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Have swollen feet and ankles. Have Lung cancer. Are they signs of cancer progressing?

My dad is in stage IV lung cancer and now has swelling of his feet and ankles. I live five hours away and try to visit each weekend. Each week I see a decline of his health. He started his second cycle of Topotecan this week. His counts last week were 1300. They agreed to give him chemo this week and a blood transfusion on Monday next week. I live so far away and I want to be there as much as I can. His doctor gave him 3-6 months to live a month ago. He is extremely tired already. I am really scared of what is to come, but I know its the progression that is commonly seen. When will I know when he is in his last days? I know that sounds awful but I want to be there for my mom. Is his swelling a sign that things are progressing?
Asked On : Fri, 15 Feb 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  1391
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
There could be many reasons for the swelling in feet and ankles. 
It could mean that you have some heart failure going on, (Lung cancer can cause right heart failure) or that you aren't making protein or that one of the treatments you are taking is causing your kidneys to leak protein. So there are many possibilities, and you need your doctor to sort it out.  

As far as life expectancy is concerned stage 4 lung cancer life expectancy can vary considerably among different people. 
 Stage 4 lung cancer encompasses several lung cancer types, and includes cancers that have spread to only one distant region or those that have spread extensively.

If docs are providing treatment ,then they at least have hope of extending life, quality life, for the person we are talking about it here. I would advise that since that time cannot be precisely measured even in the worst case scenario, that it be lived as if every day were the last, spent enjoying life, friends, family, spent loving and laughing.
Keep giving him good treatment and good psychological support and care and forget about the timing of death,which nobody can tell.
Answered: Fri, 15 Feb 2013
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