Managing Pain Associated With Lung Cancer
Palliative care is a specialized field that aims to alleviate symptoms and maximize the patients quality of life. Palliative care does not focus on curing the disease or prolonging life, which is the goal of other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. However, palliative care is an important part of the patients treatment plan and encompasses physical symptoms, psychosocial distress, spiritual distress, and caregiver distress.1
The management of pain due to lung cancer may include a combination of medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , corticosteroids, opioids , and antidepressants. For metastases to the bone, radiation therapy and the use of bisphosphonates can alleviate pain. In addition, smoking cessation is recommended, as surveys have revealed that lung cancer patients who continue to smoke after diagnosis have a higher incidence of pain and other lung cancer complications than nonsmokers and those who quit smoking.2,3
Common Lung Cancer Symptoms
Often, when patients receive a lung cancer diagnosis, they have been experiencing symptoms such as persistent breathing difficulty, recurring respiratory infections or chest pain for a while. But the patient likely didnt realize these were symptoms of lung cancer, so they waited to see a doctor.
While every cough or case of bronchitis isnt a reason to believe you have lung cancer, if you are at high risk of developing lung cancer, paying attention to the early warning signs is critical, saysRussell Hales, M.D., a board-certified radiation oncologist and director of the multidisciplinary clinic at The Lung Cancer Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Common lung cancer symptoms include:
Better Assessing Stroke Heart Attack Risk
Dr. Navi said he was not surprised to see that people with more advanced disease had a greater risk of heart attack or stroke. From a biological perspective, he explained, the observations makes sense because tumors can release enzymes and proteins that can create an environment in which blood clots are more likely to form.
And, he added, Its no shock that the highest risk is in patients whose cancer is poorly controlled, because either their treatment hasnt started or their disease is resistant to treatment, he said.
The larger excess risk in patients with lung cancer is also to be somewhat expected, said Lori Minasian, M.D., deputy director of NCIs Division of Cancer Prevention and chair of the institutes Community Oncology Cardiotoxicity Task Force, which coordinates NCI-supported research on the cardiac effects of cancer treatments.
Many of the risk factors for lung cancer overlap with those for cardiovascular disease, and some therapies commonly used to treat lung cancer can damage the heart, she said.
From a broader perspective, multiple factors could influence arterial thromboembolism risk in people with cancer, Drs. Yeh and Chang wrote. The fact that the increased risk largely resolves within a year suggests that it could be a byproduct of the cancer itself, with successful treatment eventually diminishing the risk, they speculated.
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Extreme Thirst And Frequent Urination
Thirst is common with the sudden onset of warmer weather, but sudden extreme thirst is a symptom that you should always discuss with your doctor. Some lung cancer tumors create a protein that acts very similar to the parathyroid hormone produced by the parathyroid gland. The parathyroid gland and kidneys normally regulate calcium levels in the body.
Cancer tumors can disrupt the process of regulating calcium, and lead to too much calcium in the bloodstream. Having a higher than usual level of calcium in the blood is called hypercalcemia, and about 10% to 20% of people with cancer develop hypercalcemia. High calcium levels are associated with being thirst and frequent urination.
Pancoast Tumors And Horners Syndrome
Horners syndrome is a rare nerve condition that is characterized by decreased pupil size , drooping eyelids and an inability to sweat all on one side of the face. Also known as oculosympathetic palsy, Horners syndrome affects up to 50% of people with a Pancoast tumor. The condition occurs when the tumor invades the sympathetic nervous system, which is the nerve pathway between the brain and the face that controls the bodys flight or fight response. Horners syndrome generally isnt a serious condition and will go away when the cancer is treated.
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Outlook For People With Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer because it spreads so rapidly. Among those in whom a doctor detects and treats lung cancer before it spreads, about 56% will live for 5 years beyond diagnosis.
However, once lung cancer reaches distant sites in the body, the 5 year survival rate reduces to 5%. For the best chance of survival, people who have symptoms of lung cancer should seek prompt medical treatment.
The treatment options for lung cancer depend on the type of cancer and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. Some of the
Lung Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment At Moffitt Cancer Center
If youre experiencing shoulder pain or any other lung cancer signs, you can turn to the experienced team at Moffitt Cancer Center. Our Thoracic Oncology Program handles all stages of lung cancer, including rare malignancies. To speak with one of our lung cancer specialists, call or complete a new patient registration form online.
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Patient Presented With What Was Assumed To Be Rotator Cuff Injury
byKate Kneisel, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today September 21, 2020
A 60-year-old man presents to an emergency department in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, with ongoing burning pain in his right shoulder. He notes that the pain began about 6 months earlier, has gradually worsened, and has not responded to pain killers. He says he experiences the pain throughout the day, and rates it as 7 out of 10 on the severity scale. He explains that the pain has started to interfere with his sleep and quality of life, that it is non-radiating, and that he has no weakness or sensory changes.
