"Woman discovering swelling after shoulder pain" Highlight symptoms that cannot be ignored!

A case study published in BMJ Case Reports highlights the importance of getting a doctor’s opinion on anything that seems out of the ordinary to you.

This follows from the case history of a 71-year-old woman who was referred by her general practitioner to an orthopedic clinic for shoulder pain. The patient also complained of pain in the chest area. The pain was aggravated by walking, sitting and turning in bed.

In addition to a normal examination of the shoulder, the patient also described symptoms of sleep disturbance, chest tightness, and decreased appetite.

Ironically, the woman also described poor sensation and strength in her hand.

The patient reported “right hand symptoms” of a weak grip, loss of dexterity, and a feeling that her hand “does not belong to her”, as well as a worsening of her respiratory symptoms.

The patient did not undergo any examinations before contacting the orthopedic clinic.

The researchers first scanned the bones for isotopes for further investigation.

Isotope bone scanning is a method of examining bones for conditions that are not detected by x-rays. This requires the injection of a small amount of radioactive fluid, which is then absorbed by the bones. This study is carried out three hours after the injection.

The examination revealed a large pancreatic tumor, a type of cancer that starts at the top of the lung (apex).

Pancoast tumors are often difficult to diagnose as they are difficult to detect on a chest x-ray.

The patient’s condition was discussed at a meeting of the local interdisciplinary respiratory team, and it was decided that the tumor was “large and not suitable for radical radiotherapy.” A combination of palliative radiotherapy and chemotherapy was given.

Unfortunately, the patient died within a year of the diagnosis.

“This case study highlights the importance of addressing the non-musculoskeletal conditions that cause reference shoulder pain,” write the case study authors.

Pancoast tumor – the most common signs to look out for

Because the cancer is in the upper part of the lungs, it can compress or damage a group of nerves that run from the upper chest to the neck and arms. A group of nerves is called the brachial plexus, and according to Cancer Research UK, pressure on the brachial plexus can cause some very specific symptoms:

Severe pain in the shoulder.

Pain in the arm and weakness in the arm on the affected side.

Horner’s syndrome is the medical name for a group of symptoms.

Source: Express