Yes, someone who suffers from lung cancer can experience pain from the disease. The level of pain that they may feel depends on a few factors, including the aggressive nature of the lung cancer, as well as the types of tumors that are forming.
As a primary symptom for someone who has lung cancer, pain may offer a clue of the disease’s presence to someone whom doctors have not yet diagnosed. Because pain commonly appears as a symptom of many kinds of illnesses and diseases, however, people may not think they have lung cancer when they initially feel pain.
You need to pay attention to all symptoms you may be having if you suspect lung cancer. See a doctor and let him or her know about all of your symptoms, including any pain. The doctor may choose to perform screening tests to check for lung cancer, based on the information you provide.
Pain Symptoms Associated with Lung Cancer
Lung cancer sufferers will experience various signs and symptoms. Many of them seem related to what you might expect with lung problems, such as shortness of breath, coughing up blood, or wheezing—and pain.
Doctors define pain as an unpleasant sensation associated with damage to the body’s tissues.
Lung cancer can result in both acute and chronic pain. The chronic pain often presents as a constantly present background pain. Seventy-five percent of all cancer patients experience some form of chronic pain, according to the medical journal Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology.
Specific Types of Pain from Lung Cancer
Some of the types of pain you may experience when you have lung cancer include:
- Pain in the chest: where tumors may press on lung tissue or on the chest wall, or where swelling in the lymph nodes may press on areas in the chest.
- Pain from coughing: where a persistent cough may cause pain in the chest and throat.
- Pain from infections: where pneumonia or bronchitis can lead to persistent chest pain.
- Pain from taking deep breaths: where patients may experience pain when they laugh or exert themselves because it hurts to take a deep breath.
- Pain in the shoulder: where the lung cancer causes Pancoast tumors to form, which affect nerves in the shoulder area.
- Pain in the back: where the sufferer may feel a constant ache.
- Pain in the bones: where the sufferer may experience a constant ache in the bones, especially as the disease moves into advanced stages.
Additionally, some people may feel emotional pain when they contract lung cancer. Depression and fatigue commonly appear in individuals with lung cancer. These symptoms can negatively affect quality of life, leading to further emotional distress and pain.
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Additional Pain from Lung Cancer
Sometimes, a lung cancer sufferer may experience additional pain if the cancer begins to spread to other parts of the body.
Some common areas of the body where lung cancer may spread, causing significant pain, include:
- Bones: The cancer may appear in the spine, as well as in bones in the arms, legs, hands, and feet.
- Brain: The cancer may cause headaches and painful swelling inside the skull.
- Liver: The cancer may cause pain in the abdomen just under the ribs because portions of the liver stretch and enlarge.
Lung cancer also may spread to places like the adrenal glands, pancreas, breasts, and skin, but this does not always result in noticeable symptoms of pain in those areas.
Management Options for Lung Cancer Pain
Doctors use a wide variety of medications and treatments to help cancer sufferers deal with the pain associated with the disease. Examples include:
- Opioids: which encompass a number of medications, including morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and methadone.
- Interventional procedures: which may include the attempted interruption of nerve conduction.
Challenges of Managing Pain
Pain management represents a significant challenge for doctors attempting to treat someone with lung cancer.
Doctors may experience difficulty alleviating some of the types of pain associated with lung cancer, including bone pain, as they do not respond well to normal pain management methods.
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Protect Your Rights
If you developed lung cancer, check with a lawyer regarding your eligibility to receive awards. If someone else’s negligence led to your exposure to toxic chemicals or other dangerous materials, your lung cancer did not have to happen.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we stand ready to take on the tough cases. We know that people do feel pain with lung cancer. We will fight for your right to receive a fair settlement for your pain and suffering, as well as your medical costs. We focus on serving each client’s personal needs. Contact us today at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation.