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Old 04-25-2005, 05:00 PM   #21
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Hi, I am a full time nursing student going into my last year of nursing school. I also work at a local hospital in the ER and on the floor.

First of all, you should never ignore the pain. I don't know what it is, its probably just from the way your rib cage and sternum is shaped, hard to see in the pics. Its probably not a tumor, but just a malformation of the bone, have you had it since you were a kid?

However, whoever said that pain from a cancerous tumor will have you bedridden was wrong, Cancer starts slowly and ive seen patients with advanced bone cancer who have little to no pain. You probably don't have a tumor, but you should have an MRI or CAT scan and several tests done by health care proffessionals to rule this out. Has you doctor done any tests on you?

If your parents and doctors aren't listening to you, you need to make a list of ALL of your questions and next time you go you need to talk to your doctor about everything that is concerning you. Anything that concerns you should concern him as well, and REALLY talk to him/her about your pain, maybe he can prescribe something to help with the pain, or even some other alternative pain relieveing techniques. Also, if you continue to tell your parents about your pain and what your worried about, they should eventually become concerned and do something about it.

If you have had tests and your doctors are not worried, then they may just be waiting for you to finish developing before surgery, or the problem may fix itself as you grow. which is probably what will happen. But you should still talk to them about pain management.

No one should ever tell you not to worry, if something is bothering you it is very important to be concerned about it and DO something about it, becuase if you let it go it could cause more problems in the future. However, it sounds like youve had quite a few doctor visits who are giving you very good care... try to relax, they have been to school and do know what they are talking about. But when you are concerned, don't be afraid to let them know!

Good luck and i hope that everything works out for you.
Old 04-25-2005, 05:30 PM   #22
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Rudy, check out these links, and do some searches yourself if you want.
Pectus carinatum is what you want to research on those pages. I'm not a doctor and it's hard to tell what you have based on pictures alone, but this would be my guess. I myself have/had pectus excavatum which is the opposite of what you have. I actually got operated on much younger than most will because mine was pretty bad. My dad tells me I use to be a whiney kid, then after the operation I told everyone my chest didn't hurt anymore. No one even knew that my chest hurt to begin with.

With both pectus carinatum and pectus excavatum things usually develop or worsen around periods of growth, quite often more so around the time of puberty. This is actually about the best time to deal with it as well according to everything I have read.
I'm quite surprised that no doctors have said anything to you besides "you're fine". If pectus carinatum is what you are dealing with, to a certain extent the doctors would be correct, you are fine. Many people go on living long, pretty much normal lives with either deformity. One of the worse side affects for most people is psychological. But this condition can indeed cause pain or discomfort and also prevent full use of your lungs causing you to feel you dont have much stamina for strenuous excercise.
I would read about it, think about it, talk with your parents about it and see what they think. Like everyone else has said, there's no need to panic or worry though.
Again I'll state that I'm not a doctor and this could be something entirely different, but it's what it looks and sounds like to me. I would discuss it with your parents and have them or yourself talk to the doctors you have seen in the past and at least get some info from them besides "you're fine..."
Like I said already if this is what you have it is something that you can live a normal life with, but it is treatable. I'm not sure how much that sort of thing costs though. If your family has insurance I'd make sure that your parents make it clear to them that you do have pain and any other issues that this might cause so that someone might take it seriously. For the most part insurance will not cover cosmetic surgeries and this would be considered one unless you could prove otherwise.
Good luck, relax, and don't give up.

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Old 04-25-2005, 10:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by AshleyNicole
However, whoever said that pain from a cancerous tumor will have you bedridden was wrong,
I was referring to a tumor the size of the lump sticking out of Rudy's chest, not something small or at it's beginning. For something that large to not be causing pain would be rare. I ran this by my mom; she's been a Hospice nurse for quite a long time. She worked with Alzheimer's patients before that.

Millipede's suggestion is definitely a good one. Write stuff down. Questions and feelings. That way you'll be "armed" so to speak next time you do see a doctor.
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Old 04-26-2005, 01:34 AM   #24
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i guess i didn't think about the size, your mom is right, i have a lot of respect for hospice nurses by the way, its not something i think i could do. However i did say that i didn't think it was cancer (of course im not a doctor so i can't diagnose) but i think it is just a bone deformity, which as millipede said, can cause pain and inhibit the ability of the lungs to exchange oxygen properly.

Basically i agree that you should DEFINITELY write down all your questions and concerns. But don't ignore your symptoms, and don't let anyone tell you it is imagined or "fake" pain, because pain is real!

You are young, and if you do have surgery to correct it, you will recover quickly, most young people do. If they can show that the malformation is causing other medical problems, then your insurance should cover it. and in my opinion, pain is a medical problem and so is having a hard time breathing.

Good luck, i know you will do great no matter what the outcome is, but everyone here has given great support.
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