Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Is Shoulder Pain A Sign Of Cancer

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Arm Pain And Lung Cancer

Can My Shoulder Pain Be Cancer?

Arm and shoulder pain could be a sign of lung cancer. ” lung cancer can present in a myriad of ways,” says board-certified radiation oncologist Gary Larson, M.D. “I’ve treated two patients in the last few months whose lung cancer presented with shoulder pain. I’ve seen countless patients during my career who have presented with shoulder pain because the cancer had spread to the scapula or upper humerus or to the spine at the level where the nerves go to the shoulder or along the path of those nerves like those described above.”

Indigestion Or Heartburn That Don’t Go Away

You can get indigestion when acid from your stomach goes back up into the oesophagus. Or when the stomach is inflamed or irritated.

The valve between the stomach and oesophagus normally stops this from happening. The valve is called the cardiac sphincter. A tumour that develops here can stop the valve working, causing indigestion.

Remember that indigestion is common and it’s not usually caused by cancer. It can be very painful, even when there’s nothing seriously wrong.

See your doctor if youve had heartburn most days for 3 weeks or more, even if youre taking medicine and it seems to help. Heartburn is burning chest pain or discomfort that happens after eating.

Breast Cancer And Shoulder Blade Pain

Some women may feel back pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades before any other sign of breast cancer reveals itself. The discomfort is usually attributed to muscle pain, inflammation of the spine or stretching the tendon and ligaments in the back.

Its important to know that tumors will sometimes develop deep within the breast tissue of the chest and felt in the spine or ribcage. There is also the possibility of metasis, a malignant spreading of the disease to the ribs or spine.

For example, The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports about a patient who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and suffered from a severe back pain.5

The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association reported that metastatic bone disease secondary to breast cancer is a common cause of low back pain. The report stressed the need for further imaging in patients with a history of breast cancer and whose physical examination and plain film radiographs are inconclusive or suspicious.6

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Is Shoulder Pain A Symptom Of Lung Cancer

There can be a connection between shoulder pain and lung cancer. In some cases, the shoulder pain may be the result of lung cancer while in some it could be due to another cause like arthritis.

Many lung cancer patients develop shoulder pain at some point of time during the course of the disease and sometimes, it is the first symptom. In some patients, shoulder pain is one of the early signs of lung cancer. This shoulder pain in lung cancer patients differs by person, depending on the location and type of cancer. For those having cancer in left lung experience pain in left shoulder and if on the right, they have right shoulder pain.

Sometimes, the shoulder pain is associated with lung cancer and is caused by a relatively rare form of cancer which is called pancoast tumors. Such tumors are formed in an area at top of lungs and as this area is close to the shoulder, it can cause intense pain there. Shoulder pain can also be related to spread of lung cancer to bones in and near the shoulder.

The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.

What Does Lung Cancer Shoulder Pain Feel Like

When Might Shoulder Pain Be a Sign of Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma?

Shoulder pain from lung cancer is quite similar to other forms of shoulder pain. Because of this, it might be difficult to determine the cause of your shoulder pain.

If youve recently fallen or injured your shoulder in some way, lung cancer is unlikely to be the cause of your shoulder pain. There are many reasons for shoulder pain that arent lung cancer.

Lung cancer is more likely to be the cause of your pain if youre a smoker and your pain:

  • occurs during rest
  • isnt associated with any strenuous activity involving the shoulder
  • happens at night
  • doesnt resolve itself after a few weeks

Your shoulder pain is also more likely to be a symptom of lung cancer if you have other lung cancer symptoms as well. These might include:

  • shortness of breath, often mild and with activity
  • a persistent cough
  • fatigue
  • losing weight without a reason

People who have shoulder pain from lung cancer often describe it as a radiating pain from the shoulder down their arms to their hands. There may also be numbness or tingling. At other times, it can feel like a deep ache.

Lung cancer frequently causes chest pain as well. Sometimes, this chest pain is a result of bouts of coughing.

In other cases, the pain of lung cancer is a result of a large tumor pressing on other structures or growing into the chest wall and ribs.

Tumors in the lungs can also press on blood vessels and lymph nodes. That causes a buildup of fluid in the lining of the lung, and it can cause pain or shortness of breath.

  • minor injury

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What Is The Life

In the past, Pancoast tumors were considered inoperable and incurable because of their relative inaccessibility and extensive invasion of nearby tissues and structures. However, recent studies have shown that, in some persons, the tumor completely stops growing and the pain is gone. In addition, survival rates have improved. Chemotherapy and radiation can result in no evidence of viable cancer in the surgical specimen.

