Pancoast tumor is a bronchogenic carcinoma. It is classified as a distinct entity because of special therapeutic implications and clinical features it possesses. Unique constellation of findings makes it a distinct entity.

In 1924, Dr. Pancoast described a shadow-producing lesion in the superior sulcus of the thorax. The unique location of this bronchogenic carcinoma and its close anatomical relationship to the sympathetic chain, brachial plexus and posterior upper two thoracic ribs lead to the development of this syndrome. The components of the syndrome are:

Pancoast tumor, although not a common mode of presentation for bronchogenic carcinoma, is a potentially treatable form of lung cancer. In a series of 563 patients with bronchogenic carcinoma, less than 3% had pancoast tumors.