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Shoulder Pain Can Be a Sign of Lung Cancer [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 15, 2017 07:05 AM EDT

Experts recently said shoulder pain is not synonymous with lung cancer. It can sometimes be due to an inflammation or muscle injury. However, in rare incidences, pain in this are can be triggered by a tumor caused by cancer or a rare type of respiratory illness. Nonetheless, constant pain in the area requires medical attention.

According to the Medical News Today, lung cancer can cause shoulder pain, but experiencing such does not immediately indicate that a person has lung cancer. Lung cancer can result in a referred pain in the shoulder. This type of pain usually begins in one area but is felt in other parts of the shoulder. There are some types of lung cancer that can trigger shoulder pain while others do not.

Mesothelioma is the type of lung cancer that has shoulder pain as one of its symptoms. However, only 14 percent of people with mesothelioma experience pain in this area. Out of this percentage, patients often experience severe pain in the shoulder as the initial symptom of the disease.

Pancoast lung cancer tumors can also trigger shoulder pain. In this type of lung cancer, tumors are developed on the groove tops of the lungs called the superior sulcus. This area is located near the shoulder, causing intense pain as well.

Lung cancer-related shoulder pain is hard to characterize, The Guardian reported. Some people may experience the pain as minor while others experience immobility due to the intense shoulder pain. Other cancer patients claim that cancer-related shoulder pain often radiates down to the arms and may cause a tingling and numbing feeling.

Other lung cancer symptoms, include a persistent cough, coughing up blood or rust-colored mucus, wheezing, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, weakness, difficulty breathing and long-term infections of the chest such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

Shoulder pain, on the other hand, can be caused by everyday causes such as poor posture or a strained muscle. Short-term injuries in the shoulder area can also lead to pains. Osteoarthritis and tears in the rotator cuff can also trigger acute shoulder pains. Less frequently, heart disease, gallbladder disease, and liver diseases can also cause severe discomfort in the shoulder area.


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