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Lung pain and cancer
Mar 2, 2001

Dear Doctor, Thanks for your help here. My question: My VL is undetectable, my CD4s are around 250, up from 79 a year ago. I have had a sharp pain in what feels like my right lung for over 6 months. The pain comes and goes, sometimes its in the front (behind my breast), sometimes its in the side (behind the ribs) and sometimes its in my back. It gets worse when lying in certain positions, and disappears when lying on my left side. It also seems to get a bit worse when I smoke. An x-ray shows what the doc says is scarring, but sputum tests show nothing. Doc says not to worry about it unless I start getting sick. This seems to me to be a rather laissez faire approach and I'm wondering whether you think this might be some kind of malignancy. In addition to the pain, I am often very stiff in the mornings and have a lot of lower back pain. Should I be worrying? Thanks again.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Given that your chest x-ray shows some scarring, the next step would probably be to have a chest CT scan. The CT scan might give a better idea of what's going on in your chest. Given that your symptoms have persisted for at least 6 months, I would probably pursue further evaluations at this point in time.

Elder woman with KS
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