It’s not uncommon for people to see low back pain with lung cancer, or perhaps have lower back pain as their first sign of lung cancer. Obviously, there are many causes of lower back pain which are more common than lung cancer. Additionally, back pain in people with lung cancer may be related to their cancer, or another cause for example arthritis. What can cause lower back pain with cancer of the lung, and how does the pain differ from other reasons for back pain?
Why Does Lung Cancer Cause Back problems?
There are several ways that cancer of the lung can cause back pain. The tumor alone may contribute to back pain by creating direct pressure on structures in the back. The cancer could also irritate nerves traveling through the chest or the lining of the lungs which can be interpreted by the brain as back pain.
Back problems may also be brought on by multiplication (metastasis) of lung cancer to bones in the spine, or adrenals, small glands within the abdomen near the top of the kidneys. Roughly 30 to 40% of individuals with cancer of the lung experience the spread of cancer for their bones at some point during their illness.
Lung Cancer Spread to Bone – Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments
How’s Back Pain From Lung Cancer Not the same as Other Causes of Back Pain?
Back pain associated with lung cancer is usually referred to as pain occurring within the mid to upper back. Unfortunately, lower back pain because of lung cancer can be very similar to other causes of back pain, and it is important to talk with your doctor if you’re experiencing back pain.
That said, back pain that is present along with other the signs of lung cancer may be more concerning. These may incorporate a persistent cough, coughing up blood, difficulty breathing, or general symptoms for example fatigue or unexplained weight loss. Other symptoms which may be of concern include lower back pain that’s present at rest or at night, occurring with no activity, or perhaps is worse when you breathe deeply.
Carcinoma of the lung that’s first noticed as lower back pain is usually diagnosed after treatments such as physical rehabilitation don’t make the pain disappear. When you have pain that is persisting despite treatment be sure to make your doctor aware so she can recommend for further evaluation.