Pancoast Tumor

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Pancoast Tumor


60 year old female. Occasionally smoked in my younger years. Maybe 2 packs in a year. Developed shoulder and chest wall and radiates to scapula. I do have scoliosis and joint pain.  I am a nurse and the pain was stressing me.  I went to ED and the did a CT SCAN of chest non contrast. No chest xray or shoulder X-ray.Other than a micronodule and a bulla (both unchanged since 2013 ct scan) and thyroid nodules I'm aware of and are benign) nothing abnormal. Symptons match pancoast so I'm wondering if ct without contrast would have shown this if present.   Thank you very much

JanineT Forum M...
Hi Wileysmolly, Welcome to

Hi Wileysmolly,


Welcome to Grace.  I'm sorry you're having so much pain.  I imagine there's already a lot of stress with the added concern for the virus.  I'm sorry I didn't post your thread sooner, it was an accident. 


A CT without contrast would still pick up a pancoast tumor large enough to cause that kind of pain.  It has to grow out of the lung and reach into the chest wall which is where the pain comes from.  Definitely larger than 3mm, the size limit typically attributed to a lung micronodule. 


Usually, pancoast tumors are caused by smoking, a squamous cell carcinoma.  2 packs in a year probably wouldn't cause mutations enough to cause lung cancer.  

It's 100s of times more likely that this is orthopedic in origin than a pancoast tumor.  I don't know why google insist on giving it so much play. 


I hope you get this straightened out and pain is soon gone.

Be Safe,