Facial Pain as the Presenting Symptom of Lung Carcinoma With Normal Chest Radiograph
Article first published online: 7 MAY 2003
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 43, Issue 5, pages 499–504, May 2003
How to Cite
Abraham, P. J., Capobianco, D. J. and Cheshire, W. P. (2003), Facial Pain as the Presenting Symptom of Lung Carcinoma With Normal Chest Radiograph. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 43: 499–504. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2003.03097.x
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2003
- Article first published online: 7 MAY 2003
- Accepted for publication November 22, 2002.
- facial pain;
- lung cancer;
- chest radiograph;
- vagus nerve
Facial pain is a rare presenting symptom of nonmetastatic lung carcinoma. Referred pain from tumor invasion and compression of the vagus nerve was the presumed cause in the 31 cases published to date. We report 2 additional cases having an unusual clinical feature, namely, both had radiographic evidence of malignancy absent on initial chest films. Severe facial pain in both cases was explained by pulmonary carcinoma detected only through further investigations. From these cases follows the notable conclusion that referred facial pain of malignant origin can occasionally precede the appearance of neoplasm on routine chest films. It is therefore important for physicians to be familiar with the clinical features of this syndrome in order to choose appropriate further diagnostic testing in patients who may be at risk.