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Lung Cancer

Lung problems

07/31/2007

Question:

i just wanted to know your thoughts on a terminial cancer a blood clot in the lungs and also ammiona all in one person

Answer:

It is difficult to give an opinion with the little information provided.

Someone with cancer is at a higher risk for blood clot formation. Usually the clot forms in the legs. These clots can travel also travel to the lungs. When it goes to the lungs it may compromise oxygen exchange and the patient may experience shortness of breath. If the clot is big, it can be fatal. These patients need to be on anticoagulation (blood is made thinner with a medicine, so it does not clot). However, as the blood becomes thinner these patients are at a higher risk for bleeding. Another treatment is to place a filter in the big veins so that the clots from the legs don’t get to lungs. Before starting treatment, we need to evaluate all these factors.

You also mentioned that the patient has high ammonia which may be seen in patients with liver cirrhosis or liver failure. Not clear whether he has liver cancer. Does the patient also have any bleeding?

If it is terminal cancer, I am assuming you were told that there are no other treatment options available. Treatment of the blood clot will depend on the current condition of the patient. Your physician may also ask to make the patient comfortable and not to pursue any aggressive therapy.

Not sure if I was able to answer the question. Please let us know if you have a specific question with more information.

For more information:

Go to the Lung Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Shaheen  Islam, MD, MPH Shaheen Islam, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor
Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
Hematology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University