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Is a bone abnormality ever NOT cancer?

(46 Posts)
Beckadillo Thu 17-Nov-16 10:36:50

I'm in a state of dizzying panic and am looking for anything to pin my hope on right now.

I've had mild, throbbing arm pain for a couple of months, which I assumed was something muscular and passing. Finally asked GP who said it's bone pain and sent me for an x ray. I was called yesterday to be told that an area of 'abnormality' has been found, and that I've been referred for an MRI, which will probably take a couple of weeks.

I'm not by nature a panicky person, and am aware that google always dishes up the worst news so have been avoiding the bone cancer pages, but when I tried to find anything at all that this could be, other than cancer, I couldn't find a thing. No heat or fever so not an infection, no injury or fracture, and bone spurs seem to be for youngsters only (I'm early-forties), wrong symptoms and age for a cyst.

Does anyone have any experience of this situation, that didn't result in a bone cancer diagnosis? I didn't sleep more than a few minutes last night, and am finding it very hard to hold it together. I have three young DSs who are very demanding (naturally) and we're moving house in a few weeks (out of the area entirely, to a new town with no support network) but the idea of cracking on with all that's needed with this hanging over me is currently unbearable.

Advice or hand holding very much appreciated...

TwitterQueen1 Thu 17-Nov-16 10:39:31

I don't know OP. But have my hand to hold and squeeze very tightly. flowers


Swannykazoo Thu 17-Nov-16 10:43:00

Honestly - cancer isn't the only thing. There are funny cysts and benign tumours but of course more worring things are possible etc etc. Could you see your GP to get a bit more info about the abnormality? They could maybe help rationalise how much you should or shouldn't worry. I know a couple of weeks sounds ages but it is probably an urgent appointment.
The MRI works with magnets so is a snug scanner and quite noisy - you get earplugs. Don't wear glittery eyeshadow as it'll all have to come off or the tiny bits of glitter can heat up. (Personally I open my glittery eyeshadow once a year for the Xmas do but you never know) - And I know glittery eyeshadow probably the least of your worries but might help give you a tiny smile at the thought of such mundane nonsense.

Redglitter Thu 17-Nov-16 10:43:11

Could be osteoporosis. My dad was initially told he had bone cancer only to be told several months later it was osteoporosis.

I've got a friend who's just recently had all kinds of tests and MRI scan and again it's osteoporosis. She's actually delighted with the diagnosis having worried it was more serious.

Beckadillo Thu 17-Nov-16 10:44:27

Thank you TwitterQueen...
Symptoms don't fit arthritis as it's mid upper-arm bone, not in a joint.

GP had no suggestions at all (other than cancer, though they also said it didn't look 'typically cancerous'). I hate this feeling of helpless waiting!

Redglitter Thu 17-Nov-16 10:47:15

Oh and my just diagnosed friend hasave just been told to take some vitamin supplements, eat a healthy diet and try and get more sunshine. So not at all bad news

Beckadillo Thu 17-Nov-16 10:50:11

Swannykazoo grin at glittery eyeshadow, shall try not to go straight from disco to MRI. Seems benign bone tumours are much more likely in under-30s, but of course a sleepless night on t'internet does NOT make me an expert!

Redglitter - thanks for that. Doesn't seem to fit with osteoporosis, but obviously I'm not trained in that either! Glad to hear that the news was the lesser of two evils for your Dad and friend...

maisiejones Thu 17-Nov-16 12:15:54

My EH had bone pain in his femur. It was an osteoid-osteoma which is a benign growth. So no, it doesn't have to be cancer.

blahblahblah2000 Thu 17-Nov-16 12:19:45

Yes Inhad a benign bone tumour - a hemangioma. They thought it might be a giant cell tumour which is also Benign. The not knowing is horrendous, hang in there.

