Breast cancer rib metastasis

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle

Presentation

Retired female with prior history of breast cancer. Left sided thoracic pain.

Patient Data

Age: 70 years
Gender: Female
X-ray

Left mastectomy.

Thickened sclerotic left 8th rib.

Lungs clear.  

Heart size normal.

Case Discussion

The breast outlines are one of the review areas on a chest x-ray. If a mastectomy is present implying a previous malignancy, be sure to interrogate the film closely.

Bone metastases are common - both lucent and sclerotic - in breast cancer.

Other potential findings on a chest x-ray indicating metastatic disease in breast cancer include:

  • pleural effusion
  • lung metastases
  • pleural metastases

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