The patient notes that his work involves manual labor, but that he has not had an injury that might account for the pain. He says he has been assessed by several general practitioners and was diagnosed with rotator cuff injury based on the nature of his work. He was prescribed several analgesics as well as physiotherapy, but neither of these measures has relieved the pain.
The patient is in otherwise good health, with no history of chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, headache, or seizures. He notes no changes in appetite or weight, and his medical and surgical history are unremarkable. He notes that he quit smoking cigarettes about 2 years earlier, after a 30 pack-year history.
Physical exam shows the following:
- Blood pressure: 110/70 mm Hg
- Heart rate: 90 beats/min
- Oxygen saturation: 98% on room air
Expected Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer produces symptoms that most people would expect. These symptoms are tied to the basic functions of our lungs. These symptoms include:
- Coughing. Coughing that doesnt go away or gets worse.
- Shortness of breath. Feeling out of breath, tightness in the chest, feeling like you cant breathe, or feeling you cant get enough air.
- Coughing up blood, phlegm, or mucus. Coughing up blood-tinged or rust-colored phlegm or mucus.
- Chest pain. Pain that gets worse with laughing, coughing, or deep breathing.
- Wheezing. Wheezing is that high-pitched whistling sound that happens when exhaling.
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Can Lung Cancer Ever Be Responsible
Yesbut, says Alex Little, MD, a thoracic surgeon with a special interest in esophageal and lung cancer, and clinical professor at the University of Arizona.
The only way a lung cancer can cause pain is by invading through the pleural lining of the lung and growing into the chest wall, explains Dr. Little.
This occurs but is an infrequent occurrence. The most common example is the Pancoast tumor at the top of the lung that causes shoulder pain by invading the nerves in that area.
Im sure most back pain is due to etiologies other than lung cancer.
Pain that persists over time despite standard treatment would be consistent with a lung cancer but, again, lung cancer as a cause is unlikely.
Though lung cancer as a cause of back pain at rest, even in a smoker, is not the most likely cause, theres something else that must be considered.
Other cancers can cause back pain. The concerning issue is if the pain persists at rest, no matter how comfortable the patient tries to get.
What would be more reassuring is if chronic back pain can clearly be associated with certain activities or body positions, and goes away when those offending activities or motions are ceased.
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What Are The Complications Of Heart Cancer
Heart cancer affects your heart function. It can lead to a host of potentially life-threatening problems. With a heart tumor, you have a higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke or severe heart failure.
Small pieces of a heart tumor can break free and travel through the bloodstream. These pieces can lodge in a blood vessel, causing a blood clot that can lead to stroke if it goes to the brain, or respiratory problems if it goes to the lungs.
Heart cancer can affect the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart. Inflammation called pericarditis can result. Your healthcare provider may need to use a catheter to drain excess fluid and ease pressure on the heart and send the cells in the fluid for diagnostic analysis. This procedure is pericardiocentesis.
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Kun Je Longkanker Overleven Als Je Er Vroeg Bij Bent
Longkankerscreening kan levens redden. Zoals met veel andere vormen van kanker, is de sleutel tot het overleven van longkanker het in een vroeg stadium te vinden, wanneer het het beste kan worden behandeld. Bij patiënten met kleine longkanker in een vroeg stadium kan het genezingspercentage tussen 80% en 90% liggen.
Redness And Swelling Of The Face
Although not common, persistent redness or swelling of the face may be a symptom of lung cancer, says Michael Wert, M.D., a pulmonary disease specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, OH. can be the result of a lung cancer compressing vital nerves and blood vessels within the chest and neck and always prompts urgent evaluation by a doctor, he says.
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Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain
Most cases of shoulder pain occur due to poor posture or muscle strains. The most common causes of this pain include:
- Short term injuries: These might occur due to overextending or overusing muscles in the shoulder. Symptoms typically only present in the injured joint.
- Referred pain from other areas of the body: Neck and back pain may trigger aching in the shoulder. Weakness in one muscle might cause the shoulder muscles to overcompensate, leading to pain.
- Injuries in the spine: These might include herniated disks, which put pressure on certain nerves. Some of these nerves lead to the shoulder.
- Osteoarthritis: This is a degenerative condition that progresses over time as the cartilage wears down.
- Rheumatoid arthritis : RA is a long term inflammatory condition that can sometimes affect the shoulder. It occurs when the immune system attacks the joints, causing pain and inflammation.
- Tears in the rotator cuff: This shoulder injury impairs a personâs ability to move, rotate, and lift their arm.
- Frozen shoulder: This term refers to an injury that limits mobility in the shoulder. Underuse, RA, and unusual tissue growth in the shoulder may cause frozen shoulder.
- Poor posture: Slumping over a computer, holding the body in an awkward position for extended periods, and craning the neck can all cause tension and pain in the shoulders. The pain may spread to the neck and back.
Treatment For Shoulder Pain From Other Causes
If your shoulder pain isnt due to lung cancer, its important to determine the cause. This will help your doctor come up with a treatment plan.
For example, they may recommend physical therapy if you have shoulder pain due to tendonitis.
