pancoast tumour

Fri, 12/10/2021 - 08:11

I am a 63 yr old non smoker. I had breast cancer 20 yrs ago. Chemo radiation and have been doing well . I recently have pain in the base of my neck and left clavicle it goes down to the top of my hand and i feel a pinch. I have no pins, needles or muscle weakness. My shoulder and neck pain dare relieved when I'm walking or lying down, also by a hot shower. I am scheduled for an MRI in 3 weeks until then I'm so nervous worried its a pan coast tumor. Anybody know if these a symptoms?

JanineT GRACE …
Posts: 586
GRACE Community Outreach Team

Hi rednancys,

Welcome to Grace. First congrats on being well 20 years out from breast cancer, chemo, and radiation. My niece is just on the other side of the same plus mastectomy. It's been a long difficult haul and she is well. I'm sorry you've been through so much and for this new scare. My husband and I know of these pains you've an odd sort of way. I've had these pains for the better part of my life depending on my physical activity so when my husband started having them I thought they were the same cervical pains I'd always had. However, his was a pancoast tumor. That was 2009 and he has since recovered. The point is there are many things that could be causing the pain that's a complicated area that gets lots of use.

Something to keep in mind is an MRI focuses on a small area that would probably not miss the tumor but it can and did with my husband. They weren't looking for a pancoast tumor they were looking for other more obvious more probable issues. The CT did not and would not miss it. What the MRI would pick up is small structural damages that are most likely the cause and an appropriate next step. I would let your doc know your worries so you're both on the same page.

This post from Dr. Weiss with the exception of the poster's age the message fits, "While Pancoast tumor is on the long list of things that can cause shoulder and back pain, it's rather far down that list in a young never smoker. As a general principal, primary care physicians treat new musculoskeletal pain with conservative maneuvers (like ice/heat, physical therapy, advil). However, if any symptom does not get better or gets worse, the best doctors then ask, "what else?" and evaluate further (for example, with imaging). In general, it is a good idea to see one's primary care doctor for new pain and symptoms."…

I hope you find the cause and remedy.
Best of luck,

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.

In reply to by JanineT GRACE …

Posts: 2

Thank you Janine for your prompt reply. So glad to hear your your husband has recovered that gives me hope. I am having my mri on Thursday. Will update you. So nice to have someone that understands I can talk to. Thanks, Nancy