Feeling A Mysterious Lump
Later in March, I rolled over in bed and felt something on my side. Am I lying on my cell phone? I thought to myself. I reached over to grab what I thought was my phone digging into me and instead felt a really hard mass on my side.
I was sleeping at my parents house that day. I called out to my mom, who is a nurse. Im probably overthinking this, I said, but can you see what you think? She felt the lump and looked concerned. I underwent a breast reduction in 2008, so areas in my breast did feel hard because of normal scar tissue. Yet this didnt feel like scar tissue. My mom thought I was too young for breast cancer and that it was probably nothing, but she suggested I get it checked.
I live in the small town of Bellefontaine, Ohio, and the nurse practitioner in town was able to quickly schedule me for a mammogram that following Mondayso I didn’t have to cancel the 30th birthday trip to Nashville I’d planned. After the initial mammogram, I kept getting called back in to be re-scanned. Then I found out I needed a biopsy. A week later, I was told I had breast cancer.
The news was devastating I remember feeling like everything was a blur. The nurse asked me if I wanted her to continue giving me more information, and I had to tell her I needed a break and a moment to breathe. My mom was with me, and I cried with her. I said I wanted to keep my diagnosis a secret, because I didn’t want people in my life to look at me and just see cancer.
Is Shoulder Pain A Sign Of Lung Cancer
Sharp shoulder or scapula pain are some of the most common symptoms of a Pancoast tumor, particularly in its early stages. The pain typically develops as the tumor impacts one or more of the nearby structures, such as the:
- Ulnar nerve, which runs from the side of the arm to the wrist
- Branchial plexus, the nerve fibers that run downward from the spine and into the shoulder and arm
- Parietal pleura, the highly sensitive outer layer of the membrane that lines the chest cavity.
- Endothoracic fascia, the fibrous tissue that separates the chest wall from the diaphragm and the pleura
Shoulder pain can be a symptom of other lung cancers besides Pancoast tumors, typically if a lung tumor presses against a particular nerve or if the cancer travels to the tissues or bones near the shoulder joint.
Its important to note that shoulder pain is far more likely to be caused by an orthopedic condition, such as osteoarthritis or a rotator cuff injury, than lung cancer. Nevertheless, shoulder pain that persists for more than a few days should be evaluated by a medical professional. Shoulder discomfort that is related to lung cancer may worsen at night, be present while resting or occur without impacting range of motion. Lung cancer that is not classified as a Pancoast tumor may also cause a hacking cough, shortness of breath and wheezing, among other respiratory symptoms.
What Does Shoulder Blade Pain Feel Like When Its Related To Breast Cancer
The type of pain you feel usually depends on whats causing it. Some people have shoulder pain due to nerve damage from radiation therapy or a lumpectomy, mastectomy, or lymph node removal.
If you have neuropathic pain, you may feel a shooting or burning sensation. Some people describe the discomfort as an intense tingling or itching feeling.
You might also experience sharp pain when you try to move your arms up or down. This pain can be accompanied by swelling, stiffness, or numbness.
If your pain is caused by cancer that has spread , it might feel like a deep, dull ache in your joints or bones. Pain near your right shoulder blade could mean that your liver is involved.
You may also feel depressed or anxious, and your sleep may be disrupted as a result of your pain. Not getting enough sleep may make your pain feel even worse.
Your shoulder is a complex, interconnected group of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. These structures work together to align your posture and help you move your arms.
Your scapula serves several important functions:
- It cups the ball-shaped end of the humerus bone in your upper arm.
- It serves as an attachment plate for several muscles and ligaments.
- It moves in several directions as you use your arms, providing stability and flexibility.
Other treatments damage the nerves around your shoulder blade, causing long-lasting pain in your shoulders, arms, hands, and feet.
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How Back Pain Could Be A Sign You Have Breast Cancer
Actress Olivia Newton-John has announced she is suffering from breast cancer for a second time which has spread to her sacrum bone.
But what is the sacrum bone and how can back pain be a sign of breast cancer? Heres all you need to know
What is the sacrum bone?
The sacrum bone is a large wedge triangular shape bone that is at the bottom of the back.
It forms the base of the spinal column and intersects with the hip bones to form the pelvis.
The sacrum is one of the strongest bones in the body as it supports the weight of the torso and spreads it across the pelvis and legs.
Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John has revealed that her breast cancer has spread to her sacrum bone in her back.
How can back pain be a sign of breast cancer?
Although rare, experiencing pain and discomfort in the back can be a sign of breast cancer.
Pain that comes from the back and feels as though it is coming from deep within the bones can be a signal of the disease.
