Possible Pancoast Tumor?

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 21:11

Hi - I'd like to post this and see if anyone has any feedback because my mind has been going in loops. About a month ago I noticed a small swelling in my left armpit that was, and currently still is, painless - just seems like excess fluid. However, my armpit/shoulder felt tight, like I wanted to grab a doorframe and stretch. I would also get a bit on numbness/tingling in the left hand - mostly on and off throughout the day. When symptoms didn't abate after about a week-and-a-half I went to see my GP, who order an ultrasound to check for blood clots, which were not detected. He gave me five days' of prednisone.

A little over a week ago I went back to my GP when I started to have pain in the left shoulder area. It was/is mostly located in the left shoulder blade but will move down the left arm to the hand and sometimes up the left side of the neck. A couple of times I've felt it under the left collar bone, but only if I bend down or twist a certain way. I'd say the pain is about a 2/3 on a scale of 10. I have a follow up with an Orthopedist in a couple of days, hopefully will know more after.

I'm a 40 yo male, with approx. a 1.5 to 2 pack year history - quit smoking in 2005. Does anyone have any thoughts?
Thanks in advance!


JanineT Forum …

Hi JW and welcome to Grace. I'm sorry you're going through this but hopefully and probably this isn't cancer. There is so much going on anatomically in that area that the chances of a pancoast tumor are very low on the list of things causing your problem. Your GP is sending you to a specialist most likely able to find the culprit.
People who develop pancoast tumors are usually older, in their 60s, and have a longer smoking history.
Let us know if you have other questions and please let us know if you find out what is causing the pain and swelling.
All the best,


Thanks Janine! I really appreciate your feedback. Had the CT and it came back all clear, huge relief! Going the physical therapy route which has already made a big difference. Root cause of shoulder pain? Working theory now is I did something to tweak the shoulder, probably during golf or tennis, and it wasn't acute enough to notice, but I didn't give it enough time/attention to heal and continued to reaggravate the injury (live a very active life). Root cause of swelling? Who knows! Good news is it seems to be resolving.

JanineT Forum …

That is fantastic J_W! We really appreciate your follow-up. So many people find us through the same route you've taken/pinched nerve and like people with a cancer diagnosis it's important to find hope for something good.

I hope you're back on the links in no time.