When you have back pain, many thoughts may come to your mind as to the cause, including a strain, arthritis, bone fracture, or degenerative disc disease. Sometimes, however, pain in your back can indicate an internal problem, such as lung cancer. Although the orthopedists at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey can’t diagnose and treat lung cancer, they can determine if the cause of your back pain isn’t related to your musculoskeletal system.
Why Cancer Can Cause Back Pain
While chest pain is a symptom of lung cancer, you can feel pain in the back, as well. You might also notice weakness or numbness as the tumor may be pressed on a nerve. Both localized (in the lungs only) cancer, as well as cancer that’s spread beyond the lungs, can cause back pain.
Tumor Presses on Back
One reason why you may have back pain from lung cancer is because the tumor is pressing on the nerves in your spine or back, resulting in pain symptoms.
Tumor Irritates Chest Wall and Lung Lining
Sometimes, a tumor may press on the nerves that surround the chest wall and lining of the lungs. Ultimately, this could cause sharp pain, recurring nerve pain, and sometimes, numbness.
Cancer Has Spread Beyond Lungs
Back pain is possible from lung cancer if it has spread outside of the lungs. For instance, the cancer can spread to your bones or spine, which can contribute to back pain. The cancer could also spread to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are triangular-shaped glands on top of the kidneys.
Other Symptoms of Lung Cancer
It is important to also evaluate other symptoms you may be feeling. For instance, you might have pain in your chest. This pain will tend to be worse when you breathe, laugh, or cough.
You should be on the lookout for chronic coughing. You want to take note if the cough lasts for eight weeks or more. You might cough up blood or bloody mucus if you have lung cancer.
Shortness of breath can also occur when you have lung cancer. You could experience breathing troubles after you partake in light physical activities. This occurs when your airway passages become narrow.
A lung tumor can press on your airway and cause frequent lung infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. In addition, lung cancer can cause you to have a raspy voice, because a tumor or chronic coughing could affect your vocal cords.
You might also feel tired frequently if you have lung cancer, because cancer cells use nutrients from your body to grow. Finally, you may experience unexplained weight loss.
Choose an Orthopedist from Our Dover, NJ Practice for Your Back Pain
When you choose a doctor from Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey for your back pain, you’ll receive a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of your symptoms, whether it’s a bone fracture, herniated disc, or something outside of your musculoskeletal system. If a practitioner from our office notices any abnormalities pressing on your bones or suspects that back pain isn’t related to your musculoskeletal system, they will refer you to a specialist who can help. However, when it’s an issue we can address, we take every step necessary to find a treatment that works for you.
Book an appointment with Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, serving Dover and the surrounding region, if you have persistent back pain by calling (973) 989-0888 or by using our appointment scheduling tool. We look forward to serving you soon.