In these cases, it is usually because the cancer has spread from the breast and into the bones and shows that the condition is becoming advanced.
Other Causes Of Pain And Tenderness
We often associate pain with something wrong, so when people feel tenderness or pain in their breast, they often think of breast cancer. But breast pain is rarely the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer. Several other factors can cause the pain.
Clinically known as mastalgia, breast pain can also be caused by the following:
- the fluctuation of hormones caused by menstruation
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Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women aging between 20 and 60 years. It can be easily treated and cured when detected in early stages. Therefore, understanding the warning signs of breast cancer can be of great help.
The warning signs of breast cancer are not same for all the women. The common signs include a change in the look or feel of the breast or nipple and nipple discharge. Other signs include:
By Step Guide On How To Perform Breast Self Exam At Home:
Look at your breasts in the mirror Position your shoulders straight and place your arms on your hips. See if your breasts have their usual size, shape, color and whether they have visible swelling or change in shape. Check that they dont have dimpling or puckering of the skin, or that they became red, sore, swollen or have rash. Also check your nipples to see if they became inverted or changed their position.
Raise your arms and look for the same changes. Squeeze the nipple and check if fluid comes out of one or both nipples. The discharge can be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood.
Check your breast when lying down Use your right hand to feel your left breast and then vice versa. When feeling your breast with your hands, keep your fingers together and use the first few finger pads applying small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.
Check yourself in the shower Many women find that it is easier to check for changes in the breast when their hands are wet and slippery with soap and water. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements as when lying down and check for any lumps or thickening in your underarm area too.
If you find something suspicious with your breast dont panic, as most of the lumps are not cancerous and many breast changes are not associated with cancer, but for your own peace of mind call your doctor if you have any concerns.
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Coping With Chest Wall Pain
Any type of breast pain can be very distressing, and many women worry they may have breast cancer. However, in most cases pain in the breast isnt a sign of breast cancer.
Having breast pain doesnt increase your risk of breast cancer. However, its still important to be breast aware and go back to your GP if the pain increases or changes, or you notice any other changes in your breasts.
Pain Under Right Breast: How To Identify The Cause And Treat The Pain
It happens to the best of us. One moment, you are going through your daily routines when suddenly you feel sudden and severe chest pain somewhere right under your right breast. It surprises you so you try to take a few deep breaths to remove it but it just gets worse and even travels to your back. Sometimes, the sharp pain dulls after a few minutes but other times, it stays, making your daily routines a little more difficult.
Any kind of pain around your left or right breast can be alarming and nerve-wracking. It can lead you to thinking of the worst-case scenario like it being an early sign of breast cancer or lung cancer. However, we are here to shed some light on some of the causes of the pain in your right breast and try to suggest ways to relieve pain in this area.
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Q: What Kind Of Back Pain And Where Might Women With Larger Breasts Experience
Sara Wilson: A woman with large breasts may experience neck pain, shoulder pain and mid- to upper-back pain.
Breast-related neck, shoulder, or back pain is caused from changes in the center of gravity or normal body alignment. Large, heavy breasts pull a womans upper body forward, which can cause continuous tension on the neck, shoulder, and back muscles.
When a womans shoulders roll forward because of the weight of her breasts, she may suffer from compression in an area called the thoracic outletwhere nerves pass through a narrow opening between the ribs, shoulder blades, and muscles. And compression there can cause upper back pain.
Do You Feel Severe Breast Pain Only When Lying Down And You Think Its Radiating From A Tweak In Your Back
When a woman experiences breast pain, this often makes her think of breast cancer.
Intense Pain Deep in Breast Seems to Have Origin in Back Strain
How can this be?
It is possible that there was a misalignment of one of the posterior rib heads in the T1-T5 area, says Dr. Tom Carpenter, corrective exercise specialist, certified personal trainer and chiropractor, inventor of Stand Corrected, a portable harness-like stretching tool that helps alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain.
With the exception of the last two, the other 10 ribs form a joint with the vertebrae in the back and with the sternum in the front, continues Dr. Carpenter. This could cause radiating pain into the front breast area.
Another possible cause could be a strain to one of the intercostalis muscles the muscles that are located between the ribs.
If it continues to reoccur, you should have it checked by your doctor.
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Pain And Tenderness In The Armpit
According to studies, the first place breast cancer spreads to is the axillary lymph nodes .
The axillary lymph nodes indicate breast cancer in the same way the lymph nodes in the neck and throat indicate a flu, making the axillaries an essential place for onset discovery.
