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Pancoast Tumor Possible Stage IV


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I sent you an email. I am a 5 yr survivor of a Pancoast Tumor. It is a tumor in the apex of the lung , way up the top. It presses on vessels and nerves and caused weird symptoms. A Doctor named Pancoast described the symptoms or "syndrome" so they named tumors found in the apex of the lung after him "Pancoast Tumor"

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I looked at your profile, but didn't find where you are from. A colleague of a good friend was diagnosed with a Pancoast Tumor in November, 2002. I had never heard of it, so asked for clarification.

About a week ago he had a lobectomy of the upper portion of his left lung for his pancoast tumor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. His surgeon was Dr. Doug Wood, Chief Thorasic surgeon at the UWMC. After diagnosis and before surgery, he underwent both chemo and radiation. In his case, a PET scan following the chemo and rad showed no other involvement at that time, so he was eligible for the surgery. Reports are that he is doing very well!:D

He provided me the following additional information on Pancoast Tumor, and it might be of help to someone out there:

The "pancoast tumor", is very typically linked to smokers. Even though I quit over 5 years ago, it appears it was a case of "too little too late". Pancoast tumors normally appear in the Upper Lung area, near the spine. They are usually diagnosed with patients experiencing pain in their necks or "tingling sensations" in arms and hands. Sometimes it also shows itself via "Horners Syndrome", which is one of the early detectable signs that my GP was able to evaluate. Horners Syndrome normally affects the muscles in or around your eyes. Mine in particular appeared as a "lazy eye-lid" with reduced pupil dilation in the left eye.

Best of luck to you in your search. Keep us updated if you can. :)[/u]

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Guest DaveG

It certainly looks like you found what you were looking for. I also see Donna contacted you. (Thank you Donna :):):) )

This is what this board is all about, support and survival.

Hang around, and before you know it, you will be the "expert", giving advice and support to others. :):):)

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The description of the pancoast tumor sounded very much like what my sister has. So I did some research on it. Saw my sister today and asked her if any of the doctors had called it that. She said no. It seems to me that for a surgeon to be willing to operate on one of these he/she would really need to be familiar with its presentation. If the oncologists concurs on Thursday that this is a pancoast tumor, does anyone have an idea of how to proceed.

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I think a Pancoast tumor is a superior sulcus tumor that produces certain symptoms. Superior sulcus describes the location at the very top of the lung. Horner Syndrome produces other symptoms. I'm not sure what the differences are, altho it seems someone said if there was pain in the arm (the same side as tumor) then it was a Pancoast.

I had a tumor in that position. After chemo-radiation it was surgically removed. My surgeon had done this surgery before, but I don't know how many he did. The skill of the surgeon is of utmost importance, as this is a very tricky procedure!

Hope I haven't just confused you more.

Good luck, JudyB

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