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Smoker, diagnosed with lung cancer, with many medical condition. Any treatment?

I just lost my best friend, my mother, and my world this week to stage 4 cancer that started in her lungs from smoking and progressed to all organs and brain by the time they caught it.Mother had been sick for quiet some time. In a year and a half I took her to about 68 DR appts with her family physician and maybe 20 hospital ER visits only to be told she was suffering from long-term phnemonia COPD and respiratory problems. Then she had severe pain in her left shoulder so I took her in and they said she had a fracture on the left shoulder.We told the Dr. that she didn t fall or bump into anything. We couldnt belive she had a fracture. So we thought nothing of it and we would all joke about how she was always lazy lately and never got off the couch so how could it be possible that she broke it doing nothing? Well some time passed and the shoulder was not improving. The Dr, referred mom to an orthopedic but with so many mistakes on the referall it took them 8 months to get her in for an appt. Well they did defiantly diagnose her with a shoulder fracture and nothing more. So a couple weeks go by mom has not had a bowel movement in 10 days, so I make a trip to the ER and they gave her a pill and meds rectally and sent her home. Three days later still no bowl movement, so i call the Dr and showed them how serious this was to me that she goes to the bathroom or he is going to have to admit her. Around that time she also stopped eating and drinking alot. She lost like 30 lbs in 10 to 15 days. Her cough was like something I had never heard before, . She had been on the nebulizer for 4 months to just be able to breathe. I made another appt to her Dr.and he gives meds to deal with her nausea and says to me that the rest of the symptoms is because of her mental illness {bi-polar}. She had been chocking on her own saliva that she swollowed for a year and had a swallow test done and didn t get any abnormal results, Two days later I find her almost dead in the living room and rush her in to the emergency room which would be her last visit to the hospital and be her final resting place. There they found that she had cancer in lungs, liver, kidneys, throat, abdomen, and was starting in the brain. The pneumonia never got better because the cover that covers the tube to her lungs didn t exist so when momma was swallowing she was feeding her lungs with the fluids. My mom died a painful death and suffered alot after four days of being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer . When she was admitted and told that she Adenocarcinoma: which this type of cancer begins in the mucus-producing cells in the lungs..When it spreads, it often spreads to the brain. It will also metastasize to the lymph nodes, the liver, the adrenal glands and bone. It wasnt enough time for her to fight nor us to prepare and I find that there were so many signs leading to cancer that the Dr. could have checked and let my mother have a chance at life and fight cancer. That day my mother passed away in my arms is the day a part of me died. Time was not on my moms side nor was her dr that we both trusted her life with. I need answers and I need justice. Is that wrong? I think she was worth being able to fight cancer and that was robbed from her due to negligence from her Dr., Am I wrong? IS it malpractice or just bad luck??? I need closure.Please help me.Im lost without
Asked On : Fri, 14 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  89
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
Hi Larared

sorry to hear about your mom and I can feel your concern.
Non resolving pneumonia should be worked up and malignancy is one cause of this...I don't know to what extent it was pneumonia radiologically and was it followed up properly or not.
A significant weight loss should prompt a clinician to aearch for cancer.
Stage 4 lung cancer means it has metastasized or spread to different parts of the body including liver, adrenals, bone, brain etc....and that would have been cause of pathological frature you stated.
In your case it is yet to find out that where was the primary ....was it in alimentary system because there were symptoms of GI disturbance or was it in the lung itself and has spread to the two parts vice versa.
Now regarding the treatment stage 4 lung cancer requires Only palliative treatment i.e palliative chemotherapy can be given and that too depends on the general condition of the patient called performance scores.
The cancer might have been there well before the symptoms have started to come........
Had it been diagnosed early incidentally or planned workup then it might have been possible to atleast palliate the symptoms but then also survival would not have been too much......

may her soul rest in peace..

best wishes
Answered: Mon, 1 Apr 2013
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