Upper back pain or pain near the shoulder area can be a symptom of Horner Syndrome, which is often caused by lung cancer, as the American Cancer Society explains. Back pain is also associated with the spreading of cancer throughout the lungs or upper torso.
In the early stages of lung cancer, chest pain is more prominent, notes the American Cancer Society. Other symptoms include a persistent cough, pneumonia that does not go away and coughing up blood. These are also symptoms of severe bronchitis and respiratory disorders. A thorough examination, including imaging scans and blood testing, must be completed for a proper diagnosis.