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Doctor insights on: Can Lung Cancer Cause Upper Back Pain

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How would lung cancer or breast cancer cause upper back pain? I have had CT chest ok/ MRI throactic no contrast ok. Missed cancer?

How would lung cancer or breast cancer cause upper back pain? I have had CT chest ok/ MRI throactic no contrast ok. Missed cancer?

Very unlikely: Those two exams should be very good at ruling out tumor in the spine. Consider seeing a physical medicine specialist for evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,341 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Do I need to worry about upper back pain being lung cancer if massage relieves the pain, not completely but I've had the pain for quite awhile.?

Do I need to worry about upper back pain being lung cancer if massage relieves the pain, not completely but I've had the pain for quite awhile.?

It is easy to find: Out, if you have lung cancer ask your doctor to examine you, do chest x-ray, if he could find any thing ask if he could do cat scan for your lungs. You will be able to find out. ...Read more

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I'm a 38yr old female I quit smoking two years ago and I have upper back pain on the left. I don't have any other symptoms of lung cancer. ..Is it possible?

I'm a 38yr old female I quit smoking two years ago and I have upper back pain on the left. I don't have any other symptoms of lung cancer. ..Is it possible?

Chest pain: I would never say that the possibility of cancer in a smoker should be dismissed. If the pain doesn't resolve then see your dr. I'm not sure what your smoking history was. If the pain continues you should get it evaluated. If you're coughing up any blood then see a physician soon. ...Read more

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Chances of lung cancer? -shoulder, upper back pain and sometimes a mild pain when I take a deep breath (left side)

Chances of lung cancer? -shoulder, upper back pain and sometimes a mild pain when I take a deep breath (left side)

Average: What you are describing does not raise specific concern for lung cancer and points more to chest wall irritation which can be from muscle strain, sometimes viral infection or exposure to inhaled irritants. Smoking is the major risk factor for lung cancer, and anyone over the age of 55 who has been smoking for at least 30 years (varies by amount) benefits from routine lung cancer screening ...Read more

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I'm a smoker for 15 years I'm 30 years old I have upper back pain on my shoulder blades and neck pain can it be lung cancer?

I'm a smoker for 15 years I'm 30 years old I have upper back pain on my shoulder blades and neck pain can it be lung cancer?

Sounds muscular, but: I would still see your PCP to discuss cancer screening possibilities, have a full physical, and discuss smoking cessation options. The sooner you quit, the lower your chances of cancer, and the more likely your lungs will return to pre-smoking health! Good luck ...Read more

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I have upper back pain, chest pain and pain at top of left arm, I smoked for 20 yr, quit 5 weeks ago, could I have lung cancer?

I have upper back pain, chest pain and pain at top of left arm, I smoked for 20 yr, quit 5 weeks ago, could I have lung cancer?

Multiple causes: Your symptoms could be due to anything, simple muscular to heart disease.
Try simple conservative treatment with over the counter pain relievers for a couple of weeks before going to the doctor. ...Read more

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My mom is a smoker. She has had a non productive cough for about a year now. Today was complaining about upper back pain. Can it be her lung? Cancer?

My mom is a smoker. She has had a non productive cough for about a year now. Today was complaining about upper back pain. Can it be her lung? Cancer?

May need some Tests: Persistent cough can be due to smoking (bronchitis) or other lung diseases. Since it has persisted for one year, you should get a medical check up to find the cause. A simple chest X-ray may reveal any obvious problems but a CT scan of the chest is even more detailed and more reliable test to find a cause like Cancer (which is unlikely) in the lung or in the back bones. ...Read more

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Could upper back pain that has lasted over a year be lung cancer? Ct was clear. Only hurts with activity or sitting not rest

Could upper back pain that has lasted over a year be lung cancer? Ct was clear. Only hurts with activity or sitting not rest

Prob not: If the cat scan was clear, and you don't have cancer. You should be in fall iphone physical therapy program. I will get an emerierr the thoracic and cervical spine. Be evaluated by an orthopedic spinal specialist. ...Read more

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I am having upper back pain that comes and go, and blood when I blow my nose. I do not have a cough. I am 25 and I don't smokecould I have lung cancer?

Almost certainly not: I don't think you have lung cancer at all. Back pain can be due to many things (including posture, very large breasts, etc) and blood when you blow your nose is probably due to a polyp. Obviously you should have it checked out if it's a lot. But at your age and with no smoking history, lung cancer would be very low on my list. As for bruising and weakness, you should probably have a blood test. ...Read more

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Can upper back pain which alleviates with massage and rest be a symptom of lung cancer, chest CT is normal?

