January but onc had found suspicous spots all over after a ct scan.  Next came nuclear bone scan, x-rays and PET back in February.  Tests showed all suspicious spots arthritis but he said "activity in the tailbone, isn't being called cancer right now but we'll revisit this in 3 months".  So now I start all over again.  I think if he cannot give me a defintive answer on what's going on in tailbone I will ask for an MRI - it sounds like maybe that's that route to go to determine once and for all what this is.

    Scanixety here we come again.......

  • mumito
    mumito Member Posts: 2,007
    edited May 2009

    You ladies are so smart the lump turned out to be a ganglion (cyst) just like one of you said.What a relief.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited May 2009

    That's great news! Congrats!

  • Bellagirl
    Bellagirl Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2009

    OMG after reading your blog and all the lovely ladies that replied to you, I first off want to say what a comfort you all are to so many of us. Whether we write or just read, it's comforting to have a connection with so many beautiful people.

    I got to wondering about what all my scans and tests results were from the time I was diagnosed to present. You know, no one is prepared for this. We get the news of cancer and then we are instantly thrown into this world of doctors visits, tests, scans, drugs, treatments, side effects, I mean, the list goes on and on. Well, I pulled out the binder that I keep all of my results of every lab and scan in, and read through it last night. I tell you what..I forgot a lot of it as I'm pretty sure I was in a daze most of the time just trying to get through treatment. My bone scans and PET/CT scans all said the same thing. That the uptake in the bones were probably arthritis but mets could not be ruled out. Same with the 2.6cm tumor on my adrenal gland and what's up with my low thyroid counts that now I'm on meds for that too. I called my onc office today and have an appt on the 26th, and you can bet I'm going to clear my head, and look her straight in the eye and address each and every concern about all I mentioned. And, because she works in one of the best cancer hospitals in the country, I'm going to get her thoughts on the arthritis vs bone mets concern that alot of us have and I'll post after my visit what her thoughts are.  The best to you all for days full of love and peace.

  • Jaredsmom
    Jaredsmom Member Posts: 2
    edited May 2009

    Hi.  I am Marisa's friend, Laura~ Just wanted to let you know the outcome of my tests/MD visits during the past couple of weeks.  After the PET scan on 4/24, my surgeon sent me for an MRI of my shoulder.  Again...metastatic disease in the left scapula and 7th rib could not be ruled out...On Monday~ 5/11, I saw an orthopedic oncologist at Yale New Haven Hospital who is supposedly very good.  He poured over all 3 of my PET scans as well as the MRI as WELL as his own regular xrays that he took and told my husband and I that he does NOT feel that either spots are cancerous and that the shoulder is likely arthritis that is worsening and the rib is an old injury.  I did fracture ribs when I was very young and was quite ill last summer with bronchitis...I will go back to Yale in July for another MRI.  The MD said if the spots change in any way...I will likely undergo bone biopsies, however, he STRONGLY doubts this will happen.  Thanks so much for asking Marisa about me~ I hope you are doing well.

    Laura

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited May 2009
    Laura, that is wonderful news! You must be so relieved. Laughing
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited May 2009

    GIRLS - We HAVE TO put the pressure on our Dr's... We have to question EVERYTHING!

    Wellwater - How did your appt go? Although you probably don't have results yet... but let us know.

    Bella - Please let us know...best wishes to you.

    Laura - Thanks for checking in! Great news!

  • debk55
    debk55 Member Posts: 3
    edited May 2009

    Hi All,

    I am just wondering did any of you continue having body aches after chemo that turned up being bone mets???   I have been having continued joint and body aches and it has been 6 weeks since I finished taxol.  My onc says that it can take the joints about a year to return to normal after the chemo. But he wanted me to tell him if I had back, neck or hip pain on a regular basis he said that bone mets never starts below the elbow or knee. I am trying to do more since I finished chemo to get my strength back. I work at a desk job 2-3 days a week and have continued to do laundry and grocery shop. Some days are better than others, I felt pretty good yesterday and did qiute a few errands but, I did take 1/2 a vicodin every 6 hours. Then this AM I woke up and could hardly walk my feet knees back arms and hands hurt so much a whole vicodin hardly took the edge off.  I hate to get another bone scan because of the $$$ and the exposure to the radation. But I am wondering if I should??? I would love to know what you all think.   THis is a wonderful sight I have not posted much during treatment but have always read a lot and am finding I need more support now that I am done than I did when I went though the txs.

    I am triple neg and I know this does recurr sooner if it going to so I do really wonder sometimes about the body and jiont pain.

     Thanks for listening!!!!!!!!  Any info would be great. Best wishes and blessing to you all:)

    Deb:)

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited May 2009

    Deb, when was your last bone scan? That should make a difference in whether you do another now...

