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Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 9309
Experience:  Experienced Oncology Physician trained in New York City. I'm ready to help.
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This is for Dr.. My dad has stage 4 lung cancer. He has been

Customer Question

This is for Dr. David. My dad has stage 4 lung cancer. He has been on a long chemo break
because he has had insignificant progression for a year. He was scheduled to start back a couple of weeks ago when he was diagnosed with pneumonia. After being transferred to his cancer center they said he did not have pneumonia and discontinued the antibiotics. He went back to the ER this weekend complaining of severe neck pain and low grade fever. They found his heart enzymes were high so they did a cath which was good. They said they think the enzymes are raised from infection in the lung (maybe he had pneumonia after all). They did a scan and found cancer progression up the spine and sent him home on pain killers and antibiotics. So now the question....overnight he began coughing up clear phlegm. He does this occasionally, but now it is constant. Could this be a result of the antibiotic breaking up the infection or could this be some sort of emergency that warrants a trip back to ER. He has no fever or discoloration to the phlegm,but just keeps coughing and coughing which he as not doing before last night. I just am not sure what this indicates...
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 11 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 11 months ago.

clear phlegm is less worrisome for infection

this could be due to his antibiotic breaking up the infection

or his lung cancer irritating his lungs.

it is not short of an emergency

but if he is not sleeping well at night, he can ask his doctor for cough medications like codeine and guaifenesin or Tesselon Pearls.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If it is the antibiotic working how long would you expect him to cough up the
phlegm? But if so, why would it be clear? I am hoping that is what it is since
he has had this low grade fever that they can't figure out for a while now....
and if it is the cancer irritating the lung would that mean the cancer
has progressed and is causing more problems? It is non stop and make him
even more exhausted.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 11 months ago.

as long has he has lung cancer in his lung, he could continue to cough.

he needs to ask his doctor for some stronger cough medications like I suggested above.