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The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Lower back pain

Good Morning folks,

I had a left pneumonectomy last July and finished chemotherapy at the end of November 2018. This was for squamous nsclc.

For the last week I have suffered from lower back pain at the base of my spine. This wakes me every night, so surviving on a couple of hours sleep a night. Also got a level of numbness in my legs and feet plus feeling nauseous. ( going under the nickname of Happy) lol.

At the time of writing I am awaiting a call back from GP. I have a routine appointment with respiratory consultant on Thursday this week. I’m worried that this could be the start of a secondary cancer , I certainly haven’t injured myself . Plus I wasn’t sure whether to wait till Thursday, call my specialist nurse or the GP. What’s the correct protocol please. Any ideas ?

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I would bypass the GP and get straight onto your (oncology?) specialist nurse to organise to get the pain checked out - MRI or CT scan maybe? Important to get your pain and sleep under control quickly too because you need to be psychologically well, so I would discuss pain relief ASAP with your oncologist. Good luck! X

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Thank you

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Hello Colin57,

I would get in touch with your specialist nurse, she will be able to advise on pain control and can refer you for further investigations if she thinks it is necessary. If you are all ready waiting for a call back from your gp it might also be worthwhile having a chat with him about your symptoms he will have your past medical history and can recommend which is the best path to follow.

If you would like to speak with someone please give us a call on our nurse led helpline freephone 0800 358 720

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Thank you

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Sorry to hear this Colin but i will tell you that sinse i had half my lung removed last August, i started getting lower back pain in the lumber region , ive just had xray done and its come back that i have arthiritis. Ive always done exercises throughout my life but after my operation i had to be careful with exercising because my scar got infection and took months to heal, so i think the inactivity has helped to bring this on.

I hope yours is something simple. X

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Thank you for your thoughts x

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Hi I experienced lower back pain initially 2years post op lobectomy and chemo ,like you I was concerned that cancer had returned, my gp was brilliant organised me an MRI of lower spine which happened in weeks ,it turned out to be degenerative changes assossiated with aging and a very old injury ,I had steroid injections which helped a lot also I was less anxious about it all .So it might not be as bad as you think .Hope it all is ok good luck a.Diane

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Sorry to learn of your pain. Others have commented with good advice but one thing I would say is that not every symptom we experience in the years after a cancer diagnosis are related - our bodies degenerate anyway irrespective of the cancer diagnosis. I found a book called 'cancer is a word not a sentence' by Dr Rob Buckman very helpful on this to prevent me worrying myself silly that every symptom must be a recurrence. Somehow we have to find a way of coping with this. It's 8 years now since my upper left lobectomy and I have learned to 'park' previous fears although when I am ill, I seem to have little resistence/strength in immune system that means some things linger longer than they otherwise might have. hope yours isn't more serious. good luck.

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Once again thank you all for your sound advice. I contacted my Specialist Nurse, and she prised from me all of my symptoms. As a result of which all the stops have been pulled out and as I’m sure a precaution I’m having a MSI this afternoon. I can never fault the NHS amazing!

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That good to get seen quickly

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Wow turns out I have a worn disc that pushing into the cord. I will quite enjoy the discomfort tonight, probably!

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Glad to hear this and its nothing more. Its silly saying glad to hear that but the word cancer is the word we all fear..so anything is better than that even though we get pain .

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Absolutely, thank you so much!

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Pleased it's unrelated to your cancer and at least with a diagnosis, they can start some treatment. Sometimes such aches/pains can be caused by the way we're sleeping, an old mattress/bed or positioning. Not always medical! good luck.

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