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Chest pain , cough , shortness of breath

Two weeks ago my mother was feeling sick in the middle of the night, got up to go to the bathroom, and fainted in the bathroom. It was only for a few seconds, and we got her back to bed no problem, but she said she was experiencing pain in her chest and left arm. We brought her to the hospital the next morning, where the doctors noticed that she had an unusual heart rate.

The X-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary, however the CT scan showed some kind of mass near the lungs (that's all they have told us). We are still waiting for them to bring her in for more testing, as they don't seem to be sure exactly what it is, but they don't want to rule out a tumor.

Over the past two to three weeks, she's been having chest pains, a mild dry cough (that doesn't seem to get any better or worse) that comes and goes throughout the day, shortness of breath on occasion, and she gets fatigued quicker than she normally does.

EDIT: I thought I should also add, my mother has not smoked in 30 years.

It's frustrating waiting for the doctors to follow up on her condition... and all the while she hasn't gotten any better (but doesn't seem to have gotten any worse either).
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replied September 19th, 2009
It is more likely that your mother fainted from her irregular heart beat rather than this mass, although sometimes, large masses near the heart can also cause irregular or abnormal heart rhythms.

If you mother has a mass in her chest, then it will need to be biopsied in order to obtain a diagnosis. In most cases, this can be accomplished by using a fine needle (either using a CT scan for guidance, or during bronchoscopy). If this mass requires surgical removal, then your mother will need to be referred to a thoracic surgeon for surgery.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

A landmark, evidence-based guide to a healthy cancer-prevention lifestyle, based on cutting-edge cancer research.
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