Pancoast Tumor Shoulder and arm pain

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer Work-Up/Staging of Lung Cancer Pancoast Tumor Shoulder and arm pain

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by catdander forum moderator catdander forum moderator 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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June 19, 2018 at 7:34 am  #1294637    

ggtz702

II’ve been battling sever left shoulder and arm pain for nearly 3 years now. I was sent to an orthopedic doc who found my left shoulder all messed up and it needed repair. So, we went and had that done in Dec 2017. Wow, my shoulder is much better and the problems that I was having with that shoulder are now great. I still have this pain running down my left arm to my small and ring finger. A week or so ago this got to hurting to the triple bad F word of hurt. Man, that was bad but it has decreased to a tolerable level but still is hurting. Ther pain in my left arm never goes away but is constantly hurting too. I’m also noting that when I eat certain foods like breads, meats (pot roast, chicken or breads) that I choke and that that hurts really badly too. Its like the food won’t go down to the stomach and it hurts right in the middle of my chest. I try to drink some water to flush it down but then I start to choke because it feels like its all stuck half way and it hurts. I have to sit and wait for the food to go down and let the pain subside before attempting another bite of food. Dam, that hurts and I’m so tired of this. I’m worried all my doctors are missing something. How can I find a doctor that will do a check for this? I’m fearful of this. I don’t want to self-diagnose and undercut my docs but dam I think their missing the boat here and I’m worried. I’m searching for help. Someone please help me. I asking for some help with this. I’m scared.

June 19, 2018 at 11:15 am  #1294638    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi ggtz702,

Welcome to GRACE. I’m sorry to hear about your symptoms. You haven’t mentioned your age and smoking history, but your symptoms don’t strongly suggest a pancoast tumor, and cancer pain does not usually subside as you’ve described, it just gets worse.

A CT scan of your chest that fails to show a pancoast tumor would essentially rule out that possibility.

I hope that further workup with your doctors will reveal the cause of your symptoms, and that the appropriate intervention will provide relief.

JimC
Forum moderator


Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

June 20, 2018 at 8:03 am  #1294643    

ggtz702

I’m 60 years old and smoke. Have for 45 years. The pain never goes away but increases in severity by the big bad oh my god F word of hurt. Dam it hurts. It is constant but seem to increase in intensity to the upteenth level of F that hurts. Everyone says it doesn’t change but mine seems to. How do I get my doctors to look for this? I don’t know what to do. I’ve been coughing up some chunks of blood in my spit in the mornings while I shower. My spit is not rust colored but sometimes contains chunks of blood. The pain in my shoulder and down my arm is constant but seems to build to the umteenth level of pain that I have never had before. I had surgery of shoulder repair to the joint and they thought this was the cause of my arm pain but is back with a vengeance. I’m scared this just might be a tumor of some sort. I had several CT last year and they didnt see anything alarming enough to warrant anything else. However this is getting worse and I’m not due to have another CT until October. I’m definitely worried. This hurts. Damm it hurts.

June 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm  #1294644    

cards7up

If this was a tumor, the CT would’ve shown it by now. It would be a good size tumor in order to cause you pain. And it wouldn’t have gone a couple of years without detection, as it would’ve continued to grow and likely progress to other areas of your body. This doesn’t sound like cancer, but since you’re a smoker ask to be referred to a pulmonologist. They’ll know what to do. Good luck!
Take care, Judy


Stage IIIA adeno, dx 7/2010. SRS then chemo carbo/alimta 4x. NED as of 10/2011.
Local recurrence, surgery to remove LRL 8/29/13. 5.2cm involved pleura. Chemo carbo/alimta x3. NED

June 21, 2018 at 9:17 am  #1294646    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

ggtz702,

I’m sorry you’re feeling such pain, and I’m also sorry if I misread your post, thinking that your pain had improved. I agree completely with Judy that if this is cancer that is causing such significant symptoms, it would have shown on a CT and would probably be causing additional symptoms by now. I hope that a pulmonologist or other medical professional can help you, and soon. In the meantime, perhaps a consultation with a pain specialist can help you find some relief from your pain.

JimC
Forum moderator


Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

June 22, 2018 at 3:10 pm  #1294650    

ggtz702

My worry

My left arm pain is significant. Enough to make me go the doc and ask for help. He ordered an MRI of my neck thinking this is the problem. My wonderful insurance denied the scan. So, here I’m sitting here going crazy over this.

Over the past two years the pulmonologist has done a few CT of my lungs. He did find a renal cyst in my right lung that that has closed the airway to the middle lobe of my right lung. The reviewer noted in the report that middle lobe shows “consolidation/collapse”. The cyst is about 10mm in size. My right lung has had numerous infections and I’m on antibiotics regularly because I’m always coughing up green crap. In the past few weeks I’ve started to see what looks like chunks of red blood in that goo. While coughing my lungs hurt. I’m also having difficultly swallowing and that creates a wonderful time eating. It hurts too.

My left arm/shoulder/shoulder blade area does hurt and it is somewhat constant but about once a week it gets to the extremely bad F word level. So, Here I’am trying to help myself but I’m not a doctor and I dont want to play doc but I have to if I’m not getting anywhere.

Everyone – I’m afraid.

June 22, 2018 at 3:37 pm  #1294651    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

I’m sorry we aren’t in the position to help. If I were coughing up chunks of bloody gunk I’d see a pulmonologist. It that pulmonologist sent me home without a plan I’d see another pulmonologist in another group preferably someone at a large teaching hospital. I hope you find help.

Best hopes,
Janine

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