O05 A case of cancer mimicking inflammatory arthritis

Imaging of the head and neck confirmed a mass in the oropharynx, tonsils, and tongue muscles. Subsequent biopsy revealed moderate to poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the left tonsil.

These cancers can cause pain, swelling, and limping at the hip, along with other symptoms including unexplained weight loss, swollen lymph glands, fever, and fatigue.

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Types of Bone Cancer

In half of all bone cancer patients, this pain often lasts less than 15 minutes. Breakthrough pain can also be due to cancer treatments including:

If you have bone cancer in the hip, you may experience cancer-related fatigue. Between 80% and 100% of people with cancer feel this extreme tiredness or lack of energy. It can make completing daily tasks like brushing your teeth feel as exhausting as running a marathon. While rest is important with any disease, adequate rest doesn’t always provide relief from bone pain.

Hip cancer symptoms often include pain and can overlap with more likely causes like an injury, overuse, or a chronic condition like arthritis. But pain isn’t always present, and other hip cancer symptoms include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes. Numbness and tingling from nerve damage are common.

O05 A case of cancer mimicking inflammatory arthritis

Arthritis Or Cancer On Bone Scan

For patients with rheumatic disease and active or previous cancer, clinical decision-making should carefully weigh up the risks and benefits of treatments for both conditions. Therapeutic options should be considered between rheumatologist, oncologist, and patient, taking into account prognosis, quality of life and patient choice.

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Swelling

Pain in the hip bone can be an indication of a tumor in the hip, but there are often other explanations for hip pain. Correctly diagnosing hip pain can be difficult because the hip joint is complex and deeply buried in the body. These factors make it difficult for healthcare providers to pinpoint the correct cause of the pain. Some common causes of hip pain are:

The reasons for fatigue caused by cancer aren’t fully known. However, researchers suspect it is triggered by a change in hormone or protein levels that are linked to inflammation or caused by toxins produced by the cancer itself. Some cancer treatments also cause fatigue.

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These symptoms affect roughly 30% of people diagnosed with cancer, and can include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, and fatigue. In severe cases, hypercalcemia can cause seizures, coma, or even cardiac arrest.

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Other Symptoms

Our patient had symptoms of inflammatory arthritis prior to identification of a SCC with local spread; however, his systemic and musculoskeletal features were initially regarded as paraneoplastic.

It’s also important to tell your provider about symptoms that are more likely to occur with cancer, including swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.

In addition to limping due to hip cancer, other symptoms can include:

What Are the Symptoms of Bone Cancer in the Hip

Types of Bone Cancer

We present an unusual case of rheumatoid arthritis where, conversely, the diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis was delayed due to the attribution of musculoskeletal symptoms to existing malignancy undergoing treatment.

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Abstract

Many conditions can lead to these symptoms, and the likelihood of hip pain being cancerous is very low. But if pain persists or worsens, or you are experiencing other cancer-related symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology.

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