Pancoast tumor? - 1263092

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caleah30
Pancoast tumor? - 1263092

Hello, I am a 30 year old female that has a background of smoking. My left shoulder has been giving me lots of pain for about a month and it intends to travel down arm affecting pinky and ring finger. Occasionally, my other shoulder hurts but nowhere close to the left one. My upper back hurts at times as well. I am scared and want to know if this could be a sign of pancoast??? Any information would be helpful as I have been to doctor twice and they have diagnosed pinched nerve or stress/anxiety. Please help....

A concerned woman,

Leah

JimC
Reply To: Pancoast tumor???

Hello Leah,

Welcome to GRACE. Although shoulder pain can be a symptom of a pancoast tumor, there are many other, more common causes which should be investigated. If the pain persists, you may want to ask your doctor to order a chest CT, and as Dr. West has said:

"It’s extremely unlikely that someone in their 30s would get lung cancer. Not impossible, but probably 1 in 1000 or more patients with lung cancer is that young. The upper lung is definitely viewed in a chest CT, so I would consider it extraordinarily unlikely that you could have a Pancoast tumor without a lung tumor being visible on a chest CT." - http://cancergrace.org/topic/questions-about-imaging-and-symptoms-of-pan...

I hope you can get relief from your pain soon.

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>

Dr West
Reply To: Pancoast tumor???

One of our most common questions here is from young people who think they have Pancoast tumors based on looking it up online as a possible explanation for shoulder pain. In the vast majority of cases, that's way off. Based on how often we get the question, some online search result is causing everyone with shoulder pain to become convinced that a Pancoast tumor is the most common cause, regardless of age or smoking history.

Good luck. I think you have good reason to be optimistic that a Pancoast tumor is NOT the cause.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

caleah30
Reply To: Pancoast tumor???

Thank you Dr. West and JimC for replying to my post. I really appreciate all information and advice given. I will follow up with a doctor to further investigate ongoing issue. However, your advice still settle my immediate anxiety. Thank you!!

Sincerely,

Leah