Four patients with small cell lung cancer (SCC) presenting with Pancoast's syndrome are described. Superior sulcus tumors are usually caused by epidermoid carcinoma or adenocarcinoma of the lung, and are routinely treated with radiotherapy followed by radical surgery. SCC, on the other hand, is widely disseminated at diagnosis and is best treated with chemotherapy. Although not previously reported as a cause of Pancoast's tumor, these four cases of SCC presenting as such clearly indicate the need for pretreatment histologic diagnosis to avoid unneccessary surgical intervention. Transcutaneous needle aspiration biopsy is a means by which the diagnosis can be safely made in patients presenting with apical lung tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine