The subtitle for this is “why you need a relationship with a good doctor.”
We all get shoulder pain — serious pain, not a minor ache that aspirin or ibuprofen can resolve. We lift something heavy, it slips, and we pull a muscle or perhaps tear a ligament. We’ve all done it, and we’ll probably do it again. Humans don’t learn from mistakes; we repeat them. Isn’t being human fun?
I hurt therefore I am, to twist a famous philosopher.
However, sometimes you get shoulder pain where there is no obvious explanation. You slept in a bad position? Maybe, but maybe not.
Unexplained shoulder pain can be a sign of a tumor — yes the c-word — someplace in your body. It could be in your shoulder, or in an organ like the pancreas.
This isn’t something you can put off. If it’s cancer, how fast it’s diagnosed and treated could make a huge difference in whether you stay alive. For example, if pancreatic cancer is highly localized, the five-year survival rate with average care is 37%. Let it spread a little, and that drops to 12%. With metastasis, it falls to 3%. With best care, your odds improve. In rural areas, the numbers are probably worse. Diagnosis and treatment is time critical.
If there is something going on with your body that you can’t explain, you need to seek medical attention ASAP.