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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


superior vena cava syndrome  listen  (soo-PEER-ee-er VEE-nuh KAY-vuh SIN-drome)

  A condition in which a tumor presses against the superior vena cava (the large vein that carries blood from the head, neck, arms, and chest to the heart). This pressure blocks blood flow to the heart and may cause coughing, difficulty in breathing, and swelling of the face, neck, and upper arms.