Concerned about shoulder pain/Pancoast cancer - 1293731

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 09:33

Hello -
About a week ago I woke up and had a pain in my upper front left shoulder. I had no injury and it was sudden I was fine the day before and woke up with the pain. It sometimes radiates to the back of my shoulder and occasionally I have a little numbness in my arm and sometimes my fingers. It doesn't hurt when resting or lying down but the pain is still there with certain movements. My questions are is the pain associated with Pancoast sudden like what I experienced and is the pain associated usually constant? My main concern is how sudden the pain was I literally woke up and it was there and I'm not sure why. I really appreciate any help with my questions that I can get .... thank you very much!

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Welcome to Grace. I'm sorry you have this worry. A pancoast tumor would be among the last things a doctor would suspect your pain to be. As an example my husband had a pancoast tumor and I have cervical vertebra issues. Some of the symptoms are similar because the pain often comes from nerve irritation in the brachial plexus. The important difference is that nerve irritation is a very common problem in that area and the vast majority comes from non cancer related reasons. You just don't want the irritation to linger or get worse or do things that make it worse without seeing a doctor. In the past several weeks I've experienced the symptoms you describe which have been a pretty common visitor in my life for as long as I can remember.

The following is not medical advice. I'm just sharing what has helped me. You should always see a doctor for medical advice and proper workup. With that said, I found a couple of physical therapists online who explain some of the physiology and suggest a few simple exercises (mostly posture oriented). I like them because they are very careful to emphasize safety.

All best,


Thank you very much. I have been concerned about the pain the last week or so. Mostly because the suddenness of it and no injury to cause the pain. I have a friend who passed away from Cancer and the pain that started his initial Dr. visit when he found out it was cancer was similar to what I have been feeling, so naturally I became concerned. I was going back and forth about going to the Dr. to see if the pain would go away but so far it is still there.