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Dr. SH
Dr. SH, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8770
Experience:  Doctor of Medicine
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hi, my mum has cancer (Her2+) which has now spread to

Resolved Question:

hi, my mum has breast cancer (Her2+) which has now spread to her lungs - nodules on both lungs and in lymph too. She is undergoing chemotherapy. Her CRP levels were 105 yesterday, 80 the day before. She also has an infection at the moment which is on an antibiotic for. Can you tell me if this high CRP levels indicates cancer progression usually? Is it possible it may be connected to the current infection she has and maybe indicating the antibiotic is not working? Her blood results were all very good except for CRP levels. Her haemoglobin is 11 and white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells within good range. Overall she is in great form, no pain, has a slight cough which has improved and a little breathless.
Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. SH replied 3 years ago.
Dr. Shahzad MD :

Hi there. Thank you for your question. I will be helping you out with your queries

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Welcome!!

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Please give me a moment as I go through your post.

Customer:

hi im not sure how to get into live chat?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Raised CRP can be due to infection or malignancy.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

But since you are having an active infection chances are that this is more due to the infection rather than the cancer.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

It may also indicate antibiotic not working yes.

Customer:

Ok great so it does not necessarily mean that the cancer has progressed?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Yes that is true

Dr. Shahzad MD :

It does not necessarily mean that cancer has progressed.

Customer:

In your opinion is it possible to cure lung cancer through treatment or is it a case of treating it all the time?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Cancer can be cured in the early stage.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

But once it has spread it cannot be cured unfortunately unless there is only very limited spread.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Even with limited spread the possibility of cure in stage 4 cancer is very minimal indeed.

Customer:

The consultant told us if this chemotherapy does not work, there may be no point continuing. In your opinion what is the timeframe for a patient with this prognosis? ie nodules on both lungs and in lymph

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Very difficult to say what the prognosis would be but usually up to six months.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

But with the kind of spread you are talking about it's usually less than six months.

Customer:

Ok I understand. Also another question - are the bloods test results a good indication that things may be improving?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Well, with the cancer spread to both lungs, blood tests may be a good indication but it's just a matter of time.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

If you see what I mean.

Customer:

Do you believe alternative therapies would make a difference in this case?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

No alternative therapy has proven to be effective unfortunately.

Customer:

Best case scenario, if chemotherapy works, what in your opinion would quality of life be?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Quality of life would be good.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Not too bad.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Depends on how she is now.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

But it definitely is worth a try.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

You should however be prepared for side effects.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

So it's a double edged sword.

Customer:

She is in great form, has no pain, slight breathing problems when exerts herself ie walking. She has also got a cough but not severe and has gotten better over the past week.

Customer:

Do you believe diet is linked to cancer?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

I do not think that diet is linked to cancer in her case.

Customer:

In your experience have you had patients who have overcome this at this stage?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

In my 11 years at stage 4 I have not had any person cured.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Not seen any person cured although the survival rate can be prolonged with treatment.

Customer:

Ok. Does Her2+ cancer spread more rapidly than other cancers?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Yes

Dr. Shahzad MD :

It spreads more rapidly and causes shorter disease free period and shorter survival.

Customer:

One last question, in your experience do patients sometimes feel energised, eat well and talk a lot before their last few months? I s this normal?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

It is associated with a poorer prognosis.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Actually, it's good that she is happy and energetic.

Dr. Shahzad MD :

That indicates that her prognosis may not be as short as we expect.

Customer:

Ok thank you. But ultimately regardless of her form...with this advanced cancer she does not have long to live, right?

Dr. Shahzad MD :

Yes that is unfortunately true.

Customer:

Ok thank you for your time.

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