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What is SVC Syndrome?

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Updated October 12, 2012

What is SVC Syndrome?
A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia
Definition:

SVC syndrome (superior vena cava syndrome) is a set of symptoms that result when blood flow from the superior vena cava (the large blood vessel that returns blood from the head, neck, and arms) to the heart is blocked.

Symptoms are due to increased pressure in the superior vena cava and can include: swelling of the face, arms, or chest; coughing; shortness of breath; and widening of the veins in the neck and chest.

With lung cancer, SVC syndrome most commonly occurs with tumors that are located in the upper part of the right lung.

Further Reading:

Examples:
Harold's doctor said the swelling in his face was likely due to SVC syndrome, and recommended radiation therapy to shrink the tumor that was pushing on his superior vena cava.

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