my father has lung cancer, which has been more or less stabilized with IRESSA. The tumor resides in the right lung, the left lung is clean. It has been almost 3 years now, since he was diagnosed with stage 3.
It seems as if the tissue from the right lung is dying off, and the lung is shrinking and losing it's flexibility (I guess tissue is being replaced by scar-like tissue. Thus it is pulling on the shoulder from the inside, causing pain when my father wants to use his right arm. He uses paracetamol and is planning on getting physiotherapy. That should help, but it is likely to get worse over time.
My question does not concern pain relief as much as how can we keep the pain from coming? Is there a way to challenge the tissue to stop shrinking?
I can not answer your question about a way to stop shrinking the lung. However, shoulder pain can be addressed. First of all, he needs assessment of shoulder pain. If the shoulder pain is localized and rotator cuff are is causing the pain, I would recommend to optimize pain medication to match the intensity of pain. However, a simple least complicated diagnostic suprascapular nerve block with local anesthetic might be helpful to determine if the origin of the pain is from the diaphragm or from the shoulder. If the pain origin is from shoulder, he should get very good relief of pain with this block for several hours. If there is no relief of pain, presuming the deposit of local anesthetic is on the right spot, we can conclude the origin of pain not from shoulder and treated for nerve type of pain.
If the diagnostic block works, then a block that could last long (for months) can be performed. I recommend to get him evaluated in a good pain clinic.