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Smoker. Diagnosed with lung cancer. Started getting constipated. What are the complications?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 12738 Questions
Hello, my sister was diagnosed in april 2011 w/ SCLC that mets to the brain. She was in remission if you will and continued to smoke. She was diagnosed in early Sept 2012 with the lung cancer "waking up" and it is now in her liver. The dr. gave her 6 months. She is seen by hospice 2x's a week. Her blood pressure is low. Her weight is staying the same. She is still smoking. Can't sleep. Keeps getting constipated. Is jaundice and I noticed she has a distended stomach this was after moving her bowels last night and this morning. She is going to come live with me until she passes. Could you tell me if I am wrong in thinking she has less than 2 months. Thank you.
Posted Thu, 1 Nov 2012 in Lung Cancer
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
From your description it seems that you sister is progressing towards a liver failure. Since the cancer has already metastasized to liver and brain, the likely survival time is around 6-8 weeks.
However it is difficult to predict exactly in the absence of a detailed reports and a physical examination.
Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Smoker. Diagnosed with lung cancer. Started getting constipated. What are the complications? 16 minutes later
Hello Doctor,

Thank you for your response. I do have a follow up questions. My sister still eats but maybe one meal a day. She still smokes a lot and drinks lots of coffee. Her nutrition is poor. I was wondering if these things will speed up the cancer that is growing? Also, is it six to eight weeks from the time she was diagnosed with the liver tumor or the actual signs? How will I know she is close to the liver failing? What can I watch for?
Thank you SO much. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 36 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
The unhealthy life style will definitely add to the complications.
She is likely to have 6-8 weeks from now- the symptoms that you have described.
The symptoms you need to watch for include:Jaundice- progressively increasing, Bleeding easily, Swollen abdomen, Mental disorientation or confusion (known as hepatic encephalopathy), Sleepiness, Coma, etc.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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