My mother in law was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer last week. Up until this point, no one had a clue as to her condition. The only classic symptom she had was a slight cough, so I thought. In the process of trying to educate myself I came across Pancoast's Syndrome. Now let me explain. In 2004 my mother in law was having a problem with her arm. A pain starting at her shoulder and going down her arm to her fingers making them numb. She went to the doctor he said she had a pinched nerve. She went to the Chiropractor as suggested by her doctor to get some relief. She did this for about 6 months with no relief. She went to see another doctor who told her she had an ailment, which I really don't remeber the name of right now. He told her that he would have to scrape the nerves in her elbow, ( which is where he said the pain was actually coming from) much like some doctors do for CTS. She had this done in July 2005. It did not work.
My question to you is, after the doctor performed all of these tests, did the surgery(with no relief) and then told her she would have to live with it, knowing that she was a heavy smoker, giving her an antibiotic to make sure her lungs were clear because she had a cough that Pancoast's Syndrome would not have come to mind?
I saw an instant connection.
Since your mother in law was a heavy smoker,so this kind of symptoms could have been due to cigarette smoking and its effects on the lungs.Cigarette smoking is the most important cause of lung carcinoma and pancoast syndrome.
Did you get any x-ray or CT chest done at that time?Pancoast tumors show up in these two.For any type of pain in the shoulders,chest or arm along with numbness,the first possibilities that are to be ruled out are cardiac,lung and GI causes because they might turn out to be more serious.Then muscle strain or pinched nerves are to be looked for as they are not immediately life threatening and are treatable.
Hope I have provided you with sufficient information. In case you have any additional queries, then pls post us.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how your mother in law is doing.
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