Kaylasmum49 Thu 17-Nov-16 13:26:12

My 32 yo dd had a giant cell tumour in her shin bone a few years ago. She had been having really bad pain for sometime. It was biopsied and removed, unfortunately a year later it came back and it had to be removed again, that was 3 years ago and so far there has been no reoccurrence.

elDiabloEnMisZapatos Thu 17-Nov-16 13:27:21

How old are you?

LunaLoveg00d Thu 17-Nov-16 13:35:05

Yes it can. My child had a lump on the upper arm, hard and bony. We had convinced ourselves it was something sinister. It was an osteochondroma, a benign lump.

Please try not to think the worst.

Footle Thu 17-Nov-16 13:40:59

elDiablo, read the thread.

elDiabloEnMisZapatos Thu 17-Nov-16 13:45:46

I hear and obey! Missed all the information. Hope you're reassured OP now you know it's more of an extremes of life type thing 💐

Beckadillo Thu 17-Nov-16 14:23:04

Thank you dear posters and sorry for slow response (out with toddler, trying to catch some glimpses of sunshine redglitter!) good to have something (anything) else in my head other than malignant tumours...

Shall try to sit tight and wait impatiently for the MRI. I just wish the GP had come up with some other explanation for me, but I guess that's what scans and consultants are for, but thank you for your stories in the meantime (and please don't think I imagine that any of the conditions you describe are exactly fun, but anything non-cancer is encouraging to me right now!).

DianaMitford Thu 17-Nov-16 14:35:22

My dp is a GP. I'll ask him for you smile
The wait and uncertainty must be crippling sad

DianaMitford Thu 17-Nov-16 14:43:45

Disorders of calcium metabolism, trauma with impaired healing, past injuries, and dependent on location tendon avulsion/aversion fracture.


Beckadillo Thu 17-Nov-16 14:45:53

Wow Diana thank you, what a kind offer! Crucial points are throbbing, low but constant pain, x-ray showing 'unusual abnormalities' (both in left humerus), and (new for today) RSI-type pins and needles in both arms, which could be unrelated...

Meant to also mention with my thanks that you've all calmed me down to the extent that I've managed to eat something 'proper' for the first time since yesterday morning, very grateful.

Beckadillo Thu 17-Nov-16 14:47:56

Ah crossed post Diana. No previous traumas known, but I did grow up with rough-playing big brothers, and have three rough-playing sons now! I have had low calcium readings in the past, shall check that one out.

Thank you again!

DianaMitford Thu 17-Nov-16 14:59:52

You're welcome smile

dahliaaa Thu 17-Nov-16 14:59:55

I have no medical knowledge whatsoever confused but the pins and needles that have just developed could be down to something as straightforward as the lack of sleep and anxiety (pins and needles is a common symptom when anxious.)
flowers for the wait - I know how difficult it is x

NCForThisThreadObviously Thu 17-Nov-16 15:06:03

Wouldn't they act more quickly if they thought it was cancer? I thought everything started to move immediately they suspected it.

AllBellyandBoobs Thu 17-Nov-16 15:06:44

Tingling in your hands can also be caused by low calcium I believe

PurpleTraitor Thu 17-Nov-16 15:11:57

My DD has a bone abnormality in her upper arm. It's not cancer, and it's not dangerous. I hope the same is true for you.

Beckadillo Thu 17-Nov-16 15:27:08

Thanks Dahliaaa, I did wonder if that might be the case. Wouldn't help that my shoulders have been round my ears for >24hrs too!

NCF this is acting quickly, apparently. However taking 6 days to review x-ray wasn't too speedy, and now waiting for ~3 days for referral to be assessed, then 7-10 (working) days till MRI is too bloody slow for me! Have already phoned St Thomas' radiology to check (at GP's suggestion) and I am on the (not-so) fast cancer track...

What's extra concerning is that our move is only a month away, but if the worst happens there's no way I'll want to move, and every minute that passes makes backing-out more complicated. Doesn't help the stress levels. Deep breaths of cold, windy air for now.

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