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Doctor John MD
Doctor John MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 319
Experience:  Medical Physician
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Again about my mother. She is 85, receives renal dialysis 3

Customer Question

Again about my mother. She is 85, receives renal dialysis 3 times a week for 2 hours p.w. since March this year and is doing very well on it. Now she has lung cancer! She does not what chemotherapy or anything else. Her hair is falling out rapidly now and she is very thin, but seems much better generally, since being on dialysis. What is her prognosis...realistically? She wants to live and is fighting to be alive! Good mental health.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.com

This is Dr. John and I will be helping you today.

I will be reviewing your question and will respond shortly.

I may need to ask a few more questions in order to best serve you.

Thank you for your patience.

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Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis of lung cancer.
In order to help you, I do have a few more questions:

Do you know what type of lung cancer and/or what stage of lung cancer?
How long ago was she diagnosed with lung cancer?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It was diagnosed in July 2016, oncologist said it was lymphoma. Then in September 2017, her nephrologist calls it 'lung cancer.' Not sure what stage, oncologist was surprised she's alive and insisted on chemotherapy (funds??) but also seemed minor...but now i dont think it's minor anymore.
Pathology test attached.
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

There seem to be confusion on what type of cancer she has, either the lymphoma or a lung cancer.

Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are found throughout the body (including around the lungs)

Lung cancer refers to a group of cancers that are found within the lung tissue and are different from lymphoma.

Both lymphoma and lung cancer can be treated with chemotherapy, however in lung cancer, doctors also often recommend surgery to remove the part of the lung with the cancer.

Most of the time, the diagnosis of lymphoma or lung cancer also requires a biopsy of some of the abnormal tissue and looking at it under a microscope to identify the actual type of cancer.

Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

My recommendation would be to discuss her diagnosis again with her kidney specialist AND oncologist to understand if its lymphoma or lung cancer.

Chemotherapy can help extend her life, but it doesn't cure all cancers, and there are side effects with most chemotherapy treatments including nausea, vomiting, weight loss, fatigue, etc. so some people with other significant medical problems (such as dialysis) may opt out of chemotherapy since the patient feels that whatever additional months they gain from the chemo doesn't outweigh the side effects of the chemo.

Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

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Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

Hi, just wanted to see if you had any questions about my answers.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Dear Dr John
I do not wish to discuss her diagnosis with either Dr (various reasons!) ..either way, it is cancer. It appears that the nephrologist said it was lung cancer on forms for approvals for ongoing dialysis. ! As mentioned initially, my mother does NOT want chemotherapy -
yes i am aware of all the side effects, i have seen other people with the same effects. My question was about her prognosis in terms of longevity...if it is assumed to be lymphoma (in tissue cells not in bone marrow is what was told us initially)...what is her chances of survival beyond one year? 5%? I would be happy if you could answer this only assuming it is lymphoma in the tissue cells (a biopsy has confirmed it is not in the bone marrow).Thanks very much!
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

Ok, it is hard to give a specific length of time for an individual since other factors such as current health status, genetics, etc all play a role.

It also depends on what stage or how wide spread the lymphoma is as well and that is done with biopsy and CT scans.

Additionally, most patients and family also are concerned about quality of life as well too, which is also difficult to predict.

But for general guidelines, I've included a link to the American Cancer Society website page about Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, which may be the type of lymphoma your mother has.

It has a list of 5 and 10 year survivabilitly , but often those numbers are with treatment.

Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

does that answer your question?