Metastasis Adenocarcinoma in fluid removed from the lung
I came to know about about devastating news about my mom on last friday that metastasis AdenoCarnoma Cells were detected in the fluid that was drained from the lungs (between lungs and chest wall). Here is the brief history of the events over last couple of weeks. Please bear with me if I don't spell/use technical terms correctly.
My mom is 60. She was having shortness of breath for few days. The doctor advised a chest x-ray. She did complain about constipation in the past months too
- In the X-ray, he spotted some fluid/liquid accumulating between the chest wall and right lung.
- The doctor carried out a procedure to remove the liquid/fluid from the lungs using pleural tab. The fluid was sent to a dignostic lab for investigation.
- In the mean while, WBC and other blood tests were conducted and they didn't show any abonormalities. All values were normal.
- Then we received a horrifying news that diagnostic centre found metastasis AdenoCarcinoma cells in the fluid. The malignancy was also mentioned in the report.
- My dad discussed the report with the Ecologist. He advised that it's a stage IV (4) and more investigations are needed to find out the primary site of the tumor cells. He mentioned that patient normally has 1-2 years left in this condition. It was a devastating news for the family. My mom still doesn't know about it because she is not very strong about the diseases like 'cancer'. She is already bit down to hear about all these tests. The doctor advised to have CT scan, tumor markers (for Ovary & Intestine) and bone scan.
- Following the meeting with the doc, the mom had the CT scan for chest, abdomin and pelvis. The ultra-sound was also done for stomach or chest. Nothing was detected in either of tests except the fluid in the lungs. The radiologist wrote the report that there is no tumor in any of the scans. However, he did mention that there is a small repture in the lung and may be it's because of the presence of the fluid or it happened because of the procedure to remove the fluid
- The tumor markers (for Ovary) are already with the lab. We should find out tomorrow. We are also going to have the Tumor Markers done for Intestine.
- After the CT scans, we discussed the results with the Ecologist again. He advised not to go ahead with Bone scan test on Tuesday and asked us to wait for the Tumor Markers results.
-He further advised that he will remove the fluid again to have it tested from three different diagnostic labs to ascertain that the previous cytology results were correct. At least, the removal of fluid will also relieve the shortness of breath. My mom still complains about shortness of breath but it's not that severe.
- The doctor also did the physical examination of my mom and ruled out the presence of breast cancer. The memo-gram is not done though. The doctor also mentioned that my mom does not have any symptoms of infected cells in the brain either. I am also told that none of the lung or it's lymphs are affected at this point.
Couple of bits I missed before cytology was done:
- My mom takes the medicine for blood pressure. She is not diabetic. The doctor did the EKG in the begining and ruled out the heart problem as a cause of the fluid. Similarly she was put on TB(Tuberclosis) medication for a week but no TB cells were found in the fluid. Therefore, the TB medication was stopped after cytology results.
As you can imagine, we really pray that results stay negative and repeated cytology exam will not indicate any malignancy or bad cells.
I will be very grateful if any of the forum members can go through this post and reply with some valuable comments/insight. Kindly let me know if I can follow some other pointers at this stage. Do you see a chance of error in the original cytology?
HI, adenocarcenomas are a very common "family" of cancers. It is not rare for a primary site never to be found. However, if the first cytology test are correct, she does have a malignant cancer and should be treated aggressively. To a certain degree, at this point it does not matter where the primary is. She will need chemotherapy in order to kill the cancer where ever it is.
At the same time I need to remind you that she is still living! Try to help her enjoy whatever life she still has left. I could walk across the street and be run down by a truck before your mother dies. None of us are assured of anything but NOW.
You and your mother are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thanks for your comments. She is going to see Oncologist tomorrow. I will find out the next steps. The doctor may advise to have few more investigation including cytology. I am livingly remotely at the moment. That's not a pleasant part to handle while living away from mom. I plan to fly off if any results are negative.
What will be possible chemo cycles/duration in that case? Does malignancy mean that cells can travel to other secondary sites from Metastasis Adenocarcinoma (secondary site) or they still travel from the unknown primary site ? Would the chemo be effective if the primary is unknown ? How will we know whether Chemo has destroyed the primary site ? What's the success rate in such cases ?
I understand what you said. That's what we are doing. But it's something very difficult to accept. It's very distressing to know that chemo itself is a painful process as well. I can't get it off my mind. I know there are many others suffering from this disease but it's different when you are directly impacted. I hope you know what I mean. I am still praying to God that original cytology is wrong because all other tests are negative. Last night we got the Tumor Marker for ovary as negative. Now waiting for Tumor Markers for Intestine.
Thanks for bearing up with another long message. Appreciate if you can point me to any other online mailing list forums where I can discuss with other healthcare providers/participants.
miracleshapped, I can only answer some of your questions. Unfortunately, malignancies like what your mom has can spread to almost any organ or system in the body. It does not matter whether it metastasizes from the primary location or from a secondary location, it still can and is spreading... at least that is what it sounds like. Chemotherapy is called a "systemic therapy" because it can reach the cancer wherever it is. It too will not distinguish between primary or secondary locations. For more specifics about what chemotherapy your mother will receive, its impact on her quality of life, and prognosis for success, I refer you to her medical team. They know her case better than anyone else and can provide you with the most accurate information.
I know contacting your mother's doctor is more difficult for you since you do not live near her. Have your mother instruct her medical team to give you over the phone any answers to questions you might ask. HIPPA regulations makes it next to impossible to obtain information over the phone with the patient's specific instructions. Some medical centers and doctor's offices have even setup a coded system. If that is the case, you will need the code word in order to authenticate who you are.
Best wishes and prayers to you and your mother. Again, no need to apologize about your messages. You are worried and have valid questions. I just wish the answers were better.