Clinical studies demonstrate that even preoperative irradiation alone in doses not strong enough to shrink the tumor

  • prevents tumor cells from growing elsewhere in the body, and
  • increases the chance of survival compared with irradiation or surgical resection alone.
  • Factors that are associated with a poor prognosis include Horner syndrome, mediastinal lymph node involvement, and incomplete surgical removal of the tumor. To date, no patient with any of the above factors has survived for five years.

    Factors that have a negative effect on outlook can be summarized as:

    • Presence of Horner syndrome
    • Involvement of mediastinal lymph nodes
    • Involvement of supraclavicular lymph nodes
    • Invasion of the tumor into areas of the vertebrae

    Can Shoulder Pain Be A Sign Of Lung Cancer

      Yes, it can. Someone with lung cancer may notice pain or weakness in the shoulder . Shoulder pain may occur if a lung tumor exerts pressure on a nearby nerve or if lung cancer spreads to the bones in or around the shoulder. Its important to note, however, that shoulder pain could also result from a condition completely unrelated to cancer, such as arthritis.

      If shoulder pain occurs when resting, worsens at night or doesnt involve any loss of motion, it may indicate lung cancer. Other lung cancer signs include:

      • A chronic, hacking cough
      • A harsh vibrating sound while breathing
      • Hoarseness
      • Recurrent respiratory infections like pneumonia or bronchitis
      • Fever
      • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss
      • Swelling in the face and neck
      • Difficulty swallowing
      • Persistent chest pain unrelated to coughing

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      Arm Pain And Heart Attacks

      Pain in the left arm is a well-known sign of heart attack, doctors say. “Pain radiating to your jaw, back, neck, or arms may signal a heart condition, especially if the origin is hard to pinpoint,” according to cardiologist Leslie Cho, MD, and Cleveland Clinic. “For example, you might feel pain, but no specific muscle or joint aches. If the discomfort begins or worsens when you are exerting yourself, and then stops when you quit exercising, you should also get it checked out.” And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

      Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain

      Could My Shoulder Pain Be Lung Cancer ?

      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 person√Ęs 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.

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      Patient With Rare Bone Cancer Receives Innovative Care At Scripps

      For Rose Truong, nagging pain in her right shoulder had become a fact of life. Through the years shed heard it may have been caused by anything from a rotator cuff injury to frozen shoulder to stress to simply aging . Shed even been told it was because her purse was too heavy. Physical therapy and steroid injections should have helped, yet her shoulder pain got consistently worse.

      What they were saying was kind of making sense, but it was lasting just a little bit longer each time, she says. Her pain progressed to a point where it was waking her up multiple times a night and the over-the-counter pain medicine and patches were no longer cutting it. By the time a doctor ordered an ultrasound, Truong had been dealing with intermittent shoulder pain for nearly four years. That doctor told her he suspected a torn rotator cuff.

      I was just like, thank God, she says. Now its not in my head. For the first time someones given me something to work with.

      Turning to Scripps for help

      Around the same time, she learned that her entire department at work would be phased out in February 2020. She thought she was going to be laid off, so she had her newlywed husband add her to his insurance plan, though she ultimately ended up in a different position at the same company. Navigating a new health care system at the start of the pandemic wasnt ideal, but Truong was desperate. She was in so much pain, she had no choice but to seek medical care.

      What is chondrosarcoma?

      Can Shoulder Blade Pain Be A Symptom Of Breast Cancer

      Pain is not a common symptom of breast cancer. However, breast cancer that has metastasized can sometimes cause shoulder blade pain.

      One of the most common locations for breast cancer metastasis is in the bones. Pain can be related to the cancer itself or fractures that happen when bones weaken.

      Bladder, prostate, thyroid, uterus, lung, and kidney cancers can also spread to your bones. Lung and kidney cancers are also known to spread to the shoulder joint and shoulder blade.

      It is also possible that pain near your right shoulder could be an indication that breast cancer has spread to your liver, because some of the nerve networks around the liver originate from the same nerves that attach near your right shoulder blade.

      If youve had breast cancer in the past, and youre now experiencing shoulder pain, its a good idea to see a doctor about it as soon as possible. If it is a cancer relapse, treatment may help slow the cancers growth, relieve your symptoms, and protect your bones.

      Yes. If youve had chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, you may have pain around your shoulder blade because of those treatments.

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      Is My Shoulder Pain A Sign Of Lung Cancer

      Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of medical conditions such as an injury. However, there can be a connection between unexplained shoulder pain and lung cancer. In some patients, one of the early signs of lung cancer is shoulder pain. This blog post explains the lung cancer and shoulder pain connection.

      Shoulder Pain As A Symptom

      Eight surprising lung cancer symptoms

      Unfortunately, shoulder pain related to lung cancer or mesothelioma can be very similar or identical to that of conditions such as arthritis. If you have any question at all about shoulder pain, it’s better to be safe and talk to your healthcare provider. Yet, there are a few symptoms that make lung cancer more likely.

