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Shoulder Pain And Breast Cancer

Can Shoulder Pain Be A Sign Of Lung Cancer

Post-Surgery Shoulder Care – Westmead Breast Cancer Institute

Yes, it can. Someone with lung cancer may notice pain or weakness in the shoulder . Shoulder pain may occur if a lung tumor exerts pressure on a nearby nerve or if lung cancer spreads to the bones in or around the shoulder. Its important to note, however, that shoulder pain could also result from a condition completely unrelated to cancer, such as arthritis.

If shoulder pain occurs when resting, worsens at night or doesnt involve any loss of motion, it may indicate lung cancer. Other lung cancer signs include:

  • A chronic, hacking cough
  • A harsh vibrating sound while breathing
  • Recurrent respiratory infections like pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss
  • Swelling in the face and neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent chest pain unrelated to coughing

Baseline Demographics And Characteristics Associated With Breast Cancer

Among 1498 patients, 154 breast cancer patients had chronic shoulder pain. After excluding 102 patients, a total of 52 female patients were included in the final analysis . They experienced pain for an average duration of 1.7 years, and most of the patients complained about pain on the same side as the breast cancer surgery site . 43 patients had received radiotherapy. Other characteristics are presented in Table .

Figure 1

The authors declare no competing interests.

Shoulder Strength And Active Range Of Motion

The results of this study demonstrate a significant reduction in strength and active ROM of the affected shoulder in BCS 1.5 years beyond treatment as compared with healthy controls. Our findings also provide preliminary evidence that strength and ROM remain affected in some movement directions like horizontal shoulder extension, but may have recovered to normal levels in others like internal shoulder rotation. The observed reductions were greater than the previously reported MDCs for active ROM in shoulder flexion and horizontal shoulder extension, and for MIMS in shoulder adduction , and are considered clinically significant for these movement directions. These movement-specific impairments are different from previous studies who report a general reduction in shoulder strength and ROM in BCS regardless of movement direction , which may be largely explained by differences in methodological approaches and design between studies. For example, only a few other case-control studies have evaluated shoulder function after breast cancer treatment in comparison to healthy controls . In contrast, several studies have employed a cross-sectional design for assessing shoulder strength and ROM in BCS by comparing the affected and unaffected limbs . However, this approach may underestimate the loss of shoulder function as shoulder morbidity after breast cancer can be bilateral and makes it difficult to distinguish longer-term treatment-related reductions from age-related decline.

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How To Diagnose And Treat Shoulder Pains

Finding a doctor who can diagnose your shoulder issues correctly is of utmost importance. Once the correct diagnosis is zeroed in, the doctor can fashion a holistic treatment methodology to regain your lost shoulder health.

The doctor can bring in a physiotherapist to help in tailoring an effective treatment plan as physical and occupational therapy can do wonders in treating shoulder issues. The rehabilitation programe may focus on improving range of motion, increasing the strength and flexibility of shoulder muscles and restoring proper posture. Meanwhile, the doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medicine to bring down the inflammation of the affected area. If the symptoms are recalcitrant to conservative treatment, the doctor may go in for a cortisone injection which can help relieve pain and inflammation. This injection can even be administered using ultrasound scan to make sure that the drug is going right into the exact spot.

In the case of a frozen shoulder, if the condition is not amenable to conservative measures, the patient may be taken to the operation room to gently loosen the adhesions, so the shoulder moves smooth. This technique is called manipulation under anesthesia.

Breast Thickening Or Swelling

Shoulder Movement is Key for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast thickening or swelling may be a sign of breast cancer. Swelling can also occur around your collarbone or armpits. This may be a sign that breast cancer has spread to your lymph nodes. Sometimes, patients notice breast swelling without ever noticing a lump. Thickening or swelling may cause a noticeable change in the size or shape of your breasts. Thickening or swelling may occur in one breast, or in both.

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What Causes Pain In The Shoulder Blade

Muscle strain: The most common cause of shoulder blade pain are muscle strains from intense workouts, heavy lifting, or even sleeping in an uncomfortable position. Snapping scapula syndrome: If your discomfort is accompanied by cracking and popping noises, this muscular condition could be the cause.

Arm/shoulder Problems Common After Breast Cancer Surgery

A study found that most women who had breast cancer surgery had some type of arm problem even 1 1/2 years after surgery. The research was presented at the 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium.

After breast cancer surgery, some women experience numbness, swelling, weakness, or tingling in the arm and shoulder area on the same side of the body on which surgery was done. These problems are more likely to happen after mastectomy surgery and less likely to happen after lumpectomy. The possibility for arm and shoulder problems depends quite a bit on whether any lymph nodes were removed during surgery and if so, how many were removed.

