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Hi everyone. I've been reading through many posts here, and my heart goes out to you and your families who may be dealing with lung cancer or other ailments. 

I came across this site due to my own issues I've been having since Nov 2018. It's a slightly long story. 

I am 33 years old. I have had trouble with bursitis in my right shoulder for about a decade. No imaging was ever performed, but it was manageable with NSAIDs. However, in November I had an episode of severe shoulder pain that I initially thought was bursitis, but after it didn't go away after a week and the pain was so severe, I went to an urgent care. An x ray of the shoulder showed I had calcium deposits so I made an appt with an ortho doctor. In the meantime, the pain was excruciating. It radiated down to my elbow,  forearm, and wrist - even though all the doctors I've seen assured me that bursitis only goes as far as the elbow.. Because my range of motion was essentially none and pain meds were not working, I went to the ortho's urgent care center where they got me an immediate appt with the surgeon's PA. She prescribed me ibuprofen 800 and gave me a cortisone shot. The cortisone shot did nothing, and my pain kept getting worse. I couldn't sleep as no position was comfortable- not even the reclining one as recommended for shoulder problems. Ibuprofen, the medicine that' always saved me in the past at OTC doses did absolutely nothing. The pressure on my shoulder blade caused unbearable pain.

After Thanksgiving, I got an MRI for my shoulder to prepare for a surgery. I told my family that this was different than my previous 1-2 day episodes of bursitis pain. I just felt something else had to be wrong, like a complete tear or something more severe than bursitis. The MRI showed calcium deposits and a few minor tears, but the dr said they weren't worth operating on as they will heal. My pain continued until my surgery in December. It's important to note a majority of my pain is in the front of my shoulder, essentially near my armpit where it meets my chest up to my clavicle. I also have some pain in the back of my shoulder near my shoulder blade. It then radiates to the elbow/funny bone area and down to my wrist. I did have nerve testing performed about a yr ago due to my shoulder pain,  thinking it might be a nerve problem, which turned up normal.

After the arthroscopic shoulder surgery, the only pain I really felt was from the incisions, but 3 days later when I stopped the post surgery narcotics, the pain in the front of the shoulder began again. It is constant, but I have daily episodes of severe, sharp stabbing pain. It lasts for hours and is unbearable. I am taking meloxicam, narcotic pain meds,  and gabapentin, but they don't seem to help. The pain is so bad during these episodes, it even hurts to breathe because of the movement it causes.  I am almost 5 weeks out from when I had surgery. My arm has very little range of motion due to no strength which is not typical of the kind of surgery I had. 

Fed up with the pain and disappointed in my surgery outcome,  I started researching my symptoms and came across information about pancoast tumors. I know they are relatively rare and uncommon for people in their 30s. I've never been a smoker but have grown up around people that were. I guess I'm wondering if the imaging I already had would have shown a tumor? They were shoulder x rays/MRI but do you specifically need a chest x ray? I also recently had my annual physical where all bloodwork was ok. Would any bloodwork be abnormal if you have a pancoast tumor? 

I am desperate to determine the source of my pain but don't want the dr to think I'm overreacting. 

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Hi, Cristy, and welcome.

I'm sorry for your pain--that really sounds miserable.  Given your history of bursitis, as well as the calcium deposits observed, it seems more likely that your pain is related to one of those conditions.  I'm not a medical professional, so I'm speculating a bit.  Certainly young people do get lung cancer (including never-smokers) but it's not common, and given the other findings, I'd suspect something else.

Lung cancer is usually found with a CT exam.  If your doctor thinks it's worth ruling out lung cancer, that would generally be the type of imaging s/he would order.

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Hi Lexie

Thanks for your response. My issue is that I already had the calcium deposits removed in surgery. The pain associated with those according to my doctor and other medical professionals stated you feel immediate relief after they're removed, but my pain has only gotten worse in addition to the fact that bursitis only impacts down to the elbow and not the forearm or wrist. Since I no longer have calcific bursitis, I definitely don't think it's bursitis. 

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Incidentally, in response to your other question, lung cancer does not show up on blood work.  

You might want to discuss with your primary physician, or with a pulmonologist, whether to get some additional imaging to rule out the possibility.

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