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My husband is currently off of treatment and was feeling well although tired. A couple of weeks ago, he started with a dry scratchy cough and in the last few days started having intensive shoulder pain. Says it feels like it did when he tore his rotator cuff. It is now impacting both shoulders. Does this sound like pleural effusion? He had a cat scan on 12/18/06 for a follow-up but we are not scheduled to get the results until 12/29/06.

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Is your husband short of breath (SOB)? That is a good indicator of effusion, although someone recently posted that their husband also had pain into his back with effusion. Call you Oncologist to notify him of this development before the holidays get in full swing.

Warm regards,


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The most common symptom of a pleural effusion is shortness of breath, but shoulder pain is sometimes described. The CT scan should definitely show if that's an issue. It might also show if there's a mass in the chest wall near the shoulder that could cause it. A bone metastasis in the shoulder area. But so can a benign musculoskeletal injury. Either way, I agree that it makes sense to touch base with the oncologist's office and consider whether you should meet earlier than 12/29.

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