Suggest treatment for lung cancer

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Posted on Wed, 15 Mar 2017 in Infections
Question: my husband suddenly has a case of severe shivers with a low grade temp 100.7. he's a lung cancer survivor with radiation side effects and it was very cold today... he was out working in 39° temps.... I was down with a cold and bronchitis about 10 days ago. he's recently recovered from a bout of pneumonia diagnosed in January.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I am concerned about this situation, as you are.

You didn't mention how long ago he underwent treatment for the lung cancer. If it was within the last few months, OR if he has some immunosuppression or lowered white blood cell count from the radiation or other treatments, then he is more at risk for a severe infection.

I do not know if flu is going around in your area, but there is influenza in many parts of the US right now.

I suggest doing one of two things:
Call your doctor or the doctor on call for your doctor, who may be able to look up your husband's labs and records to decide if he might be ok to try to weather this at home
Or, and I would feel best about you following this option, go to the urgent care or ER. There they can examine your husband, get a CBC, and also do a flu screen.

My one caution about his going in to the urgent care or ER is the risk of picking up someone else's germs there. So I strongly advise that both of you stay very conscious about not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands until you are home and have thoroughly washed your hands (maybe twice).

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can help further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 3 hours later
thank you for your response. He seems to be doing better since my initial message. I gave him 440mg of Naproxen and at last check his temp was 99.2. He is resting/sleeping comfortably now, the shivers are gone. I'm thinking he's contracted the cold virus I had, but he's responding very differently. I've never seen him get such violent shivers, yes it's been cold here.... but this reaction was freaky!If he doesn't show improvement in the next 24-36 hours I will take him to the ER as you recommended. He went through Chemo and radiation summer of 2015 and shortly thereafter suffered radiation pneumonitis.... Seems the radation caused more problems than the cancer.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
As long as he seems to be doing better, not worse, you can watch and wait.

Make sure he drinks plenty of fluids and rests.

Also, he should have food before naproxen. Tylenol is ok as an alternative too.

Yes, I don't think the course shivers you described were from it being cold weather but rather his body's response to infection. The cold weather may have stressed his body which may have made it more likely to get an infection, but that is likely not what he was shivering from unless he truly became hypothermic from being outside (and then it would have occurred shortly after coming inside).

I am sorry to hear about the problems he has had since the cancer treatments. I do wish we had better treatments available than chemo and radiation.




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 5 hours later
The chills and shivering DID start shortly after he came inside. I'm thinking it was a combination of his body fighting a cold virus and becoming mildly hypothermic at the same time. He was out in 39° damp weather (we live in a heavily forested area) wearing nothing more than jeans, Tshirt and denim jacket for hearly two hours.

His temp is back to normal for him (97.8), he's resting and staying inside today. :)

Thank you for your help.
XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 13 minutes later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
What you are thinking makes sense to me.

Please share with your husband that where I live in Wisconsin, 39 degrees in winter is considered warm, but we still wear our winter coats to go outside!

Hypothermia is a stress on the adrenal glands so he may need to take it easy for awhile, i.e. not stress his body in any other way for a few days.

Best regards,
Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3133 Questions

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