Pancoast tumor treatment options often include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Nutritional therapy and mind-body medicine can also be used as forms of supportive care treatments. When patients are able to sustain a more intensive treatment regimen, physicians often recommend a combination of two or more treatments. This approach, known as multimodality treatment, has been shown to provide the most favorable chances of survival and cure while minimizing the likelihood of a future recurrence. When creating a Pancoast tumor treatment plan, a physician will first determine if the patient is eligible for surgery. If the cancer has not spread extensively throughout the body (and meets other certain criteria), surgery may be an option. A chest wall resection is the most commonly used approach, although surgeons may use a different method if they need to address an atypical growth or a tumor that has started to spread to other parts of the body. If surgery is deemed appropriate, physicians may then recommend initial chemotherapy possibly with radiation therapy in addition to the operation, often followed by postoperative additional treatment. This helps ensure that any remaining cancer cells are killed. If surgery is not an option, a physician may still recommend radiation therapy and chemotherapy to help with symptom control.
In addition to conventional treatments, patients may also wish to explore supportive care options to help manage their symptoms, strengthen their bodies and improve their overall quality of life. Pancoast tumor treatment options include:
- Nutritional therapy
- Massage therapy
- Yoga and/or meditation
- Emotional and spiritual support
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we take a highly individualized approach to Pancoast tumor treatment. Not only do we offer innovative surgery, chemotherapy drugs, radiation therapy delivery techniques and complementary care options, but we design individualized treatment plans to meet each patient’s unique needs. Throughout each patient’s journey, their treatment plan will be reviewed by our comprehensive tumor board, which will make evidence-based recommendations for the most appropriate next steps.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lary Robinson.