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Back pain before dx of lung cancer?


Bette64

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Did any of you experience low back pain before your lung cancer diagnosis, and if so, did your doctors think it was from the cancer? Or if you had a reoccurence, was back pain a symptom? I'm not talking about pain in the upper part of our back but the lower part.

I have been having back pain for 6 weeks. My PCP did a back xray and bone scan and everything was ok. But the pain in my lower back and right hip area is almost unbearable. After a visit to a local ER this past Sunday with severe lower back pain, having to use a walker to walk, I was put on steroids and am scheduled for an MRI this Saturday.

The doctors are thinking spinal stenosis or a disc causing pressure on a nerve in the spine area. They said the MRI would detect any soft tissue or tumors that might be pressing on the spine and invisable to bone scans and xrays.

I'm hoping this is just another sign of growing older and doesn't mean my lung cancer has come back and spread to the lower part of my body. Any info would be appreciated.

Bette

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Bette, I've suffered from lower back pain for years. Because years ago my father had what I thought was cancer of the spine (I now know it was mets to the spine from his lung cancer), it's always been worrisome to me. I haven't emphasized it enough yet for my oncologist to investigate it because my symptoms have not been as bad as yours in recent years. If you do have an orthopedic problem and you have done something to aggravate it, that could be the answer. I can remember a time when I had to alternate being up for 20 minutes at a time and then down in a recliner for weeks on end. I have a massage therapist now so that when I'm getting bad, I go and she gets me to a healing place in a couple of sessions over a couple of weeks time. You are doing the right thing getting it checked out. Hang in there. For sure there is hope of relief when they find out what's going on.

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Hi Saundra, I hope to get the results from the MRI next week. With the upcoming new year holidays, it might be later. I feel like we can't be too careful when we have a new pain or symptom arise. I pray this is a pulled muscle but the fact I've it it over 6 weeks w/o improvement worries me.

Hope you have a Happy New Year 2009.

Bette

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Sorry I missed this post earlier, Bette. I have quite significant back pain ~ upper, middle, and lower too. For years I had some lower trouble, but it has increased quite significantly along with the rest. As far as I know (and like you, I worry about this all the time) there are explanations for all of it other than cancer. Cervical stenosis, herniated discs, degenereative disc disease, and radiation damage in the middle. I guess all but the radiation damage can be attributed to some bad skeletal genes along with old age :?:cry::roll: .

I also guess that chemo and radiation may have exacerbated what was already going on. I hope you get some of the same results on your MRI. Only here would we be glad for disc troubles, huh? Hope you don't have to wait too awfullly long for results. Be sure to let us know what you find out.

Kasey

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I agree with Kasey in your instance. Also, after having had lung cancer I would think your medical team would be vigilant in checking for recurrance, etc.. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and praying this upcoming week for good results.

My dad did have lower back pain BEFORE lung cancer dx. and they did everything under the sun EXCEPT check for LC. the rest of story you all know but like I said, I would think after having had LC, your medical team should be vigilant in checking for any correlation.

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Hi Bette,

I didn't have any backpain before I was diagnosed with LC. Since diagnosis I have had 2 mets to my spine, one that caused some pain - the other caused no pain.

I have my fingers and toes crossed that your pain subsides and turns out to be just plain aging.

Wendy

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Bette--My mom experienced lower back pain before her Dx, but two years ago around Thanksgiving it started getting worse and deteriorating rapidly. She kept insisting that it was a different pain than her osteoporosis and they finally sent her for an mri and bone scan--and here we are. That said she has also experienced worsening of her back pain since then and it was arthritis. So just make sure you know what it is. It sounds like you have had all the tests, so I will keep you in my prayers that it is orthapedic in nature.

Susan

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Hi Bette,

Havn't see you for awhile. So sorry about your back pain. I see you have been NED for quite sometime. I know you are stressing from this, but I feel that it could be caused by so many things not re;at4ed tp LC.

Just try to relax and not worry because it probably is just some pulled muscle of some other symptoms that happens with backs.

Keep us informed and hang in there, most likely it is not LC. That's just my feeling.

Maryanne

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Hi Everyone,

I need to post an update on my MRI regarding my back and right hip pain. The MRI showed NO tumors .. praise the Lord, but I do have mild arthritis in lower part of the spine and also a benign cyst. My doctor does not believe the cyst is causing the pain and that it is the arthritis. However I am scheduled to see an orthopedic surgeon on the 22nd of this month for his opinion. The steroids and pain meds have helped alot and I am now able to get around without my cane. The pain is still there and I'm trying to be very careful and not make any sudden moves or bend over, lift anything, etc.

My regular CTscan for lung cancer is on Jan. 19 and I'll see my oncologist then. I'll take copies of my bone scans and MRI but I'm sure he'll agree that it is nothing to worry about but 'old age'....don't we all wish we only had to worry about the symptoms of aging.

Pray that my CTscan will be NED. This is a 6 month checkup so I'm anxious to get it over with. I'll post with an update when I get the results.

Thanks for all your replies and prayers.

Bette

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Bette, great news. How relieved you must be. I have some serious arthritis (I'm assuming, have not had a real diagnosis) problems in my hips and lower back. I've been doing regular massage therapy with the same woman for years and she helps me stay functional. Once you have really aggrevated it, you need to baby it and heal. But once the worst of the pain has subsided, the trick, I believe, is to find out what the optimum activity is for you. Too much or too little can give you problems.

Good luck with the upcoming scan. I'll be watching for your update.

Judy in Key West

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Hi Bette,

So very, very glad to see the good news.

Old age? Yup, it can be a bit uncomfortable :roll: , but as you say, a welcome alternative.

My joy at reading your update has made my day. Please, add my prayers for your CT scans to be great.

Had steroids recently for a knee, and wow, what a miracle drug that is - moving around less like an old lady now.

Love,

Barbara

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