The researchers studied more 250 women for 18 months after breast cancer surgery. Every 3 months, the women reported any arm problems and had a physical exam to check for any movement or function problems. The researchers tested upper body strength and endurance, hand grip, flexibility, and range of motion.

The results:

  • Most women with arm problems had more than one symptom.
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    A Lump In The Breast Or Armpit

    Most of the women may find that their breasts feel lumpy because breast tissue often has a lumpy texture. But, if you feel a hard and immovable lump under the armpit or breast region, then you should see your doctor straight away. It is a sign of breast cancer. The presence of a lump in the breast or armpit is the first symptom of breast cancer in many women.

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    Breast Cancer Surgery Arm and Shoulder Exercises Week 2

    2022. 8. 4. ·Symptoms. Pain that goes from your neck to your shoulder blade Stabbing, burning, tingling, or even an electric feeling. Cannot touch chin to chest, painrightshoulderblade, cannot turn neck side to side very much – Answered by a verified Doctor We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. If your chest and/or shoulder blade pain are severe, come on suddenly, are accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath, rapid pulse, sweating, chest tightness or nausea, call 911 immediately. Heart problems are often a medical emergency seek treatment immediately. … and right shoulder blade pain may be due to gallstones, peptic ulcers and liver disease.

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    How Is Lymphedema Diagnosed

    There are no tests for lymphedema. Instead, your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and give you a physical exam. Youll be asked about:

    • Past surgeries youve had

    • If youve had severe swelling in the past

    • What medicines youre taking

    • What other health conditions you have, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes

    Imaging tests, measures of volume, blood tests, and other tests may be used to diagnose lymphedema.

    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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    Lung Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment At Moffitt Cancer Center

    If youre experiencing shoulder pain or any other lung cancer signs, you can turn to the experienced team at Moffitt Cancer Center. Our Thoracic Oncology Program handles all stages of lung cancer, including rare malignancies. To speak with one of our lung cancer specialists, call or complete a new patient registration form online.

    Managing Upper Extremity Dysfunction In Breast Cancer Survivors

    Breast Cancer Patients Need Shoulder Mobility before Walking

    Education about symptom management and simple exercises before initiation of treatments is an effective and simple way to prevent upper extremity dysfunction. Jesuel Padro-Guzman, MDTweet this quote

    With an increased number of breast cancer survivors and patients with metastatic disease living longer, it is imperative for oncology care providers to manage issues of new and chronic upper extremity dysfunction as a result of the malignancy itself or its treatment. As one of my patients suffering from persistent shoulder and arm dysfunction following her breast cancer treatment said, I am grateful to be alive, but what is life if I cant comb my hair, cant put my clothes on properly, and need help with almost everything?

    Studies suggest that approximately 60% of patients with breast cancer experience shoulder pain, and 67% have decreased strength in their upper body. A combination of factors can contribute to shoulder dysfunction, including age, weight, prior shoulder problems, surgical method, use of aromatase inhibitors, and cervical dysfunction. We also know that patients who undergo mastectomy, extensive radiation, and lymph node dissection have an increased risk of developing shoulder dysfunction compared with patients who have breast-conserving surgery or less-aggressive radiation treatment.

    Contributing Factors to Shoulder Problems

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    Signs Of Breast Cancer That Arent A Lump

    For decades, the medical community and the media have waged an effective awareness campaign about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, educating the public about the importance of diligently monitoring their breasts for lumps. And the tactic has worked. Early detection has contributed to a 39 percent decline in breast cancer deaths in women from 1989 to 2015, according to the American Cancer Society. While thats an important step forward, many other abnormalities that may also indicate breast cancer are lesser known and discussed. Some, then, may be led to assume that no lump and no tumor mean no cancer, but that may be a dangerous conclusion to draw.

    The majority of the publicity assigned to breast cancer is a lump, and the majority of patients might feel a mass in the breast, but there are definitely other symptoms besides a lump, says Ricardo H. Alvarez, MD, MSc, who leads the Breast Cancer Center Institute at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® . Visual changes may be especially key in helping detect breast cancer early.

    You can see a lot of things just by looking at your breasts in the mirror. When your arms are by your side, you dont always see everything. Put your hands on your hips or raise them up. Having arms in two different positions while looking is also helpful. Cynthia Lynch, MD, Medical Oncologist at our hospital near Phoenix

    Shoulder Pain Becomes Breast Cancer

    I’m posting on here as I need some help/guidance/advice as I feel at a loss.