  • debk55
    debk55 Member Posts: 3
    edited May 2009

    Hi Barbe,

    I had one just before sx & chemo started in sept 08. I just finished chemo 3-23-09. I am praying I am just having taxol aches and pains. My onc said due to no more prednisone in the tx that I might be feeling more of my joint pains and that it could take up to a year to get better. But he also said if I got neck or hip or rib pain to let him know and they would do another scan. I have those ppains some times. But not all the time. But I do take 1/2 a vicodin a least 2-3 times a day.  Like today my hip hurt when I woke up and it was not the one I was sleeping on at the time although most of the night I had. I just don't know and I try not to worry and my insurance does not pay for xrays!!!!    Thanks for your interest.  Deb:)

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited May 2009

    Ah, the insurance thing! So sad you have to decide based on $$$ isn't it?

    I haven't been able to sleep on my side for about 3 years now. The arthiritis is just too bad!

    Keep in touch with your onc, though, he sounds like he's on the ball...good luck!

  • Mazy1959
    Mazy1959 Member Posts: 254
    edited May 2009

    Deb,

    My onc told me I am eligible to have scans every 3 months but we discussed it and I only want scans every 6 unless I have new symptoms. I didnt take chemo for bone mets. I had 14 rads and take Aromasin and Zometa. Hope this helps, Mazy

    Edited to add...my onc also said it could be up to a year before we would know if I was getting better. It was 9 months for me when my scans came back saying the tumor was no longer visible. I also was feeeling better at that time also. I am on SSDI since I can no longer work.

  • Alyson
    Alyson Member Posts: 3,737
    edited May 2009

    Good morning from some really chilly islands in the South Pacific

    Specialist says the aches and pains I have is the arthritis getting worse. Showed me the MRI and bone scan I had done a while ago and pointed out areas that were bone problems and said none looked like mets. He also said that the taxol would have contributed to the pain in my feet and that the Femara might not be helping but feels that this is the rhematoid arthritis that I was being treated for before BC. Once I have had some xrays done he will will probably perscribe plaquenil as it is not an immune suppressant.

    So despite the cold I must get myself moving and go for a walk. Hope every one has a great day.

    Alyson

  • Newbie21
    Newbie21 Member Posts: 10
    edited June 2009

    Hi everyone,

    Would bone mets to the rib be painful?They found a hot spot on my mom's rib on a bone scan. Will be getting X-rays done tommorow to figure things out. She has no pain. I am freaking out. She does have osteoperosis and arthritis and is of an older age (70).

    Thanks for listening.

    Giulia xo

  • jpann39
    jpann39 Member Posts: 92
    edited June 2009

    Never thought I would be jumping into a conversation like this...but I read this thread from the very first post Laura wrote...

    Im having some pain off and on in my rib cage on the right side(rad side)...it doesnt really hurt but kind of feels like a rib is slipping over another.

    The real thing that Im worried about is my lower back...it started with the right hip about 6 months ago....primary had x-rays taken and radiologist said everything looked fine so we went down the muscular path...its better but still has issues....but as I said, my lower back is awful....I try to follow the two week rule on pain so havent mentioned this back pain to the oncologist.....it comes and goes but when it is here it has been almost debilitating...has anyones mets reacted like this???

    Im scheduled to start Femara June 15th after being on Tamox and Im really nervous about it.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    Jule

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited June 2009

    Giulia - Hope all is well with your Mom. Please keep us posted.

    Jule - I don't have mets - so I can't answer your question - hope the pain is nothing serious, but...I'm curious... why are you starting Femara? And will you be taking it in replace of Tamox?

  • nelia48
    nelia48 Member Posts: 42
    edited June 2009

    I'm like Jule and have just finished reading this thread from the very beginning.  In some ways, it was a relief to me, as I know I had joint pain before I started all this BC stuff.  During chemo, with all the steroids they add to the mix, I had NO pain at all, and it was like a miracle for me.  My feet had been so bad before chemo that I could hardly walk.  Now?  the feet are still wonderful.  No problems there anymore.  It's like the chemo killed the arthritis there.

    But. . . I now have the rib pain on the left side --- the side of the mastectomy and radiation.  I can't sleep on that side, and the pain always feels like a broken rib or something.  I had the mastectomy in early January (complained about the pain after surgery) and I finished radiation April 15th.  I just thought it would be better by now.  I'm on Arimidex, so I know joint pain goes with the territory. Just don't know how to tell the difference in the pain.  I did have a PET scan in February which came out clean.  CT, Bone scan and xrays were done last August.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited June 2009

    Okay girls... I have not forgotten about this thread- I have been lurking... I started it because, I was AND still am concerned about this topic.

    Jule - Hope you answer.

    Nelia - If the rib pain has become worse since your scan in Feb... definately ask for another one. Then you can move beyond...

