Pancoast cancer

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Irayya
Pancoast cancer

Hi all,

I am 43 years old and have history of smoking for 15 years with 4 cigarettes per day.And I have stopped smoking from past one year.I am experiencing Pain in my right shoulder blade and chest pain from past 3 months.Recently pain is radiating to right hand too.Mild pain is always there which is disturbing me a lot.I went through internet about my symptoms and have a fear that I might have pancoast cancer.

I have got Chest x-ray,CT scan and MRI scan done. Scars of bilateral pleural thickening is noted and calci node if 3 mm on my right lung.Apart from this Nerve C4 C5 nerve is bit compressed.

Doctor says my report us normal.But still I feel that I might have pancoast and might be undiagnosed.Am not able to divert myself from the pain and pain reliever is not helping.Please suggest what should be done.I might have pancoast? 

Thanks.

 

Jim C Forum Mod...
Jim C Forum Moderator's picture
Pancoast cancer

Hi Irayya,

 

Welcome to GRACE. I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this pain, and I understand your desire to pinpoint the cause and find a resolution. Although  you have a smoking history, it is not one which would be considered heavy. That history is quantified in "pack-years", which correspond to the number of packs smoked per day times the number of years smoked. Under that standard formula, your smoking history totals just 3 pack years. Although any cigarette use increases the chance of developing lung cancer, in most cases it is heavier use over a longer period of time which is the cause for the most concern.

 

Your smoking history aside, it is unlikely that you would have a pancoast tumor at your age. The mutations which eventually lead to lung cancer accumulate over many years; as a result most patients are diagnosed at more advanced ages. In addition, you've had a chest x-ray and CT, and it is extremely unlikely that such scans would not show a pancoast tumor, especially one which is causing significant symptoms. Finally, cancer pain does not tend to wax and wane over a period of time, but rather it worsens as the days pass. 

 

Since you've already had the scans which would be recommended if a pancoast tumor were suspected, I would suggest that you try not to worry about such a diagnosis, as it is very unlikely. I hope that further medical follow-up will reveal the true cause of your pain and lead to treatment which will resolve that pain. If you haven't already done so, a consultation with an orthopedic specialist might be a good next step.

 

Jim C Forum Moderator