A patient with a diagnosis of lung cancer is brought into the emergency department with swelling in the face, neck and upper arms, cough, difficulty breathing, and mental status changes. These symptoms are most commonly associated with which of the following conditions?

 

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Correct

- Superior vena cava syndrome

- Cushing syndrome

- Refractory hyperglycemia

- Eaton-Lambert syndrome

Rationale

Superior vena cava syndrome is a complication that may be seen in some patients with cancer, particularly those affecting the lungs and breasts. Superior vena cava syndrome develops when the vena cava is compressed by a tumor, which causes increased pressure in the head and neck. The patient may develop a cough and difficulty breathing, as well as swelling in the face and neck. The condition can quickly progress to life threatening without proper treatment.

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