      Symptoms that may be more concerning for lung cancer include shoulder pain that’s worse at night, pain that occurs at rest, and pain that’s not associated with any loss of motion with activity.

      Shoulder pain is also more likely to be something non-skeletal if you do not recall any injury or activities in which you may have overused your shoulder.

      Shoulder pain is also more likely to be a symptom of lung cancer if you have other symptoms of lung cancer, such as shortness of breath a persistent cough, wheezing, hoarseness, coughing up blood, fatigue, or if you are losing weight for no reason.

      Keep in mind that the symptoms of lung cancer in women and symptoms of lung cancer in non-smokers are often less typical than those in menand sometimes very vague, such as the gradual onset shortness of breath with activity and fatigue.

      Many people dismiss the early symptoms of lung cancer as being due to age-related changes in exercise tolerance, weight gain, or being too sedentary.

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      A Pain That Could Be A Sign Of Lung Cancer

      Back pain is something we often blame on lifestyle or environmental factors. My office chair isnt quite right, I pulled my back lifting heavy shopping bags or, I must have slept in an awkward position. However, if you are experiencing back pain, it could be a sign of lung cancer.

      Pain in the back, along with shoulder and neck pain, are all symptoms of lung cancer. Many people who are living with lung cancer will experience back pain at some point during their disease.

      Our lungs are large, complex and vital organs that are protected by the rib cage. In some cases, lung cancer can inflame the lining of the lungs or, tumours can press on the spinal column causing pain in the back, shoulder, neck or side.

      Often, we just accept back pain, but it can be debilitating having to deal with it every day. It is vital to get it checked out by your doctor to establish the real cause.

      In most cases, your back pain wont be caused by lung cancer but for some people like Heather, it was a symptom of her stage 4 lung cancer.

      Heather was diagnosed with lung cancer back in December 2015 after having pain in her back for some time. She had tried painkillers, muscle relaxant medication and even had regular appointments with a chiropractor. However, the pain persisted, and she knew it needed to be investigated.

      The pain returned with a vengeance. I struggled to stand up, sit down, walk up and down stairs, or even carry my handbag!

      A Pancoast Tumor Could Cause Shoulder Pain

      Shoulder pain is an especially important sign when it comes to a Pancoast tumor, a “rare type of lung cancer that begins in the rounded upper section of the lung and spreads to nearby areas of the body,” the Moffitt Cancer Center explains. According to a July paper published by StatPearls, Pancoast tumors “cause shoulder and arm pain in almost all patients.”

      Oftentimes, people with this form of cancer don’t tend to experience respiratory issues that are common with other lung cancers. The experts at the Moffitt Cancer Center say other signs of a Pancoast tumor include muscle weakness, tingling, loss of sensation, facial flushing, and excessive facial sweating.

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      Can Neck Pain Be A Symptom Of Cancer

      Sometimes persistent, continuing neck pain is a warning sign of head or neck cancer. Although it could also be a sign of another less serious condition, head and neck cancers might include a lump, swelling or a sore that doesnt heal. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, this is the most common symptom of cancer.

      Other symptoms of neck or head cancer may include:

      • white or red patch on the lining of the mouth, gums, or tongue
      • unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth
      • difficulty chewing or swallowing
      • numbness in the head and neck region
      • swelling in the chin or jaw
      • pain when moving the jaw or tongue

      Which Type Of Doctors Treat Pancoast Tumors

      Shoulder Pain? 12 Signs You Need to go to the Doctor Immediately

      Pancoast tumors are typically treated by a multidisciplinary team that includes thoracic surgeons or surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists.

      • Chest X-ray film
      • In the early stages, Pancoast tumors are difficult to detect on chest X-ray films because the top of the lung is located in an area of the body that is difficult to visualize clearly on an X-ray film. Shadows that lie over the lungs make the image on the X-ray film unclear. Many patients end up consulting orthopedic surgeons and neurologists before a definitive diagnosis is made. An apical lordotic view ordered with the chest X-ray may visualize the problem in patients with suspicious symptoms.
      • A chest X-ray film may reveal asymmetry of the tops of the lungs in the form of a small, uniform patch of tissue or pleural thickening on the apex of one lung. The X-ray film may show a thin plaque at the lung apex in the area of the superior sulcus, or the X-ray film may reveal a large mass, depending on the stage when it is first diagnosed.
      • The plain chest X-ray film may show that the tumor has invaded one or more ribs or parts of the vertebrae. Bone destruction of 1-3 of the back ribs may sometimes be visible on the X-ray film.
      • Enlargement of the mediastinum may be visible on the X-ray film.
    • Arteriogram or a venogram : Rarely, the Pancoast tumor involves the artery or the vein under the clavicle therefore, an arteriogram or a venogram may be helpful.
    • Exams to determine spread

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