Upper back pain first symptom? - The Roy Castle Lu...

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Upper back pain first symptom?

Nalmeida21 profile image

Did any one else have their first symptom be UPPER BACK PAIN/CHEST PAIN WHEN BREATHING? Don't worry, I am working with my primary care and addressing it this way as well. But I'm worried. I have been vaping for about 3 years. I've had shortness of breath for 2 years and we thought it was caused by anxiety. Now I have upper back pain when I breath and I also feel it in my chest. The x ray didn't show anything but it definitely gets worse when I vape. We're now going to test for a blood clot... my only other symptom is being really weirdly tired and lots of mucus but not coughing. Did anyone else have this as their first symptom? I'm new here and will really appreciate your patience/kindness. Thank you

15 Replies

My dads first symptoms were a little occasional cough, then pain in his shoulder and back and then he lost weight. We found out he had hypercalcemia (later found out this was because the cancer was in his bones and leaking calcium into his blood). The high calcium was causing my dad to drop asleep all the time and lose his appetite.

My dad had an X-ray which showed a large mass in his right lung and that’s where it all started.

It may be you have COPD but whatever’s going on it’s good you are getting it investigated xxx

Dear Nalmeida21

Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear you have been having some symptoms,

It is good that you are under medical care , your chest x-ray did not show anything and that they are checking for other causes.

There are known side effects of vaping, which include, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, tiredness, fatigue and cough. There is still a lot they do not know about vaping and research is ongoing. It is of note perhaps that you say that you feel the symptoms are worse when you do vape.

Some research is looking at the possibility that vaping can cause lung conditions similar to the symptoms of chronic obstructive lung disease.

You may find this article interesting from the British Lung Foundation on vaping: blf.org.uk/your-stories/the...

Their helpline number is 03000 030 555, it may be worth contacting them, their website is: blf.org.uk/

This article looks at what they know and do not know about vaping in relation to the effect it may have on the lungs: health.harvard.edu/blog/can...

Hope you will have some answers soon and if all results come back good, and you still have symptoms, it may be worth asking to be referred to a respiratory specialist for assessment. There are special lung functions tests that they can do to assess how well your lungs are working and if to full capacity.

If you would like to discuss anything you can either email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org or call our free phone nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

My sister used to smoke heavily and had pleurisy several times and complained of back pain - it was the pleura (lining of the lungs) that was causing the pain. The chest pain can also be symptomatic of a number of causes including chest infection which may also explain the mucus. Good that you're getting it checked out and that you recognise that anxiety can contribute to poor breathing habits. Vaping is not without risk/harm despite being recognised as less harmful than smoking so wonder whether you've considered smoking cessation services with behavioural support to help? this should be available via your GP so ask about this.... lung cancer has very few symptoms in early stages and is often detected when examining other conditions - so as imaging isn't indicating anything 'sinister' hopefully the GP's tests will get to the bottom of it before long and enable you to have appropriate treatment for your symptoms. good luck.

I used to Vape and stopped when diagnosed but more recently (1 year later) I have the pain when breathing and in my back behind my lungs. I had a scan 3 months ago and no progression of disease and am due the results of my next one now. I had covid 4 months ago so it might be associated with that as I still can’t smell. It might be unrelated to the cancer. I’ll try and remember to post back when I get my results incase it’s helpful.

Hi you had covid with cancer my son just test posative for. Covid as he look after me during my treatment I am terrified I get covid he has Moved out so now I'm alone scared thinking I'm going get covid and die and here you are it's Friday today he test posative on Wednesday all my tests so far negative but I'm so so scared any advice for me xxxx

Keep testing and isolating with the rapid flow, are you on any steroids as we think (we don't know) that as I was on steroids that might have helped with my symptoms? I would also say buy an oximeter anyway and test every day as even if you have covid and bad (without cancer) they look at those results, they are not too expensive, but gave me peace of mind. If you have an Apple Watch this will do the same. Try not to panic too much, stress is not good for you. If at any time you have any new symptoms of anything do another PCR test or go to your consultant. I still have long covid, which isn't great but now waiting to be referred to the long covid clinic. x

Hi I've done everything you advised that ten days so far so good. Hoping your well and get long covid seen to soon and many thanks xxx

Hi did you ever get pain right hand side top rib cage not doubled up with it but it there x

Yes not sure what it was though could have been the tumour shrinking! Xx

Thankyou it ease today with cocodamol and thanks so much it good to get advice from someone who experience same thing your a star x

My treatment cancell on Thurs due to bloods show up something say to do toxin and bone marrow will do bloods again on Wednesday to see if back to normal have you had any experience of this between that and scan tomorrow I'm stressed out so much scan of neck chest stomach pelvis to see if any spread x

I have had treatment delayed due to something on bloods - it’s them being safe that’s all

Thankyou again you know how much I worry xxxxxx

Hi I remember 2.5 years ago I was having chiropractor work on my neck. Then I developed terrible pain in my upper right shoulder area all the way through. After a couple of days I was having trouble breathing and was painful. Went to Dr who thought it may be a blood clot was sent for an x ray and blood test and that's when they found a shadow in right lung. CT scan then PET scan confirmed Stage 3b. Lets pray your results are not the same good luck xx

Belated reply as missed before.My first symptoms were a pain behind my right shoulder blade.

GP said was muscular but thankfully I asked for an x-ray.

Diagnosis lung cancer.



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