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Sudden weight loss, pain in the back, blood test done. Chances of lung cancer?

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hello there i am very very worrid about my dad as i am very scared that he could have lung cancer as he has been losing weight. he was about 88 kgs and now he is down to 82.4 kgs and hes been losin this weight over 2 months and been losin weight in like a week at a time.
also he is getting pains in my back and i did his back yestserday and he had a knot in his back and he says it still sore. very worried.
the doctor did a full blood count on him so would that show anything that is not normal, please help asap so so worried about him losing weight. dont have the report of his blood tests at all sorri
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Lung Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 3 hours later
Thanks for the query.

The weight loss of 5-6 kg in 2 months seem to be significant. There are many causes of weight loss at this age, one of which is cancer (infections and inflammatory disorders are the major other causes).

He is also having pain at the back which may also point towards cancer. If he was a smoker I would definitely consider lung cancer, though that does not mean that non-smokers do not get lung cancer.

Chances of blood counts showing something is low. I feel he needs a chest radiograph, blood chemistries including calcium, phosphate and alkaline phosphatase.

He may also need an MRI of the back depending on the clinicians impression. Based on the reports of these we can decide on further course of action.

Please let me know the reports or if you have any other query.

Hope i have answered your query.I will be available for follow up.
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Follow-up: Sudden weight loss, pain in the back, blood test done. Chances of lung cancer? 19 minutes later
hello so wouldnt a full blood count show up anythng. he is a smoker and still smokes. is it bad that he has lose about 6 kgs in the last 2 months. very worried as he did have a knot in hs back and massaged it out and today he says how its still sore. and if it normal for him to keep going down in weight.
i thought hes full blood coun would have showed that his white blood cells are low or high then normal.
and he has a cough but he does suffer with sinus and he XXXXXXX cough up any blood at all.

do you think tht he does have lung cancer and do you think the back pain is from lung cancer and how would i know if he has a termial cancer as he still has a good food intake.

my friends dad had lung cancer and had a good food intake and losing weight and he has termial cancer. please help asap.
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 8 hours later

Thanks for writing again.

Yes, I do think that we should rule out lung cancer possibility. Blood counts won't show up anything in lung cancer except in rare circumstances. Chest radiograph and/or CT scans are required.

It is not normal for him to lose weight at all. It is all the more reason to take it seriously, even though he might not be having other signs like cough or blood in sputum.

The back pain may also herald the onset of it spreading to the bones, though it may be unrelated and age-related degenerative disorder also. Again X-Rays and MRI hold the key.

Even if it is cancer and has spread, it may not still be 'terminal', as many treatment options are available. So we should expedite the diagnostic process so that any further delay is avoided.

It can all still be a benign illness and I will be happy if it turns out to be so.

I hope this answers your query.

Wish your dad a speedy recovery.

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Follow-up: Sudden weight loss, pain in the back, blood test done. Chances of lung cancer? 6 hours later
what do u mean if it was spred to his bones and wha u mean that it still may not be termial
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 5 hours later
Thanks for the query.

Lung cancer has affinity to spread to the bones, in which case it will be metastatic disease and has no potential for cure.

However, there are many medicines, like chemotherapy, targeted therapy, bisphosphonates and other supportive drugs which can alleviate symptoms for a certain period.

The term terminal usually means that the disease has progressed to such an extent that only supportive medicines can be given and death is imminent.

Nowadays many metastatic cancer patients survive for years and hence the terms metastatic and terminal are not synonymous anymore.

I still feel that we are too early discussing all this as the proper diagnosis in your father is yet to be reached.

Wishing you good health.
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Follow-up: Sudden weight loss, pain in the back, blood test done. Chances of lung cancer? 1 hour later
wouldnt a full blood count have low white cell count if he had sumthing wrong like lung cancer. as my friend was diagoised with lukiumia and the doctor did a blood test and sum of her reading where low so they did more tests. would that be the same case..

also about 10 months ago my dad had surgery as he had prostate cancer and b4 hand they had to check that the prostate cancer didnt go into the bones so he had To have a Ct Scan and then they found 3 nodles on his lung and then he had to wait anothr 3 months b4 they could do any Ct Scan to see if the nodles where doing anything like growing but they didnt change so my dad had prostate surgery to remove his prostate and all was good. i am very very worried now that he nodles in his lungs have grown and thats whats making him lose weight.

is metastatic dieases rare or is it very common.

the symptoms my dad has is weight loss losing 2 kgs in 2 weeks, he has a cough but he aint coughing up blood at all just phlyem. and he has pain in his back up in the base of he neck and near the shoulder blade.. HE SUFFERERS WITH SINUS AND HE SAYS THE PHLUYM AINT FROM HIS CHEST.

Do You Think This Could Be Metastatic Diease.

very very worried as i have anxitey and need sum sort of reasureance that it aint metastatic Diease.. and i am suffering with heaps and heaps of stress over this as dont want to lose my dad.. please help ASAP

Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 3 hours later
Thanks for the follow up.

For leukemia, blood tests are very informative as it is primarily a blood disorder. But for lung cancer it is unlikely to show up anything as the primary problem is in the lung.

As I said earlier, whether he has metastatic disease or whether he has lung cancer at all can be said with certainty only after the CT scan and some other tests I suggested. Coughing up blood is not seen in all cases and it does not rule out lung cancer.

Unfortunately, in lung cancer, metastatic disease is quite common.

Instead of heaping up stress, it would be better if you get the tests done at the earliest. If they are all OK, then you can relax.

Wishing you good health.
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