Pancoast Tumor


Hello everyone,
I have worried myself sick thinking that I have a Pancoast tumor/ am in the early stages, thanks to Google. Any help would be greatly appreciated. For reference, I'm a 38 year old female. I smoked on and off for 10ish years but have quit awhile back. I'm having an uncomfortable pain on the left beside my arm pit on my chest. It comes and goes and is not a severe pain. I can feel a tingling sensation going down the inside of my arm which makes my pinky and ring finger numb. It happens several times a day. I also wake up a few times a week from a dead sleep because my hand is numb. It does seem to happen when my elbow is bent, so I guess it could be a pinched nerve. It seems from my readings that a lot of times it is misdiagnosed for nerve pain in the early stages. Please help. I have a doctors appointment on Friday but I have been burned by doctors in the past that are too dismissive.

JanineT GRACE …
Posts: 633
GRACE Community Outreach Team

A doctor wouldn't nor shouldn't suspect a pancoast tumor with the info you've given.  It's like being in Colorado and hearing hoof beats and assuming it is zebras and not horses.  The obvious diagnosis is where doctors start the process of diagnosis.  The good thing about a pancoast is that it will cause excruciating pain before it metastases, unlike other lung cancer tumors.


I hope you get this squared away with PT.  Let us know if you have more questions.

Take care,


I joined GRACE as a caregiver for my husband who had a Pancoast tumor, NSCLC stage III in 2009. He had curative chemo/rads then it was believed he had a recurrence in the spine/oligometastasis that was radiated. He's 10 years out from treatment.