Pancoast Tumors are a very rare form of lung cancer, which is why there is not a lot of information you can find about them. They account for about 5% of lung tumors.
Hopefully this information is helpful to you.
First and foremost, tumors can form in any part of the lungs.
When they grow in the upper portion of the lung, they’re called Pancoast tumors. However the tumor or tumors must be above the first rib to be considered a Pancoast tumor.
The tumor can spread into the ribs and affect nerves, blood vessels and the neck area.
Why tumors develop in this part of the lung is not known however exposure to radon gas, asbestos and smoking have been linked to Pancoast tumors.
Symptoms usually include shoulder, neck and upper back pain, which is why it’s often mistaken as some sort of an injury instead of lung cancer.
Other symptoms may include chest and arm pain or pain on the side where the tumor is located.
Sometimes the tumors can affect the nerves in the arm which can cause loss of motor skills and loss of muscle and function of the hand.
The combination of severe arm and shoulder pain caused by a Pancoast tumor is known as Horner’s Syndrome.
Atrophy of the small muscles of the hand is called Pancoast Syndrome.
Other symptoms a drooping eyelid on the side of the tumor, a fixed and/or constricted eye pupil, lack of facial sweating.
It’s rare, but Pancoast tumors can grow so large they can invade the spine and cause paralysis.
If you are experiencing symptoms, a chest X-ray, CT scan or MRI may be recommended.
If it turns out to be a Pancoast tumor, PET and MRI scans should be done to determine if the cancer has spread to the brain or elsewhere in the body.
Treatment of Pancoast tumors may require a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Unfortunately Pancoast tumors are often discovered after they’ve reached an advanced stage or have spread. But that doesn’t mean there is no hope. If any doctor or cancer center tells you that, it’s time to move on and check out all your treatment options with the top cancer doctors who aren’t afraid of taking on difficult cases, and who are highly experienced at treating complex cases.
Treatments can be done to ease patients pain, prolong life and quality of life.
At CyberKnife Miami we are among the most experienced radiation and oncology team worldwide and will work with your specialists including surgeons and oncologists.
We team up with your doctors and help guide you every step of the way to make sure you’re getting the best treatment options for your particular case to achieve the best outcome.
To request a consultation or an appointment at the CyberKnife Center Of Miami call 305-279-2900.
For more information on Lung Cancer go to the American Cancer Society’s website.