The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Can anyone help with shoulder and neck pain?

I have been told I need indefinite chemopheraphy in order to keep my Stage 4 lung cancer tumour from spreading and have had 12 so far. To control the pain I am taking MST Continus Prolonged Release Morphine, Oramorph, and Amitriptyline. Over the last two weeks I have suffered breathing problems and pain in my lung, together with very painful shoulders, difficulty moving or laying in my arms/shoulders and a painful neck. A scan has shown that my lung has filled with fluid, which was drained on Monday but the oncologist is baffled by the pain in my shoulders and neck. I have been booked for a PET Scan to see if the cancer has spread to this area. Has anyone experienced a similar problem, or have any advice on how I can ease the pain. Any help would be greatly appreciated. x

5 Replies

Hi Lulla

I wish I could help, but I haven't come across this before. All I can suggest (probably been suggested to you already) is to try and get as much advice as possible from your CNS or organisations such as Macmillan.

Very best wishes, Bill


Thank you very much Bill, I appreciate you trying to help. I haven't actually spoken to the MacMillan Nurse about the pains but will give her a try. The Oncologist has suggested that I take 400mg of Ibuprofen 4 times a day alongside my other medication but it doesn't seem to be having any effect at the moment. I thought perhaps it could be linked to the fluid that I have in my lung, maybe subconsciously I am carrying myself differently.


hi Lulla,, I hope your pain is easing a little, the only things I can suggest you try after speaking with your consultant that may help, is an anti inflammatory drug similar to ibuprofen called arcoxia, it is less harsh on your stomach and you only take it once a day too I found it really helped me and the other thing is maybe a gentle massage may help by a therapist although you will need to check with both your consultant and your therapist if it would be suitable whilst you are undergoing your treatment. I think you may be right that the pain maybe due to your posture too I hope the Drs can help you to feel more comfortable soon, Michele xx


Hi Lulla, If the pain you are experiencing is related to posture then a good long soak under a warm power shower may relieve some of the symptoms. I often get pains in my neck and shoulders which I don't think is directly related to my cancer but i do find myself sat in awkward postions at times to make breathing easier and I think these pains are due to that. Hope you feel better soon


Thank you robkc for your answer. I did indeed take onboard your advice last night and had a long soak in a very hot bath and it did help me relax. Take care x


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