  • Newbie21
    Newbie21 Member Posts: 10
    edited June 2009

    Hi,

     So is a bone scan and xray not enough to rule things? very confused.

    Giulia

  • jpann39
    jpann39 Member Posts: 92
    edited June 2009

    Laura-sorry about not replying but my sweetie and I went on a camping trip Friday and I hadnt read here until this morning.

    The Femara? Yes I will be taking it in place of the Tamox...I had a complete hysterectomy at 46 because I was er+ 95% and pr+ 55% so can take AI's..the only thing is....a week after my hysterectomy they changed me to Arimidex and I had an nightmare time with it so stopped it after 4 months and went back to tamox. Now Im fighting body aches and sever fatigue so they wanted me to try Femara for awhile...Im 2 1/2 yrs out now so they are hoping I can tough it out with this one to make the 5 yr mark but I believe quality of life is very important so will stop them completely if this doesnt work...My onco is good with that and says if I quit then at least I got thru the biggest portion of the 5 yrs.

    Newbie-Im confused about the bone scan/xray thing too.....when my hip was so terrible they only did an xray and the radiologist who read that said he could tell so Im hoping he's right.

    Nelia-I think we have rib issues from the rads...I have read many, many posts here that talk about rib pain on the radiated side....but please be cautious and continue to watch things and if there is ANY change, get yourself checked.

    Best wishes

    Jule

  • vision4utoo
    vision4utoo Member Posts: 17
    edited June 2009

    Hi all ~ thanks for this thread ~ for the past week I have been having the pain in my lower back, hips and legs and I think I pulled a muscle - being more active the past couple of weeks and trying to get back in shape. Hurts breathing too - that oculd be from the TE I have in... I have only been walking thought, nothing strenous like I used to do.  I am uncertain to cal Onc, don't want to be a "crying wolf" so to speak.  Everything I have done to allieviate has not helped, sitting still is working at moment but moving around makes me feel 100 years old, rickety and painful.  From your post ~ I will call Onc if it continues on into second week

  • vision4utoo
    vision4utoo Member Posts: 17
    edited June 2009

    I do have a question - my CBC this month were good except for low red blood.  had a bone scan months ago (broke my rib by pushing down on a hole punch).  How far out were you DX again?  I ended chemotherapy last October and refused Tamox.

  • DianeRude
    DianeRude Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2009

    Hi all - I'm new here and have a question. I have rib pain and I'm afraid it is mets to the bone - 3 different spots right on the surface but deep. feels like about a dime size very painful to touch. How do know if it's rib pain, muscle pain or just pain pain? Unfortunately, I have no insurance so I can't run to MD with every concern. I had a scare with severe headachs and had an MRI that was neg and am having to pay out of pocket for that. I  had to have a breast MRI to identify scar tissue vs recurrence and am having to pay out of pocket. I hate having to weigh every decision against money, but if the ribs are neg. I can't bear another bill. Any help as to what the pain feels like? Thank You - I enjoy the encouragement I have read in this topic. 

  • whatnow
    whatnow Member Posts: 20
    edited June 2009

    DianeRude:

    I don't know that I can help/answer...but I do feel your pain. I do have insurance but it's barely anything.   I had other health issues long before cancer and was denied coverage.  I'm self employeed so I don't have any options where they HAVE to accept me. So I pay my own and I got a TRAGIC bit of insurance...just so I could go to hospital if/when I had to.  I have no "copay"...I pay everything up to the first $5000 per year and no prescription at all, etc.  So I understand what you're saying.  Seems, these days, we all go to doctors for EVERYTHING. Then we get treated like hypochondriacs by the doctors and our friends.  Yet, if we don't go, and they diagnose something later, we tend to hear "Well WHY didn't you come in sooner with symptoms like that!"  Rock-Us-Hard Place. 

    I''m ALSO having rib pain. That's why I'm on here.  Haven't been for years. I'm 4.5 years NED. I'm having trouble telling exactly WHERE my pain is because it's so deep.  Causing a bit of coughing too..which of course hurts.  So ... heart?  Lung ? Rib?  Breast ?  (It's on my non-affected side).  I don't even know what doctor to call but I finally called my onc this morning and asked if they thought I might be a candidate for an x-ray at least, bone scan at most (I'm on Aromasin...hard on the old bones).  I'm HOPING the Aromasin maybe weakend my bones and HOPING it's just a hairline fracture and HOPING it's all temporary. Ya know? 

    So, for me, the decision to go or not has taken a week. And the pain comes and goes (never completely leaves) but it was quick onset which is why I'm thinking maybe just a crack from a weakened bone (not mets, I hope). But it gets pretty bad at times and wears me out. 

    Good luck to you on whatever you decide.  I'll try and remember to post my outcome.  Though that's really no help in your decision.