The mesothelium is a thin membrane that surrounds most of the major organs inside your body, including your lungs, heart and stomach. Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that targets the mesothelium. While it may affect any area of the body that has mesothelium, mesothelioma commonly targets the lungs.
If you have worked with or near asbestos in the past, you may be at risk for developing mesothelioma in the tissue around your lungs. This form of mesothelioma, known as pleura mesothelioma, may cause chest pains, coughing and shortness of breath. Back pain can also be a pleura mesothelioma warning sign.
When pleura mesothelioma is malignant and aggressive, it begins to disturb nerves around the lungs. While irritated nerves often cause the tell-tale chest pain that doctors associate with malignant mesothelioma, they may also contribute to back pain. Even though lower back pain is a common symptom of pleura mesothelioma, you may experience discomfort in your upper back as well.
Metastisization occurs when cancer spreads from one part of the body to another. If you have pleura mesothelioma, your cancer starts in the mesothelium around the lungs. Because your lungs are close to your spine, pleura mesothelioma may spread to your vertebra. If this happens, you may experience pain throughout your back and even into your neck or buttocks.
If you have an active lifestyle, it may be tempting to dismiss back pain as either a normal strain or part of the aging process. Ultimately, if you have ever worked around asbestos, ignoring back pain may put your life in jeopardy.