Thanks for asking!: Upper back pain that goes away with massage/rest is very unlikely to be a symptom of lung cancer, especially with a normal chest ct. Most likely it is musculoskeletal in nature. Also, lung cancer is uncommon in someone who is only 31 years old.

Persistent back pain, however, should be evaluated by your primary care physician. ...Read more

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Chest X-ray clear, blood in phlegm is now gone but have upper back pain. If it was lung cancer would it have shown on x ray? Having anxiety!

Chest X-ray clear, blood in phlegm is now gone but have upper back pain. If it was lung cancer would it have shown on x ray? Having anxiety!

Not always: A chest x-ray can miss lung cancers, especially if they are early/small, when they can be best treated. Although it is not likely you have lung cancer given your age, please see your health care provider and get further evaluation. A chest ct would be a better test for lung cancer depending on your specific situation, but we want to limit radiation exposure, so benefit needs to outweigh risk. ...Read more

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Upper back pain since last may. Dr ordered CT of chest. It was clear. Also took early cdt lung cancer blood test the magea4 was positive. Worry?

Upper back pain since last may. Dr ordered CT of chest. It was clear. Also took early cdt lung cancer blood test the magea4 was positive. Worry?

What for?: Mage a4 is not an approved screening test for lung cancer, was this done as part of a research trial? Lung cancer in a 39 year old with a clean ct chest would be very unusual, and in a person with very low risk of cancer any screening test that is positive is most likely a false positive. I would suggest discussing the purpose of the test and results with the doctor who ordered it! ...Read more

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Iam 34 old woman I smoke, have ache in upper back pain in shoulder down to elbow and sometimes to hand do you think its lung cancer?

Iam 34 old woman I smoke, have ache in upper back pain in shoulder down to elbow and sometimes to hand do you think its lung cancer?

It's possible: You should be seen by a health care professional, get interviewed, examined, and possibly have a chest x-ray. Lung cancer is rare at your age, but can occur.

You should stop smoking. Please get professional help if you are unable to do it on your own. ...Read more

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Upper back pain, pains on touch and when I bend my neck forward, pain in shoulder too, chest CT clear, am a smoker, can this be lung cancer?

Upper back pain, pains on touch and when I bend my neck forward, pain in shoulder too, chest CT clear, am a smoker, can this be lung cancer?

Not likely: Not likely lung cancer. Sounds like muscle-skeletal pain, ie muscle sprain. If it persists for a few weeks then it warrants a doctor visit. Your ct scan is normal so this is less likely lung cancer. Lung cancer doesn't make you hurt upon touch. Smokers have a 20 fold risk of getting lung cancer. But that risk goes down significantly if they quit for about 5 years. ...Read more

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Have upper back pain present for over a yr and CT of chest was clear 6 months ago &mri of spine was ok would it be safe to say I don't have lung cancer?

Have upper back pain present for over a yr and CT of chest was clear 6 months ago &mri of spine was ok would it be safe to say I don't have lung cancer?

Yes: Without risk factors, at present there is no evidence for lung ca. If you have risk factors there are radiologic parameters that suggest appropriate follow up that your doctor should follow. ...Read more

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I have had chest xray and throastic spine MRI with no contrast. I have this back pain in my upper back that comes and goes. If I had lung cancer would they have saw anything?

I have had chest xray and throastic spine MRI with no contrast. I have this back pain in my upper back that comes and goes. If I had lung cancer would they have saw anything?

NO: To assess lungs for masses, cancerous or not, need cat scan thorax. Chest xray will consistently miss small potentially curable tumors depending on location in lungs, size and density.Mri of the spine has a limited view of parts of the lungs and you can not rule out the presence of a lung lesion with an MRI of the spine and a chest xray. Mri of the thoracic spine is not used to find lung nodules. ...Read more

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Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more


Dr. Praveen Mambalam
474 Doctors shared insights

Thoracic (Upper Back) Strain (Definition)

Discomfort or pain in the back at the level of the rib cage to the neck. Although upper back pain is not as common as lower back pain, the causes are often the same and include muscle strain or irritation (most common), injury to the spine leading to slipped disc or degeneration, or the pinching of a nerve in the back. ...Read more