35 year old, lung cancer? - 1263846

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35 year old, lung cancer? - 1263846

I’ve been dealing with right shoulder/neck/arm/back pain for 10 months now. My doctor said it was due to strain or picking up my toddler. She made me do Physical therapy which didn’t help. If I take 200mg of Ibproufen a day, I’m okay. My shoulder xray was normal.
I am able to sleep fine, and it doesn't hurt if I’m resting. Only if I’ve had a busy day and doing a lot of things. Its become chronic since it started last Sept 2013. If I've had a long busy day and no ibuprofen, I find myself at the end of the day with a tight painful shoulder/neck/back and a heavy stiff arm. If I lay down and rest or sit and rest, it feels fine. but if I shrug or what not, I feel like a pulling type pain.

After googling, I saw that shoulder pain can sometimes be the only symptom of lung cancer. Now I'm terrified! My Mother in law was diagnosed with Lung cancer a couple months ago, so now I'm scared I might have it too!

If it was referred pain wouldn't it be constant? Would it get better with rest or just 200mg of ibproufen?

I also have Multiple Sclerosis, but my neurologist didn't think they were related. She too said it's probably from carrying my toddler around??

Reply To: 35 year old, lung cancer?

Hello Melissa,

Although shoulder pain can be a symptom of a pancoast tumor, there are many other, more common causes which should be investigated. If the pain persists, you may want to ask your doctor to order a chest CT, and as Dr. West has said:

“It’s extremely unlikely that someone in their 30s would get lung cancer. Not impossible, but probably 1 in 1000 or more patients with lung cancer is that young. The upper lung is definitely viewed in a chest CT, so I would consider it extraordinarily unlikely that you could have a Pancoast tumor without a lung tumor being visible on a chest CT.”http://cancergrace.org/topic/questions-about-imaging-and-symptoms-of-pan...

In response to another such inquiry from a young patient, Dr. West has also said:

"One of our most common questions here is from young people who think they have Pancoast tumors based on looking it up online as a possible explanation for shoulder pain. In the vast majority of cases, that’s way off. Based on how often we get the question, some online search result is causing everyone with shoulder pain to become convinced that a Pancoast tumor is the most common cause, regardless of age or smoking history.

Good luck. I think you have good reason to be optimistic that a Pancoast tumor is NOT the cause." - http://cancergrace.org/topic/pancoast-tumor-5#post-1263107

I can also say that we rarely (if ever) have received follow-up questions from such patients, indicating that their eventual diagnosis was not cancer.

I hope that very soon your doctors can identify a cause as well as a remedy for your pain.

Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>

Reply To: 35 year old, lung cancer?

Thank you for your reply. I have been worrying myself sick about this. I truly pray it's not lung cancer.
I did read online that The pain would be severe and constant, often requiring a narcotic pain medication for relief. It said The affected person usually needs to support the elbow of the affected arm. So that gives me a bit of hope.

I never imagined looking up what I could do for this pain would lead me to thinking it was a lung tumor. I've been paralyzed with fear because of it.
I don't have great medical insurance and I'm due for a MRI tomorrow for my Multiple Sclerosis, I just had a pelvic ultrasound a few weeks ago for pelvic pain, plus the xray for my shoulder so, I'm not sure if the insurance would approve me for more testing?

My primary doctor wanted me to get new bras and if that didnt help, she would send me to a specialist. I see her again next week.

Reply To: 35 year old, lung cancer?

Hi Melissa, I just wanted to add that those symptoms you mentioned of constant pain and holding the elbow are hallmark though not limited to pancoast tumors. So please take that as more than a bit of hope since you're not experiencing them.

Reply To: 35 year old, lung cancer?

Thank you for your encouragement Catdander.
I had my first counseling session today, since this whole chronic shoulder/arm/back/neck pain and thoughts of possible cancer have been causing me such anxiety, plus the fact that my mother in law was in fact just diagnosed with lung cancer. I've been so overwhelmed these past months.
I remember telling her when I first read about lung cancer causing shoulder/arm/back pain, she laughed at me and said you don't have lung cancer, you're young and don't smoke. little did we all know that 3 months later she would be diagnosed with stage 3a non small cell lung cancer and she's a non smoker too.