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‘Constant’ back pain could signal four types of cancer

Cancerous back pain: Dr Amir outlines signs and symptoms

Back pain is a common ailment felt by many of us, especially as we get older.

In fact, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence states that around 60 percent of adults report suffering from lower back pain at least once in their lives.

It is also the single largest cause of disability in the UK, with lower back pain accounting for 11 percent of all disabilities.

Therefore, any ache or twinge in the back could be easily put down to a musculoskeletal issue.

While this could be the case, one expert warned that it could also signal various deadly diseases.

READ MORE Student given just weeks to live after lower back pain was rare cancer

Speaking exclusively with , osteopath Gabriele Giordano, from Regent Osteopathy, stated that back pain is a symptom of four types of cancer.

These are:

  • Breast
  • Lung
  • Testicular
  • Colon.

“An unusual but also not too uncommon symptom of cancer is back pain,” he said.

“Back pain pre-treatment in cancer patients is due to a growth or a sign of metastasis where the cancer has spread to the back.

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“More common types that will spread to the back are – breast, lung, testicular and colon as they’re anatomically close to the spine.

“In fact, 25 percent of lung cancer patients will report back pain as a symptom.”

How it differs from normal back pain

Mr Giordano explained that back pain caused by cancer will not be eased by changing position like typical pain in that area.

He continued: “Back pain can be caused by so many different issues and is a form of bodily pain that most of the human population will experience before the age of 50.

“However, what makes this symptom stand out from normal back pain is that it is constant, does not ease with changes in position or movement and can present more as a dull discomfort rather than a sharp or noticeable pain.

“You should definitely see a medical professional straight away, triage is important and getting the appropriate advice.”

Lung cancer and back pain

According to Cancer Research UK, lower back pain can be felt if lung cancer spreads to the bones.

Mr Giordano added: “Symptoms that come with this form of cancer include night sweats, chills, fever, bowel/bladder issues and unexplained weight loss as your body is burning more energy than normal and thus requiring no diet or exercise to see a reduction in body weight.”

Other common signs of lung cancer include:

  • A new cough or a cough most of the time
  • Breathlessness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Ongoing chest infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • A hoarse voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in the shape of your fingers and nails called finger clubbing
  • Swelling of the face caused by a blockage of a main blood vessel (superior vena cava obstruction)
  • A loss of appetite
  • Tiredness and weakness.

Lung cancer that has spread to the bones may also result in weaker bones that break more easily and raise calcium levels in the blood – leading to dehydration and confusion.

If you experience any of these symptoms and/or back pain that doesn’t feel usual, speak to your GP.

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