Medical Specialty >> Oncology

Doctors Lounge - Oncology Answers

Back to Oncology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lung Cancer

Question: Chest Wall Pain - Could it be serious?

 concernedpatient30 - Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:41 am

History: 31 yr old female, previous smoker of 2-3 packs a week for 5 years, quit last year. Late October 2006 I developed chest wall pain after really bad virus. I had a echo-cardiogram, ekg, bloodwork and chest xray (all done Nov 2007) all normal and was determined costrocondritis. The pain gradually became less, went away but has now returned full force.
The pain now is frequent but not constant and is on specific ribs (when it hurts, I can push on my ribs and feel specific sore spots, always on the front of my ribs). The pain occurs on the ribs on both sides above and below my breasts but only one sore place at a time. Also the center of my rib cage sometimes hurts as does the top of my shoulder and armpits sometimes.
I have no congestion or cough, but I do have allergies and a slight sinus issue due to them.

Could this reoccuring issue indicate lung cancer (or some other serious issue) that was missed a few months ago? Also, should I go have the tests run again?
Thanks in advance,
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:32 pm

User avatar Costochondritis can come and go. The pain you describe is very consistent with this diagnosis. Specifically, if you can push on the bone and it reproduces the pain, this is very likely to be costochondritis. The best treatment is anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.

If the pain is worsening or not improving I would recommend that you be evaluated by your doctor. Smoking is a definite risk factor for lung cancer, so it is important to follow up with your doctor and let him know about any new lung symptoms.

Hope this helps.
 concernedpatient30 - Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:15 pm

Thanks for the quick reply! I am hoping since I was a pretty light smoker and since I have now quit, that my risk goes down soon, but I do not know how long it takes.

Can you tell me how long costrocondritis should last and recurr for? Also, is it a likely or common symptom of early lung cancer?

One more question, what is the best diagnostic test to get done to find early lung cancer?

Thanks again, I am just trying to determine how urgently to schedule an appt. or if to just wait it out a week or two and see if it goes away again (I felt kind of silly last time after they ran all those tests and found nothing)


| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us