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911Doctor
911Doctor, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5094
Experience:  Board Certified Emergency Physician
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my mothers breast cancer which has spread to her liver, bones,

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my mother's breast cancer which has spread to her liver, bones, brain and lungs is now off chemo and is just having palative care . Along with her pain relief she is having steroid treatment which is improving her strength, mood and quality of life. When she was started on the steroid treatment and when she was told no more chemo, she was told she might have 3 months of feeling OK. This was two months ago. How long can they continue with the steroids which are having such a good effect and what she we expect now - approaching the end of her life. She is 54.

911Doctor :

So sorry to hear about your mother.

911Doctor :

The answer is there is no reason to stop the steroids.

911Doctor :

If she were not involved with a terminal disease then there would be cause to worry about long term effects.

911Doctor :

the thing is, they are working because they decrease inflammation from the cancer and metastases

911Doctor :

and this provides symptom relief

911Doctor :

but there will come a time when they will stop working as they are now

911Doctor :

and with her extensive disease there is no way to tell if she has one more month with you, a shorter time, or perhaps a few more months.

911Doctor :

the steroids do nothing to stop the progression of the disease

911Doctor :

and they do depress her already overwhelmed immune system

911Doctor :

making it possible for her to contract a contagious disease like pneumonia

911Doctor :

which would be very hard for her to overcome

911Doctor :

so it is possilbe that the cancer will ultimately cause her death

911Doctor :

or that an infection or bleed in the brain will do it

911Doctor :

I'm so sorry

911Doctor :

I wish I could give you better news and a better time frame for your expecations

911Doctor :

But I simply cannot

911Doctor :

Standing by

911Doctor :

are you there ma'am

911Doctor :

?

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