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Pancoast Tumor
Hello,

About 2 months ago I woke up with a burning pain in my right arm. My right shoulder, arm, and upper right front part of my chest also began to ache (feel sore) and I felt numbness in my 4th and 5th finger. I thought I had maybe slept on my arm wrong (I sleep on my stomach with my arm over my head) and tried to wait for it to go away. The burning pain went away and the numbness in my 4th and 5th fingers is now gone. However, my shoulder and arm still feel sore. I also feel like my right arm is weak but it is most likely perceived since I can use the arm like normal.

The following tests have been done by my doc or in the ER: right shoulder x-ray (which also showed lunch apex) and ultrasound, spine X-ray (done by my chiro which also showed lung apex) 3 chest xrays, EMG of my right arm, and MRI of my cervical/lumbar spine and brain MRI. Everything has some back 100% normal except a finding of mild carpal tunnel in my right arm. I do have pinched nerves in my lumbar spine but no pinched nerves were found in my cervical spine.

My doctor will not give me a Chest CT even though I worry about the right arm, shoulder discomfort/soreness (the pain is not unrelenting and does not require narcotics). He believes it is muscular. He says that one of my xays would have showed a tumor that was pressing on something, especially since I am presenting with neuro symptoms.

I have unfortunately read alot about Pancoast (I know Dr. Google is bad!) and know that xrays commonly miss tumors in the apex of the lungs. I know that as a 33 year old non-smoker my chances of lung cancer are also decreased. However, I do know that lung cancer hits people much younger then me and people who are non-smokers.

Should I trust my doctor, pay for a CT scan on my own, get a second opinion?


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Avatar universal
I know this is months later but hope I can help. I was mid diagnosed for months. I had symptoms similar to your. Then one day I woke up and one of my pupils was smaller than the other. It was then that I was finally diagnosed with a Pancoast Tumor with Horners Syndrome. The tumor did not show up in any X-rays. Do not listen to your doctors. Insist on a cat scan of the lungs and brachial plexus. If caught early enough. The surgery is not as bad. This is a very serious condition and misdiagnosed too often. Please let me know how you are doing now.
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