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Arthritis vs secondary bone cancer

By Anonymous August 24, 2009 - 10:50am
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I had a masectomey 3/13/2009, then chemo(CMF). During chemo i fell and broke several ribs in august of last year. I had a pet scan in May of this year, ordered due to hip bone pain and the radiologist states that he thought it was possible arthritis in the ribs. I have IDC. T2N1M0, state III. My Question, is it possible to get arthritis that quick? and can it be mistaken on the PET scan?

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi, I have recently been diagnosed arthritis in my symphisis pubis bone (which they agree is an odd place to have it!), also I have pain in my left hip and lower back which on xray they say was a slipped disk. I have pain in my illio-sacro joint which really is getting worse and hurts when I walk. I had cervical cancer stage 1a 11 years ago. I've had a bone scan and asked for a bone biopsy which my doctor refused as he says it is invasive. Do I have the right to demand one? Is it possible that what they say is arthritis is a recurrance of cervical cancer and which is the best diagnostic method. Please can you help with my questions? Thank you

September 3, 2009 - 5:09am

I'm sorry to hear about your broken ribs on top of your chemotherapy! Congratulations on being a cancer survivor.

There are over 100 different types of arthritis, the most common affecting joints (arthritis means inflammation of the joint). The rib cage contains "synovial joints," a joint surrounded by a membrane containing a protective fluid. I hope I stated that correctly!

I can imagine that your general aches and fatigue are related to your treatment. I hope that you're not on Prednisone for an extended length of time. In your case, it probably is conceivable to have developed arthritis that quickly, since your body and immune system are so weakened.

Here's wishing you well and more comfortable days.

August 24, 2009 - 6:15pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks so much for your question and welcome!

I'm sorry to read that you've been going through so much. Are you finished with cancer treatments now? What is your prognosis?

Arthritis can be something that seems to creep up rather suddenly. And it can be mistaken on a scan - you will need to have further tests to confirm that what you have is indeed arthritis.

Have you been told what kind of arthritis you may have? There are two kinds - osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Empowher describes osteoarthritis as "the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. This is followed by chronic inflammation of the joint lining. Healthy cartilage is a cushion between the bones in a joint. Osteoarthritis usually affects the hands, feet, spine, hips, and knees. People with osteoarthritis usually have joint pain and limited movement of the affected joint."
You can read more on Osteoarthritis here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/osteoarthritis

From our Encyclopedia, rheumatoid arthritis is " is an autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints. RA usually affects the same joint on both sides of the body. It occurs most frequently in the:

* Fingers
* Wrists
* Elbows
* Shoulders
* Jaw
* Hips
* Knees
* Toes

Check out our RA page here, there is tons of information: http://www.empowher.com/condition/rheumatoid-arthritis

Anon - what is next for you - have your doctors told you what further tests you'll do to confirm what is actually causing this pain you are in?

August 24, 2009 - 12:13pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

I was on Tamoxifen but the side effects were bad for me. i have "Sheehan's Syndrome" for which i take Predinosone and synthroid daily. My chemo is finished. The only treatment i have is follow ups with the dr for scans. The reason for the scan was pain in the bone in my hoips. No arthritis in hips showed up. i have not been test for arthirits nor was i given a name of which it was. I have the rib pain, hip bone pain and general achiness and fatigue.

August 24, 2009 - 2:41pm
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