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New and scared


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Short story here is that I really think I have a Pancoast tumor - pain in the back of my left shoulder area, it's spreading down my left arm and down the top of the forearm to the wrist. The pain has been noticeable for several weeks but it has definitely gotten worse over the last 2 weeks. In looking back it's probably been there much longer but was intermittent and something that i would have put down to posture and sleeping positions. 

I saw my primary care physician on 3/20 and he ordered neck and shoulder x-rays - the shoulder x-ray reported a "normal impression" .. "no bone or joint pathology. No abnormal soft tissue calcification". The neck/spine X-ray indicated "spondylosis" and "degenerative changes with foraminal impingement" - a pinched nerve according to doctor. I went back to see him a few days ago and let him know that I'm noticing weakness in my left arm and some weight loss too. I mentioned my concern about a Pancoast tumor (  I just turned 50 and I quit smoking 7 years ago after 25+ years ) and he said he didn't think so (because the shoulder x-ray was ok?) but he still wanted to give me a chest x-ray while I was there - however the in-house tech refused to do it out of fear of Covid - even though I have no symptoms of that - I overheard her say that she wasn't going to risk her life by having me be in close proximity. Anyway he came back then with a prescription for a CT of the chest w/wo contrast and I'm scheduled for that tomorrow morning at another facility.

The only thing keeping me going right now is that the shoulder x-ray was normal ... i have to think that if there was a pancoast tumor large enough to cause pain that it would have shown up on that x-ray as long as the radiologist was competent to look at whole picture.

Sorry for the rambling here, I'm just really scared at the moment and wanted to put this out there into the world as a lifeline. Hopefully it will make me feel better.

 I don't know. The next few days are going to be long. I pray that I'm OK. 

God bless you all.






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Welcome here. I tend to agree with your reasoning about an x-ray find. But CT should be definitive. 

We are all frightened by this disease. Let’s hope the CT result eliminates fear. 

Stay the course. 


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  • 3 weeks later...


I've been off the board for a while and just read your first post.  Were you able to get the CT Scan and, if so, was anything found?  Post when you can.


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