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Lung cancer in an elderly

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hello Dr,i have a question about lung cancer ,my grandma have got this kind of cancer ,at first she had a brain stroke ,when we convey her to hospital after chest xray doctors said that her chest have got water and then they conjoin her a chest tube and after sampling doctors said she have cancer ,my question is my grandma is 84 but before this stroke she was OK but some signs of anorexia ,i want to know is there any way to being health again ?can she tolerate this illness and the ways for cure that ?at last excuse me if my explanation in english is not very good .thanks

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 21 Doctors Online


I am very sorry that your grandmother suffers from lung cancer.

Lung cancer has a very poor prognosis and cannot be cured, especially for a person who is 84 year old .Surgery is almost never an option considering the age. The only options available are chemotherapy and stereotactic radiotherapy with adjuvant pain management to prolong life by 3-4 yrs.

Here are the treatment options available-

1) If the patient does not have concomitant renal or cardiac problem chemotherapy can be started. Usually for younger individuals 2 drug regimen is used but in an older individual a single Targeted therapy is done to reduce the symptoms as well as prolong the survival. But chemotherapy needs intensive observation, especially for an 80 yr. old person because of its side effects.

2) Full body Stereotactic radiotherapy is the main form of management of this patient and leads to considerable decrease in pain and improvement of symptoms. It has to be done in multiple sittings and does not have as many side effects as chemotherapy.

3) Aggressive pain management forms an important form of management and can be in the form of self-regulated epidural morphine.

Hope I have been of help.

Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
Dr. John Monheit and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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