My father was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer(non-small) a couple of months ago and it has also spread to his bones. He finished 10 days of radiation a few weeks ago and just had his first chemo treatment with taxol/carboplatin last week. However, a few days before his chemo treatment his ankles swelled up and they are still swollen. He also had a low sodium count so he is also taking a tetracycline based antibiotic to increase his sodium levels. My question is that wouldn't the sodium tablets create more swelling and should he still be on them? The doctor hasn't said to discontinue them. What else can he do to alleviate the swelling other than support hose, elevation and increase his water intake. I heard maybe hot lemon water helps?
Sodium supplements may lead to increased fluid retention. Chances are the cancer is producing an inappropriate accumulation of fluid – but this must be balanced out with sodium – hence the supplements. While the swelling in the ankles is bothersome – the critical treatment goal is usually seen in the blood as a low sodium in the blood is potentially catastrophic (may lead to altered states of wakefulness to outright coma).
Beside the sodium, there is usually some muscle wasting with advanced cancer. Part of the manifestations would include the development of fluid leaking under the skin, with the feet particularly prone due to gravitational effects. Such problems take a while to correct, if they can be fully corrected at all. Discuss the problem with the doctor, it may only need some special socks or supports.
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