Where Does Lung Cancer Cause Pain?

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Pain under the ribs (the right side)

Over time cancer can spread and go anywhere in other parts of the body, particularly true if it is left untreated. However in the metastatic stage, the cancer is likely to spread in particular places.

Example for lung cancer, it is likely to spread to lymph nodes, liver, bones, adrenal glands, and brain. And if it has affected the liver, it can cause pain or another discomfort under your ribs on the right side.

However, this symptom doesn’t always point to the existence of a secondary liver cancer from lung cancer. Because it also can be attributed by other underlying causes!

Pain in the inner part of the scapula

Scapula is flattened, large, triangular bone that lines over the ribs on the back.

Pain in the inner part of this flattened bone can be a specific symptom for pancoast tumor, a form of lung cancer (typically, it grows at the top of the lung). Shoulder pain can be another specific symptom!

Other common symptoms of lung cancer (such as chest pain and cough) are quite rare in people with pancoast tumor. It seems that this form of lung cancer is likely to cause symptoms that are not related to the lungs.

Bone pain

Bone pain associated with lung cancer is usually an indication that the cancer has spread to the distant organs, especially bones. Depending in which part of bone affected by the cancer, the affected bone can be so painful.

Cancer that has started in the lung and eventually spreads to the bones is called secondary bone cancer. Other symptoms include:

  1. The affected bone can be weak. Even it can be fractured.
  2. The cancer in the bone may cause increased amount of calcium in the bloodstream. This can cause stomach discomforts (such as constipation, abdominal pain, and vomiting), confusing, or dehydration.
  3. Decreased amount of red blood cells (anemia).

It seems that lung cancer can cause pain for numerous different ways. There is also a chance for it to cause another pain that is not mentioned in this section!

Citations /references:

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-pain/art-20045118
  2. http://www.webmd.boots.com/lung-cancer/guide/pancoast-tumour
  3. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/secondary-cancers/secondary-bone-cancer/


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