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Quit smoking. Having burning sensation and soreness in shoulder area. Pain and tenderness in rib cage.

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Practicing since : 2003
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Hello, I am a 50 year old female. Quit smoking the first of September. Smoked for about 22 years about 7 to 10 cigarettes a day. I am having burning and soreness in mid to upper back left side around shoulder blade area. Also pain and tenderness mid rib cage mainly in the back and underarms area just at the back of breast i have soreness. I have tightness sometimes in my chest just under my breast and feel full, as though I've just eaten. Was just diagnosed with COPD a few days ago and am on Dulera inhaler. Worried about lung cancer. Going for Cat scan next week. Any Ideas. Have had some weight loss, like 20 pound in the past 7 months, but I have had some extremely stressful family stuff going on for about 4 months, with the stress haven't felt much like eating a lot. I am eating now though and I'm not having any problems. I have had these pains on and off for a while and they come and go.I also was diagnoised last year with Acid Reflux. Use zantac for that and have underactive thyroid. The pains seem to get worse and burn more if I get anxious or upset. Also last night burning in my back was really bad went down the upper part of my left arm and made my ring finger and pinky tingly. It's also on both sides but seems worse on left side. Thanks
Posted Thu, 7 Nov 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 43 minutes later
Brief Answer:
CT scan thorax is indicated.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting the query on XXXXXXX After going through your query, I would like to comment the following:

1. You seem to have been diagnosed with COPD. Currently you have chest pain which radiates to back and fingers.

2. Firstly, you need to continue your COPD medications regularly as advised by your physician.

3. An evaluation by a Pulmonologist is highly recommended.

4. Some points worth comsidering here are:
a. Do you have swelling of the tips of your fingers i.e. bulbous enlargement of finger tips.
b. What was your Xray chest finding? Was any abnormality other than COPD changes noted in chest Xray?
c. Is your thyroid under control now?
d. Also reflux needs to be controlled with PPI group of drugs if Zantac does not control your symptoms.
e. ECG / 2D echo needs to be done if a cardiac cause is suspected.

5. Considering your clinical profile : HRCT scan thorax / CAT scan is the next recommended investigation for you and things will be clear after the scan.

6. Being a smoker ,you are at a high risk of lung cancer but that is a general risk for all smokers and only investigations will help us with know the cause.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.


Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
Consultant Pulmonologist
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