The major categories of diseases affecting the chest are related to the chest, the armpit and the breast.

Chest symptoms are frequently associated with severe pain. Pain and shortness of breath can be caused by heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, asthma, pneumonia and panic attacks, to name a few. There may be rapid or irregular heart beats, or arrhythmias, associated with this. Rapid heart rate can also occur with fever, anemia, atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure.

Recently, it was found that prolonged use of some cox-2 anti-inflammatory medications, such as Bextra and Vioxx, could lead to an increased risk of heart attack. Mesothelioma, an unusual for of lung cancer is seen in those with prolonged exposure to asbestos,

Excessive sweating can be a sign of over activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Simple operations can eliminate this condition.

Pain and lumps in the breast may be breast cancer or infections. They may spread to the armpit. Lumps in the armpit may also occur with metastatic cancer, lymphoma or Hodgkin's disease. Breast pain may also occur with fibrocystic disease and pregnancy.

Severe pain around the chest, associated with rash, is common with herpes zoster or shingles. Herniated cervical discs can also produce chest pain and pain in and around the armpit.

Some of these conditions require immediate treatment, such as heart attacks or pneumonia. Breast cancer may require surgical treatment, with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation. It may also require reconstruction breast surgery with saline or silicone implants.

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