What are the symptoms of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) due to locoregional spread?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Symptoms due to locoregional spread can include superior vena cava obstruction, paralysis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, and phrenic nerve palsy, causing hoarseness and paralysis of the diaphragm; pressure on the sympathetic plexus, causing Horner syndrome; dysphagia resulting from esophageal compression; and pericardial effusion.

Superior sulcus tumors (Pancoast tumors) can cause compression of the brachial plexus roots as they exit the neural foramina, resulting in intense, radiating neuropathic pain in the ipsilateral upper extremity.


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