The journal of Clinical Oncology reported about the significance of axillary lymph node metastasis in primary breast cancer saying that axillary lymph node status is the single most important prognostic variable in the management of patients with primary breast cancer.7
The American Cancer Society says that sometimes a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collarbone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt.1 Therefore any pain or discomfort in the left or right armpit is something that should definitely be tested and you should also be aware of the other causes of armpit pain.
The first thing to do is to compare the painful armpit to the other armpit. If the difference is persistently evident, its worth consulting an expert.
Breast Pain And Breast Cancer In Men
As with breast cancer in women, breast cancer in men is often painless. That said, it tends to push on nearby structures more rapidly than a tumor would in most women. In addition, hormone-induced breast pain is also, of course, less likely to occur in men. If you are a man experiencing breast pain, play it safe. Breast cancer can and does occur in men, and though only one in 100 breast cancers occurs in men, that’s still far too frequent.
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What Causes Breast Pain
There are a number of harmless causes for breast pain and tenderness that may primarily be related to changes in hormone levels. These can include:
- Puberty in girls and sometimes for boys, too
- Menstruation and premenstrual syndrome
- Pregnancy more often during the first trimester
- Days following childbirth as milk comes in Breastfeeding Mastitis, which is caused by a milk duct that is not properly draining and becomes infected, should be treated. It has no correlation with cancer, but it can become a serious infection if left untreated.
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Can Back Pain Indicate Breast Tumor Development
Upper back pain that feels as though its coming from deep within the bones may be an early sign of breast cancer. But dont assume that every occasional bout of soreness or back pain you notice means youre becoming the next statistic! Chronic back pain that doesnt relent with stretching, chiropractic, or other means may be a sign that breast cancer tumors are forming.
Sometimes when tumors are developing in a womans breast, they put pressure on the ribs and spine causing new found and persistent pain. You need to be aware of any changes that occur in your spinal column, upper back, and even neck. Talk to your doctor if you feel as though the pain youre experiencing is unusually pronounced and marked by pressure from a possible internal growth.
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What Causes Pain In People With Cancer
The cancer itself often causes pain. The amount of pain you have depends on different factors, including the type of cancer, its stage , other health problems you may have, and your pain threshold. People with advanced cancer are more likely to have pain.
Cancer surgery, treatments, or tests can also cause pain. You may also have pain that has nothing to do with the cancer or its treatment. Like anyone, you can get headaches, muscle strains, and other aches or pains.
Early Signs Of Breast Cancer In Women: Dont Just Look For Breast Lumps
The most common way that conventional doctors look for the first signs of breast cancer in women is to identify lumps in the breast. They most often do this with mammogram x-rays. This offer physicians a basic roadmap for navigating the terrain of breast tissue, which they believe allows them to pinpoint any lumps, masses, or other warning signs of breast cancer that might point to a malignancy.
But mammograms can be a potential cause of cancer due to the ionizing radiation they send into breast tissue. They also arent accurate 100 percent of the time, despite what you may have been told. Lumps and masses in breast tissue can be either benign or malignant , and mammograms dont differentiate between the two. This often leads to false diagnoses and unnecessary treatments with chemotherapy and radiation.
A better option, if you choose to undergo routine cancer screenings, is thermography. This unique screening method allows doctors to not only look for unusual lumps or growths, but look for other breast cancer symptoms in women. This can include identifying whether or not angiogenesis is taking place within the breast tissue, which is a much stronger and more accurate indicator that breast cancer may be present.
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Symptoms That May Suggest Lung Cancer
The symptoms of back pain related to lung cancer are diverse and overlap significantly with back pain caused by other conditions. If it involves the spine, it can mimic many of the symptoms of an upper back injury.
Lung cancer related back pain may be generalized like a muscle ache or sharp like a pinched nerve. People with adrenal gland involvement may sometimes complain of “kidney pain” on one side of their back, or describe a feeling like they’ve just been “kidney punched.”
That said, back pain related to lung cancer may have certain telltale signs. Red flags that back pain may be due to lung cancer include:
- Back pain that is present at rest
- Back pain that is worst at night
- Back pain that occurs without any activity
- Back pain that worsens the longer you lie in bed
- Back pain that gets worse when you take a deep breath
- Back pain that doesn’t respond to physical therapy or other medical interventions
Moreover, back pain accompanied by other telltale signs such as a persistent cough, shortness of breath, unintentional weight loss, chronic fatigue, or the coughing up of blood may further support the likelihood of lung cancer.
It’s important to note, however, that the “typical” symptoms of lung cancer are less likely to be present with lung adenocarcinoma, and currently the most common symptoms are fatigue and shortness of breath with exercise .