Pancoast Tumour foam in the top part of lung called apex and invading the surrounding soft tissues. This type of lung cancer is difficult to treat because of its close proximity to adjacent structures such as the subclavian vessels, lymphatic system, brachial plexus, spine, second and third ribs, stellate ganglion, and sympathetic nervous system. Pancoast tumour usually diagnosed late or misdiagnosed.
Another name of Pancoast Tumour is superior pulmonary sulcus tumours. In 1932 this cancer is named after American doctor Professor Henry Pancoast. This cancer is very rear type of cancer and only 5 out of 100 cancer patients are of Lung Pancoast Tumour.
This tumour can spread on other top part of lung such as the first ribs in the chest; the bundle of nerves that sends signals from the spinal cord to the arm, shoulder and hand; blood vessels that supply blood to the arms; upper part of the back.
Types of Lung Pancoast Tumour
Subtypes of Pancoast tumours include:
- Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer;
Symptoms of Lung Pancoast Tumour
As Pancoast Tumor is at the top of lung it might damage or put pressure on neck and arms nerves called brachial plexus. Pressure on the brachial plexus can cause specific symptoms:
- Arm pain and weakness of the arm in the affected area;
- Severe pain in the shoulder;
- Neck Pain;
- Tightness in your chest;
- Pain in your upper ribs;
- Tiredness (fatigue);
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Upper arm swelling;
- Tingling or numbness in your hand;
- Loss of dexterity in your hand and fingers;
- Lack of sweat;
- Facial flushing;
- One eye has a smaller pupil;
- Drooping or weak eyelid.
How to Diagnose Lung Pancoast Tumour
Pancoast tumour is difficult to diagnose because it is not readily visible on X-rays in the early stages. To diagnose this cancer you need following test:
- CT, MRI or PET-CT scan;
- Needle biopsy;
- Biopsy through a small cut in the chest wall (small thoracotomy);
- Biopsy through a video assisted thoracoscopy surgery (VATS).
Treatment for Lung Pancoast Tumour
Pancoast tumour treatment depends on its exact location on the lung, the stage of the lung cancer, whether it has spread to other parts of the lung, and the general health of the patient. Generally following treatment are include:
- Chemoimmunotherapy and surgery;
- Chemoradiation and surgery;
- Chemoradiation and immunotherapy;
- Targeted treatment;
- Radiation therapy.
Lung Pancoast Tumour is difficult to treat because diagnosed late or misdiagnosed or close to the adjacent structure of lung. But with proper treatment and care it is curable.
The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only and is certainly not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner for any medical needs.