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Lung cancer and leukemia symptoms

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My 66 year old Mum was diagnosed with lung cancer 10 months ago. It was very early stage, had not spread and she underwent CHART radiotherapy for 2 weeks. Follow up appointments have gone well with no return of the cancer. Around the same time it was discovered that she was suffering from leukemia. The consultant thought this was longstanding, they would simply monitor the situation.Around 3 months ago she fell and broke her hip. She required an operation to replace part of her hip. Around 1 month ago she developed severe pain in her upperleg. The doctors had no idea what was causing this pain and simply gave her pain relief.A few days later the fingers in her hand went into spasm. She's been diagnosed with arthritis.A few days later she became very unwell and was then diagnosed with a chest infection and fluid in her lungs. Her stomach was very painful and hard. She was given oxygen and antibiotics.She then had a blood clot in her arm. Both arms and ankles are swollen&painfull?

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replied June 5th, 2009
Cancers Answer A6722

Both lung cancer and leukemia are considered malignant tumors. Leukemia is actually a malignant tumor of the blood. Both might produce metastasis which might travel in far parts of the body. This is particularly easy for the leukemia as it is not a solid tumor as most are.

If the metastasis reaches far parts of the body and starts to multiply they might affect the tissue that was healthy before. The symptoms would depend on the type of tissue affected. When affecting bone tissue, the bone itself might weaken and be more susceptible to fracture. In the lungs, the metastasis might block the normal blood drainage and produce fluid in the lungs. If they affect the spleen, the blood coagulation might be affected and blood clots might be produced. The blood clots might further reach any artery in the body and reduce the blood flow. If the local decrease in blood flow is not so severe, the part that is not supplied enough with blood might be painful.

However, this is the worst case scenario. All the symptoms you reported like: broken hip, severe pain in thigh, spasm in the fingers, fluid in lungs, and blood clots in the arm might be unrelated to each other caused by several diseases simultaneously. Therefore, a visit to a specialist in oncology to rule out the possible metastasis is recommended. If there are no metastases, you might be referred to different specialists for further examinations of various pathological disorders affecting the adequate organs.

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