Pancoast tumor is a malignant lung mass that involves upper lung, often with involvement of surrounding structures. There usually is no metastatic disease and the goal is cure. Patients with a Pancoast tumor without evidence of mediastinal node involvement or distant metastases should be evaluated by an experienced thoracic surgeon for potential resection. Patients with a Pancoast tumor being considered for resection should undergo evaluation with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the thoracic inlet and brachial plexus, in addition to a computed tomography (CT) of the chest. Patients with a potentially resectable, nonmetastatic Pancoast tumor (and good performance status) should undergo preoperative chemoradiotherapy prior to resection. A reasonable alternative for such patients is preoperative radiotherapy. This is recommended by a referenced guidelines at level of evidence, fair; benefit, moderate; grade of recommendation, B. This is also what NCCN recommends.
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