Back pain is not as such a symptom of Lung cancer. It is rare for lung cancer patients to a complaint of back pain as a first symptom. Linking back pain to the lung cancer sounds an unusual combination, but, it is real in many patients. Lung cancer back pain is usually different from the typical, chronic pain, and it can be differentiated based on its location and type.
If you are still unable to associate both, you need to know that 25% of lung cancer patients suffer from severe back pain at some point of their disease.
How Lung Cancer Can be Linked to back pain?
Cancer is probably the last thing that comes to our mind when we talk about back pain. It usually refers to some physical trauma (muscle strain or rupture in the disc) or some degenerative disease like arthritis or osteoporosis.
When we talk about back pain and cancer, the pain is distinct. It is much about where and when the pain is caused and whether it is direct or indirect.
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Here we have mentioned some particular locations or specification of back pain that will help you to identify if it needs to be associated with lung cancer.
- The regular back pain occurs in the lower part. If there is some pain in upper to mid area of the back, it can be due to the direct pressure of the tumor.
- Sometimes the malignancy irritates the nerves of the lining of the lungs and chest walls in such a way that that it gives birth to a sharp and shooting nerve pain.
- Around 30% of lung cancer patients suffer from the phenomenon in which the lung malignancy spreads from the lungs to the spine and bones. It causes severe pain in the back and can be referred to as the back pain cancer.
- Around 40% of lung cancer patients suffer from a localized pain right above the kidney. The metastasis of cancer causes this pain to the adrenal glands.
This is a bit strange, but the majority of people who are suffering from lung cancer are non-smokers. Either they have never smoked in their lives or quit smoking long back. It is because most of the Lung cancer patients have never smoked in their lives, and the kind of cancer they develop doesn’t exhibit any symptom. Moreover, these type of tumors, unlike other forms of lung cancer spread to bones.
Probable symptoms of lung cancer
When back pain is caused by lung cancer, it becomes tough to identify the symptoms. Most of the times, backache as symptoms overlaps with the other backache causing conditions. It mimics some severe injury when the back pain is related to the spine.
The back pain caused by lung cancer refers to a sharp pain in muscles or as if someone has pinched some nerve. People who develop adrenal gland over the course can also compare it to kidney pain. They describe it as if their kidney has been punched.
There are some telltale signs to the back pain that is associated with Lung cancer. We have mentioned some Red flags.
- You feel back pain even when you are at rest.
- The back pain worsens at night.
- The back pain occurs even if you are not doing any activity.
- It worsens if you take a deep breath.
- The longer you lie in bed, the worse you feel it.
- If the back pain is not responding to any therapy or medical intervention.
- Apart from these symptoms, the back pain caused by lung cancer is always accompanied by different symptoms like a persistent cough, shortness of breath, unintentional weight loss, chronic fatigue, and coughing up blood.
The metastasis of lung cancer causes metastases in bones as well. Spine and the larger bones of the legs become the first victim of this expansion. It results in brittleness and weakness of bones. Any compression fracture in the spine can be related to lung cancer.
Any back pain that doesn’t make sense to you or is getting worse day by day without any reason should not be endured. It can be a symptom of the more significant disease. See a doctor immediately and discuss the case.