Rib removal - 1254839

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 11:27

My husband presented with adenocarcinoma of unknown primary. Only symptom was painful 3 x 1.6 cm rib lesion at costo chondral junction. Is it possible to remove that rib or is that something you might ask a thoracic surgeon to do? PET showed this the only active area.

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Hi Betty,

I'm sorry to hear of your husband's diagnosis and the pain that the rib lesion is causing him. The typical treatment for bone mets is radiation, which tends to be very effective in controlling the cancer and reducing pain, although you would need to consult with his doctors about the feasibility given the size, location and any other relevant factors. Dr. West has posted a summary of bone met treatments here: http://cancergrace.org/lung/2007/02/18/treating-bone-mets-focus-on-radi…

I hope your husband's pain can be alleviated soon.

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Dr West

Jim's absolutely right, though I've also had a patient pursue surgery (by the thoracic surgeon who had originally done a surgery for her initial early stage lung cancer several years before) in this situation. I don't recall the details of why we didn't favor radiation...I believe that radiation had been done initially and that the lesion then progressed again after radiation to the area (relatively uncommon).

-Dr. West