Back pain: What symptom led to your pancreatic cancer diagnosis?

Posted by jennjames0128 @jennjames0128, May 18 11:17am

My husband has a small lump in his pancreas that doctor has been following for a few years now. This last week he started having severe low back pain to the point that he could barely walk. We have an appointment to go to the doctor but it’s not for a couple of weeks. Just wondering could severe back low pain be associated and a symptom of the pancreatic issues?

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My husband had lower back pain. Thought he had strained his back working in the yard so ignored it for a couple weeks before going to the doctor.

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Hello @jennjames0128 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I can certainly understand your concern about your husband's back pain. I looked on Mayo Clinic's website and found this article that lists some symptoms of problems in the pancreas. Here is the link, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pancreatitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20360227. It states that pain related to the pancreas can radiate from the abdomen to the back.

You don't state how severe his back pain is, so I'm wondering if he is able to sleep at night and move around during the day.

If you both feel concerned, have you considered calling the doctor, explaining your husband's symptoms, to see if his appointment can be moved up?

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My wife's first sign of pancan was back pain located behind lower left back ribs. Your back pain needs to be checked quickly.

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The first symptom I had with my pancreas was severe back pain. Listen to your body.

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If you can't get an appointment with your oncologist soon I'd try to see a pain doctor. I have severe back pain from spinal stenosis, Facet arthritis which caused 60 year old scoliosis and 5 ruined discs. Then I got a pancreatic cancer with mets to the lungs so not for any surgery. I also had radiation treatment which swells your pancreas so it presses on a bundle of back nerves. So if you haven't had that reason you could go to ER or Urgent Care and get something for pain until your appointment. I got a strong back brace from Braceability via Amazon. There are some that say what back problem they help with. My oncologist thinks my pain is not related but keeps getting worse so ? I feel for you so good luck. Also RX Lidocaine patches work on back for 12 hours and you can put three on your back at a time. There are some online but not as much lidocaine and expensive without prescription.

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So much like my own case. I am on hydrocodone tablets and it controls my back pain. Yes you get mildly addicted, but so what?

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@beachdog

My wife's first sign of pancan was back pain located behind lower left back ribs. Your back pain needs to be checked quickly.

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My mom has newly dx pancreatic cancer. She does describe back pain but attributes it to so many other causes. When I asked her where it is and to describe it she points to her back kind of above the "love handles" area and states its "more of a muscular pain".

How would you describe yours?

FYI – she is a 2x breast cancer survivor and has gotten a CT Abd/Pelv and thorax so not necessarily thinking this is bone mets, but I am curious what you experience.

Thanks in advance and best of luck to you and your wife.

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@meecherz

My mom has newly dx pancreatic cancer. She does describe back pain but attributes it to so many other causes. When I asked her where it is and to describe it she points to her back kind of above the "love handles" area and states its "more of a muscular pain".

How would you describe yours?

FYI – she is a 2x breast cancer survivor and has gotten a CT Abd/Pelv and thorax so not necessarily thinking this is bone mets, but I am curious what you experience.

Thanks in advance and best of luck to you and your wife.

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Back pain is one of the symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer. I did not have the usual symptoms but had idiopathic pancreatitis in 2017 so they had been watching me more closely with CTs and Upper endoscopies periodically and found the tumor in Fall of 2020.
As they decide the approach for you Mother, chemo, surgery, the symptoms should abide. Ask the doctors about anything you want or need answers to. My daughter and I write down questions before visits and then I have access to an online "my Chart" and can ask a question or comment anytime. I always get a responce within 24-48hrs.

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@meecherz Since she's already been diagnosed and has recent CT, the radiologist should be able to tell if the tumor would cause back pain. My wife was very fit and thought she had a pulled muscle from workout or yoga but as a back pain sufferer myself I knew that it wasn't muscular. So did the family doc and GI doc. Has she been given a course of action? Chemo? Surgery?

PS, my wife's back pain went away after surgery so the tumor was causing the pain.

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@jennjames0128 any update on your husband, the lesion on his pancreas and the cause of the back pain?

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@beachdog

@meecherz Since she's already been diagnosed and has recent CT, the radiologist should be able to tell if the tumor would cause back pain. My wife was very fit and thought she had a pulled muscle from workout or yoga but as a back pain sufferer myself I knew that it wasn't muscular. So did the family doc and GI doc. Has she been given a course of action? Chemo? Surgery?

PS, my wife's back pain went away after surgery so the tumor was causing the pain.

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Thank you for the info, I will ask them what they think. They project that she will have surgery followed by chemo x 6 months. Still in the process of scheduling the surgery date and pre-op testing.

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The symptoms I had for my pancreatic cancer: dark urine and light yellow stools. I initially thought it might be a liver problem. I waited for a week for the symptoms to go away and immediately followed up with my MD when they didn't. Found out the pancreatic head tumor was blocking the bile duct.

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