Senior Care News

Symptoms of a Pancoast Tumor

Home Care Coconut Creek FL-As a Pancoast tumor begins to spread, it can cause pain in the shoulder and in other parts of the upper body, such as the arms, shoulder blades, and back. Other symptoms associated with a Pancoast tumor are discussed here.

A Pancoast tumor develops in the top portion of the lung, known as the apex. It can trigger several uncomfortable and painful symptoms when it grows large enough to invade the chest wall or spine. Unlike other cancers that develop in the lungs, Pancoast tumors rarely cause the coughing and shortness of breath that you may associate with other respiratory malignancies, even though a Pancoast tumor is a type of non-small cell lung cancer. Instead, if your loved one has a Pancoast tumor, he may experience sharp shoulder pain, arm pain, and muscle weakness. These symptoms show up because the tumor is placing pressure on a nearby nerve. Hiring home care providers is useful in that they may see these changes in your senior’s condition as they provide the help that your senior may need.

Home Care Pancoast Tumor – Symptoms of a Pancoast Tumor

While shoulder pain is a symptom of a Pancoast tumor, most shoulder pain is likely to be linked to an orthopedic injury. Shoulder discomfort that is related to lung cancer may worsen at night, be present while resting, or occur without impacting his range of motion. So, if your loved one doesn’t have a shoulder injury yet has a consistently painful shoulder that has been bothering him, you might want to discuss having him go to the doctor to get it examined. His home care provider can assist in making an appointment and/or bringing him to the clinic. Just let his home care team know what you need help with.

As the tumor begins to spread, it can also cause pain in other parts of the upper body, such as the arms, shoulder blades, and back. Other symptoms associated with a Pancoast tumor include:

  • Facial sweating-If you or your senior home care team have noticed your loved one looking flushed or having excessive facial sweating, his tumor might be pushing against a nerve in the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates many of the body’s involuntary actions.
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hand
  • Weakness or loss of coordination in the hand muscles
  • Loss of muscle tissue in the arm or hand
  • These symptoms can also be caused by the compression of a nerve.
  • Horner’s Syndrome-This condition results in decreased pupil size, drooping eyelids, and an inability to sweat, usually only on one side of the face. It happens when the tumor invades the sympathetic nervous system, which is the nerve pathway between the brain and the face that controls the body’s “flight or fight” response.

The most common risk factor for developing a Pancoast tumor is the same as any other lung cancer. Smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke can increase the risk of developing a Pancoast tumor once one gets older. Tobacco smoke allows carcinogens to enter the lungs, which can then trigger cells to grow and divide rapidly. When a cluster of abnormal cells gathers in the lungs, a Pancoast tumor can form.

Because Pancoast tumors are rarer than other lung cancers, they can be hard to diagnose. If your loved one develops shoulder pain and smokes, make sure you share that information with his physician so they can keep that in mind as they try to find the cause of your loved one’s pain.

If you or a family member need to hire Home Care Services in Coconut Creek FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. We provide service in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Margate, Pompano Beach, and Tamarac.

Stephen Sternbach

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