If you have shoulder pain due to frozen shoulder , your doctor may recommend a combination of glucose-lowering drugs and a low carbohydrate diet.
You can manage shoulder pain properly if you deal with its underlying cause. If your doctor diagnoses you with lung cancer, its important to get the best treatment available.
You can try home treatments for your shoulder pain while youre waiting to see your doctor:
- Avoid using your injured shoulder.
- Try icing your shoulder for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. This may help reduce pain and swelling.
- Try wrapping your shoulder with an elastic bandage. Using compression can help you avoid overusing your shoulder.
- Elevate your shoulder above your heart as much as possible. You can use pillows to help you with this.
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What Raises The Risk Of Dvt
Some things can raise your risk of getting a blood clot in a deep vein. For cancer patients, the most common risk factors are
- Injury to a vein during major surgery.
- Slow blood flow. Staying in bed for a long time can cause this.
- Having a catheter in a central vein. As many as half of cancer patients with a central venous catheter for long-term chemotherapy get DVT.
- Getting older.
- Having obesity.
What Causes Lung Cancer
Exposure to asbestos fibers
Asbestos fibers are silicate fibers that can persist for a lifetime in lung tissue following exposure to asbestos. The workplace was a common source of exposure to asbestos fibers, as asbestos was widely used in the past as both thermal and acoustic insulation. Today, asbestos use is limited or banned in many countries, including the U.S. Both lung cancer and mesothelioma are associated with exposure to asbestos. Cigarette smoking drastically increases the chance of developing asbestos-related lung cancer in workers exposed to asbestos asbestos workers who do not smoke have a fivefold greater risk of developing lung cancer than nonsmokers, but asbestos workers who smoke have a risk that is 50- to 90-fold greater than nonsmokers.
Exposure to radon gas
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Treatment For Shoulder Pain From Lung Cancer
If your doctor thinks lung cancer may be causing your shoulder pain, they will begin the screening process by ordering imaging tests.
Theyll use a screening procedure such as a CT scan or a positron emission tomography scan to get an internal image of your lungs. This gives a clearer picture of any potentially cancerous growths.
If they still suspect lung cancer following your screening, they may ask to take a small piece of tissue from the lungs to examine it closely for cancer cells. This is called a biopsy.
Doctors can perform lung biopsies in two different ways. They may pass a needle through the skin to your lungs and remove a small amount of tissue. This is called a needle biopsy.
Alternatively, your doctor may use bronchoscopy to perform the biopsy. In this case, your doctor inserts a small tube with an attached light through your nose or mouth and into your lungs to remove a small tissue sample.
If they find cancer cells, your doctor may conduct a genetic test. This can help determine what type of lung cancer you have and possibly identify underlying causes, such as genetic mutations.
If you have lung cancer, your doctor may use a variety of treatments based on your specific circumstances, including:
- targeted drugs
Doctors will often use more than one method to treat lung cancer. For example, they might prescribe chemotherapy or radiation to shrink a tumor before surgery.
How Cancer Treatment And Heart Disease Are Connected
Some cancer medications can also pose dangerous cardiovascular risks. Trained specialists can help patients find the safest treatment and monitor for side effects.
After a cancer diagnosis, most patients and providers have one goal: treat the disease at hand.
But an unexpected and equally serious complication can arise when doing so.
We are seeing more and more patients undergoing treatment for cancer who are experiencing cardiac complications of their therapy, says Salim Hayek, M.D., a cardio-oncologist at Michigan Medicines Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
Those complications affect patients with no known risk factors for heart disease as well as individuals with other health issues unrelated to cancer.
In either case, the connection is gaining more attention from researchers and specialists.
And they work as part of a larger cancer team.
Our role is to advise our oncology colleagues on their patients risk of experiencing cardiovascular side effects of cancer treatment, recommend preventive measures, address cardiac complications, and monitor them closely throughout the course of their therapy, Hayek says.
by Mike Addelman, University of Manchester
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Really Worried About Shoulder Pain
I just joined this forum after worrying for weeks with shoulder pain.
To start at beginning I was experiencing coughing up blood, breathlessness and fatigue with pain also weight loss..for quite sometime..eventually my doctor sent me for chest xray..then got sent for ct didnt hear back..called surgery..told I had lesion on lung at top of lung near spine..had referral to lung clinic..had ct with dye..told left lung deflated and mass at bottom of lung?so thats confusing..doc said cant say if lung cancer or not..so will need another ct in few months to monitor nodule..which is walnut sized..i never smokedbut have asbestos in my home..some of which has been removed whilst i was in house so couldnt leave house..
Now I have had pain in my left shoulder/blade for a few weeks now..also arm pain and weaknessand overall backpain..aches..I am getting worried as it is quite painful and disturbs me at night and is painful without using it..
Getting an appt with gp takes weeksmonths and Im in pain and getting worried the pains related to possible lung canceralso noticed little lumps on my ribs
Please can anyone tell me if theyve had similar experiences and what the outcome wasI woyld appreciate any advice info from nurses or anyobe with similar symptoms..