Can Lung Cancer Cause Back Pain?

It has been reported time and time again that lung cancer is the most prevalent cause of death among those suffering from cancer. It ranks higher on the charts than prostate, breast and rectal cancer combined. Sadly, it is estimated that more than sixty-five thousand women will die of lung cancer this year, and that’s just the women. It is estimated that in any given year, there will be at least 17,000 new cases of the disease that will emerge. The majority of lung cancer victims are or were smokers at one time, but this does not account for all cases so clearly no one is omitted from risk. A lot of people wonder; can lung cancer cause back pain? It can, and it all starts with the symptoms.

Scientists are doing all they can to minimize these statistics but until we find a cure, it is important to know the symptoms of this disease and to know that early detection is your best defense against the disease. The symptoms and signs that forebear this disease can range from the mild to the severe. Some of them may even seem like every day aches and pains… symptoms of the common cold or upper respiratory infection.

Among these symptoms are persistent smokers cough, increase of mucus, wheezing, fatigue, achy joints and most commonly a persistent pain in the chest shoulder and back that is unrelated to an accident or injury. It is imperative that if you are experiencing this type of back pain that you seek medical help as soon as is possible, and to educate yourself on what causes this pain and in the event you have cancer, what you can do to minimize the discomfort.


Can lung cancer cause back pain all over? It feels like a dull throb to a stabbing pain, dependent on the person’s condition. In many early cases the pain may stand on its own but as the condition worsens, the soreness, aches, pain and irritation in the back and shoulders may be irritated and ultimately worsened by the constant coughing, wheezing and other respiratory symptoms that will likely be present. It is suggested that if you have been suffering from a severe upper respiratory condition for longer than two weeks to stop any course of home treatment you may be using and to see your physician for a thorough examination.

The back pain that accompanies lung cancer can be a disruptive and uncomfortable part of the experience; there are several ways to self treat this at home to help lessen some of the discomfort. Many doctors and therapists will recommend that you use a combination of heat and ice therapies. Ice will in most cases take down any swelling and help to numb the area while heat on the other hand will massage away dull aches and help to stop minor throbbing pain. If there are others involved in your care, massage is a great way for them to help you.

Now that everyone knows the answer to the “can lung cancer cause back pain?” question, there are some more cures that should be addressed. A gentle massage to the muscles in the areas most effective is proven to be not only relaxing but it will reduce tension and therefore pain in your back muscles. There is also the option for pain medication, which if your doctor understands that you are in unbearable pain or pain that makes daily functioning difficult, they will most likely work to find a combination of medications and therapies that will help you to function. It is important to remember that if you suspect that your back pain may be hiding a more serious problem that you do not procrastinate in getting it checked out, the best defense is prevention and early detection. Also remember that it is important to consult your doctor before starting or changing any kind of treatment plan to avoid irritating and or worsening your condition as it could prove detrimental to your recovery.

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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