Direct Impact

Concepts for which they have direct influence:

shoulder pain
pancoast tumor
overlooked etiology
lung cancer
respiratory symptoms
local invasion
oral analgesics

External impact

Concepts related to the work of other authors :

spine involvement
locally advanced pancoast
triple modality therapy
therapeutic modalities
incomplete resection
distant metastases
exclusion criteria

Pancoast Tumor: The Overlooked Etiology of Shoulder Pain in Smokers.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Shoulder pain is a common complaint in general practice and typically has an orthopedic or rheumatological etiology. However, it may be the presenting symptom of a serious underlying condition, such as lung cancer. CASE REPORT A 60-year-old man with a 30 pack-year history of smoking presented with worsening right shoulder pain over the last 6 months. He had no respiratory symptoms or weight change. He was seen at several general practice clinics and treated for a rotator cuff injury. However, his pain became severe, to the point that it affected his activities of daily living. A shoulder X-ray revealed opacity in the right apical zone. After a thorough investigation, the patient was found to have lung cancer with local invasion and intracranial metastases. However, in light of the advanced stage of the disease, a palliative approach was taken. The patient remained on multiple oral analgesics for the control of his pain. CONCLUSIONS The present case shows that common symptoms such as shoulder pain can be indicative of serious underlying pathology. Physicians should remain alert and maintain a high index of suspicion for Pancoast tumor in patients who are heavy smokers. Furthermore, a chest X-ray needs to be performed in elderly patients and smokers with shoulder pain.


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