    My mum has had shoulder pain over the last few months which she has been to the doctors about numerous times. They sent her for X Ray’s and said that they couldn’t see what was wrong but suspected arthritis. The pain was getting worse and has now spread under her arm so she went back again. The nurse felt her breast and sent her for a mammogram.

    On Thursday, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes. This was the result of a biopsy that she’d had. At the minute we don’t know if it has spread any further or what stage it is. All they have said is that the cells are a grade 3 – which I think means the worst and that they are aggressive?

    She’s got to go back on Thursday for some more results related to hormones, but I don’t understand what that means. I’m guessing from this they can start the course of treatment.

    However she’s got to wait another 12 days for the CT scan to find out if it has spread.

    I’m worried that it has because the pain started in her shoulder – so there is a chance it could be in her bones. Has anyone else ever had that?

    I don’t want them to delay the start of the treatment but will that begin after the results of the CT scan which could potentially be a month away or will they start that immediately on Thursday?

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    Other Forms Of Tendonitis In The Arm

    In addition to rotator cuff tendonitis discussed above, additional forms of arm tendonitis can arise as side effects of breast cancer treatment. These include tendonitis of the tendons of the elbow , thumb and biceps muscle , and they are typically caused by abnormal use or function of the shoulder.

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    1. Muscle strain and active injury. One of the most common causes of pain between your shoulderblades is increased stress and strain on the muscle group in that area. Strenuous or intense activities like exercising, heavy lifting, sudden movement, and other activities can also trigger this pain. Active injuries like spine fractures, slipped.

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    Breast Cancer Types And Symptoms

    There are several kinds of breast cancer. Many of them share symptoms.

    Symptoms of ductal carcinoma

    This is the most common type of breast cancer. It begins in your ducts. About 1 in 5 new breast cancers are ductal carcinoma in situ . This means you have cancer in the cells that line your ducts, but it hasnât spread into nearby tissue.

    You may not notice any symptoms of ductal carcinoma. It can also cause a breast lump or bloody discharge.

    Symptoms of lobular carcinoma

    This kind begins in the glands that make milk, called lobules. Itâs the second most common type of breast cancer. Symptoms include:

    • Fullness, thickening, or swelling in one area
    • Nipples that are flat or point inward

    Symptoms of invasive breast cancer

    Breast cancer thatâs spread from where it began into the tissues around it is called invasive or infiltrating. You may notice:

    • A lump in your breast or armpit. You might not be able to move it separately from your skin or move it at all.
    • One breast that looks different from the other
    • A rash or skin thatâs thick, red, or dimpled like an orange
    • Loss of appetite and weight loss
    • Muscle weakness

    Symptoms of triple-negative breast cancer

    Breast cancer is called triple-negative if it doesnât have receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone and doesnât make a lot of a protein called HER2. This kind tends to grow and spread faster than other types, and doctors treat it differently.

    Symptoms of male breast cancer

    Learn more about breast cancer in men.

    Changes In Breast Shape Size Or Appearance

    Remember that not all the breast tumors cause a hard lump close enough to the surface to be noticeable. Instead, in some women, the shape and appearance of the breasts may change. Unexplained swelling or shrinkage of the breast only on one side, asymmetry of the breast, a sudden change in shape of the breast are some of the symptoms you should not ignore. They are the possible signs of breast cancer.

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    Does Your Arm And Shoulder Hurt If You Have Breast Cancer

    After having treatment for breast cancer, you might experience pain in your arms and shoulders, mostly on the same side of your body as the treatment. Its also common to have stiffness, swelling, and a reduced range of motion in your arms and shoulders. Sometimes, it can take months for these complications to appear.

    What Can You Do About It

    Can You Get Cancer In Your Shoulder

    One of the first things to remember is that a high percentage of women get this kind of pain. While it may help to do some small amount of range of motion exercises while healing from surgery, never do an exercise after surgery unless your doctor has okayed it. You also dont want to do exercise if you are still in pain from surgery, as that can have a deleterious effect on your healing.

    It is not likely, but pain can be a potential sign of cancer spreading. Because cancer can form on the head of the humerus, it can interfere with movement and make it painful. Therefore, your first course of action should be to see your doctor to rule out any spreading of cancerous tumors. Dont get too worried though. The odds of it being cancer are quite low as the development of these tumors generally takes years to develop, has the added symptom of arm weakness, and is becoming quite rare.

    Once your doctor confirms that you are not dealing with any cancerous issues in your rotator cuff area, you can concentrate on healing. While time will help, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, and gentle exercise can certainly be useful in shortening the time it takes to heal from this kind of problem. Before you throw yourself into a PT regime, however, make sure to check with your doctor. He or she will tell you how much you should be using or not using your arm for the best level of healing.

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