How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 35578
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. Chip is online now

A relative smoked heavily all her adult life and 2 years ago

This answer was rated:

A relative smoked heavily all her adult life and 2 years ago was diagnosed with lung cancer and had surgery to remove the cancer along with part of the right lung, the remaining part of that lung and the left lung are severely compromised with chronic COPD. She has been on permanent oxygen since the operation and in and out of hospital many times since with pneumonia and imbalances with her sodium and calcium levels. Recently blood clots were discovered in the left lung and thankfully eventually dissolved but no one has said what caused them. She is 62 and unfortunately was also an alcoholic for over 30 years until her admission to hospital last Christmas. I know that has no bearing on the lung cancer but has caused other health problems She has been catheterised for the past 10 months due to repeat bladder problems. Because of the breathing problems she is wheelchair bound. We appreciate all the wonderful help she has been given and the medication and care that is keeping her alive, but none of the doctors or anyone in the medical profession would answer the question, and it is one that she wants an answer to. What to expect next and indeed what is her life expectancy? Can you help? Or advise how we approach her own doctors/medical teams.. I know it is a difficult question to answer, equally it has been a difficult question to ask. Thank you for your time.
Hi. Sorry to hear about all of this. We can continue after this if you'd like but considering what you've told me I'd expect her remaining lung function certainly not to improve and it could well worsen in time. With excellent medical care and no more smoking or drinking she might actually live another five years but if she continues to have the bouts of pneumonia and other medical problems she may deteriorate fairly swiftly and only live another year. I know this is hard news to take but that's my opinion. As for her doctors, you should ask them directly the question you just asked me and say to them you know no one has a crystal ball but you need to know in some manner what her prognosis is.
Dr. Chip and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you