Pancoast tumor--please please help!
My mother has what we are guessing is a Pancoast tumor near the apex of her left lung. He original diagnoses was breast cancer back in February, she had a spot in her left breast not detected by mammo., only MRI. She also had swelling of her left arm for unknown reasons until they found this tumor near her collar bone they told us. They said it was not possible to operate at the time, did chemo., radiation, more chemo., & now within the last 3 weeks her arm has swelled way worse & causes her extreme pain. Now everything else back then was also clear, lymph nodes were clear, PET scans, MRI's, CT's, etc. all showed nothing else in the rest of her body from head to toe basically. Now all of the sudden they are acting all grim, saying that a recent CT shows that the tumor doesn't seem to have responded at all, yet after the radiation they said it had "flattened" & gotten smaller! So a cardio-thoracic surgeon ordered an MRI to see if they think they can operate on it at all. Everything I read about these tumors say they SHOULD operate! We are waiting for the results, she just had it today. I don't understand why if she is basically clear everywhere else, why would they just give up & let her die?? She & my dad know the risks, she's already lost the use of her arm from the pain & swelling, she doesn't care if she ends up paralyzed there, etc., she's willing to take ANY risk. She's only 51! And never smoked a day in her life! Anyone else have experience at all with this type of tumor? Please let me know what we can do. Thank you- Melissa.