Why Does Lung Cancer Cause Back Pain?

Pain in the back can be attributed by so many factors. Even when it is associated with cancer, there are also some different types of cancer that can lead this vogue symptom. Lung cancer can cause back pain, too (though it is quite rare) – why and how?

Common cancers that can cause back pain

This symptom is common and even some mild conditions can lead to it. But if it comes with resistant pain that is difficult to improve or even doesn’t respond to anti-inflammatory meds, you should concern it as well – especially true if you also experience other unusual symptoms.

image_illustration373When it comes to cancer, pain in the back can be attributed by numerous different cancers. But mostly, it is likely to occur in people with the following cancers:

  1. Bone cancer (especially one that grows in the spinal column). Tumor that grows in the spinal column can lead to back pain from weakening the bone or expansion of the bone.
  2. Cancer of pancreas.
  3. Bowel cancers (rectal and colon cancer).
  4. And cancers in the pelvic region such as cancers of ovary, prostate, and bladder.

It seems that the chance to have back pain is greater if the cancer grows in the structures of the back or if it grows in other organs close to the back.

Among these cancers, pancreatic cancer is one of top common cancers associated with back pain. It is a cancer that originally started in the pancreas, an essential organ located directly behind the stomach (deep in the abdomen, which is why it is difficult to detect).

Over time, the cancer can block the duct of pancreas. As a result, you have abdominal pain which then may travel down to the back. Interestingly, the pain associated with pancreatic cancer usually will relieve temporarily by bending over.

Back pain associated with lung cancer

Actually, again it’s not common to find back pain in people with lung cancer (especially at early stages of the disease). Even the disease also rarely causes early sign and symptom. However overtime, back pain may occur as the progression of the disease (particularly when the disease has become advanced).

In other words, this pain is usually not an early sign of the disease. If lung cancer does cause back pain, it is likely to occur at advanced stages of the disease.

Your back pain is likely to signal or be associated with lung cancer if it is persistent or difficult to treat, and if it worsens when you take a deep breath – especially true if you also experience some common symptoms of lung cancer.

However, the diagnosis is not only based on symptoms that you have. Lung cancer is not easy to catch, particularly at its early stage (the phase of when it is easiest to treat and most likely to respond to the treatment).

So if you in-doubt to any unusual sign, it’s much better to see your doctor! If your doctor believes that you have lung cancer, some further tests can be recommended. These tests may include:

  1. Imaging /scanning test, such as x-ray and CT-scan test.
  2. Sputum cytology. If you have a cough with sputum, this test can help closely observe your sputum under microscope to look for the presence of any cancer cells.
  3. Biopsy (sample tissue). A sample tissue in the lung may be removed through biopsy, which then will be closely analyzed under microscope.

Why and how does lung cancer cause back pain?

There are several ways in which this cancer can lead to pain in the back. These include: