Ask an expert

19 Feb 2003

Information on cancer needed
Before I ask my questions, I think I should give you some background information: My mom recently passed away. She was a cancer patient, diagnosed in November last year with two primary cancers, namely breast- and lung cancer, and metastases (I hope that is the correct word) in the liver, right side of her scull, ribs, hip, left thigh muscles and lymph nodes. Within 2 months, in spite of aggresive chemotherapy, her condition rapidly deteriorated. By the beginning of February she had almost completely lost the use of her left leg, had trouble using her left hand and her body was covered in terrible purple-blue swollen spots, some as large as 50c coins. At the time she had had 5 of the 6 planned chemo sessions, with absolutely no success.

What I want to know is this: What is this kind of cancer called? What was those bruised-looking spots she had all over her body? How often is a patient diagnosed with more than one primary cancer? Why didn't the chemo reduce the growths?

Please Doc, it will be appreciated if you could provide answers to some of these issues. My GP simply said she was in a lot of pain and we should be thankful that she didn't suffer any longer, without giving me a single answer to any of my questions.
Answer 381 views

01 Jan 0001

Tippie, I can’t tell you which type of cancer she had without having the biopsy report. It is uncommon for someone to present with two primaries, but it is possible. It sounds like the diagnosis was made very late in the disease as she had a lot of metastases when she was diagnosed. I’m not sure what the spots were – it might have been bleeding just under the skin or something like mycosis fungoidis or Karposi’s sarcomas. The chemo didn’t work because the cancer was spread right through the body. The dosages required to kill so many cancer cells would have killed your mom before the cancer cells. It is an unfortunate thing to have happened and although it is of no consolation to you, your mom could have suffered a lot more and a lot longer. Good luck.
PS. Please post your reply as a new question and not below my reply because I won’t get your reply if you do. Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.