A Pancoast tumor is a relatively rare type of lung cancer—accounting for approximately 3% to 5% of all lung cancer cases—that begins growing in the rounded upper part of the lung and then spreads to nearby areas of the body. One of the primary symptoms of a Pancoast tumor is shoulder pain. As the tumor spreads throughout the body, pain often accompanies it. Depending on where the cancer has spread, someone with a Pancoast tumor may also experience pain in the:
- Upper back
- Shoulder blade area
Other Pancoast tumor symptoms
In addition to causing pain in the areas mentioned above, a Pancoast tumor can also lead to the following symptoms:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of sensation
- Flushing in the face
- Excessive facial sweating
Someone with a Pancoast tumor may also develop the symptoms of Horner’s syndrome, often including decreased pupil size and drooping eyelids. Interestingly, although a Pancoast tumor is a type of lung cancer, individuals with this condition typically don’t experience any respiratory symptoms.
Pancoast tumor treatment at Moffitt
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and are concerned about the possibility of having a Pancoast tumor, you can feel confident turning to the specialists at Moffitt Cancer Center. We have extensive experience treating Pancoast tumors using methods such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We take an individualized approach to patient care, and if it turns out that treatment is necessary, we’ll work with you to develop a specialized treatment plan that suits your specific needs.