Why Does Lung Cancer Cause Back Pain?

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Sometime lung cancer can directly affect the back


Over time, a cancerous tumor in the lung can grow and become large enough to affect others organs /structures around the lungs. Sometime this may also contribute to cause more pressure on the structures of the back.

For instance, there is a chance for cancer to affect nerves that pass through the chest. This may lead to pain that may be interpreted by the brain as a referred pain for back pain!

The metastasis of lung cancer

Lung cancer is a life-threatening cancer. Even in fact it is one of the leading causes of death associated with cancer. In many cases, it is diagnosed at advanced stage, when the cancer has spread and more difficult to treat.

It can spread anywhere, but there are some places in the body where it is likely to spread. These include liver, brain, adrenal glands, and bones.

And when it has spread to adrenal glands (two glands, near the top of two kidneys) and bones (especially spine), you are likely to experience back pain.

How about lung cancer treatments

Both this cancer and its treatment are difficult to cope with. The disease is serious condition (that’s why the treatment is necessary).


But each treatment for cancer also carries the risk of some side effects. However every treatment has been considered carefully, and generally it should give more benefits that outweigh the risk.

Pain is a common side effect of many cancer treatments. While the treatment can be powerful enough to kill the cancer cells, but there is also a chance for the treatment to affect healthy tissues and organs (causing numbness, tingling, pain, or other discomfort symptoms).

How about back pain? Is it also a common side effect of cancer treatment?

Pain in the back associated with lung cancer treatment is quite rare. But if you do believe that certain medication worsens /triggers your back pain, talk to your doctor!

Treatments for coping

The treatment is dependent on the cause of your back pain. Therefore, it’s so important to identify the cause clearly!

If the problem is due to the large size of cancerous tumor that causes pressure in the structure of the back, some treatments are available to reduce the size of cancer or even to remove it. The treatments may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.

And if the pain occurs due to the metastasis of lung cancer to the bone, treatment to address this metastasis is necessary (though the main treatment is still focused to treat the primary cancer).

Your doctor may also give palliative treatment, a treatment that is more intended to improve the symptoms /discomforts due to cancer rather than curing the cancer. This kind of treatment also carries side effects. But you doctor will choose one that has as few side effects as possible.


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