My mother is 83 and has had emphysema for 10 years. She has recently had breast cancer. The doctor said when he removed the lump that he got it all. Then the another apeared with in a two months. Her breast was then removed along with tem lymth nodes six of which were cancerous. She then had ct scan and bone scan. these came back clear. She has now developed serious coughing and dr says is just a cold. It sounds like hooping cough. Now the dr is trying to talk her into chemo. I would like to know what you think.
The "cancerous" lymph nodes are worrisome, of course, but the "clear" CT scan and bone scan are encouraging. I note these latter tests were performed before the onset of cough. Breast cancer can spread to lungs and that could, as you seem to suspect, be the cause of your mother's cough.
The first step should be to determine if there has been additional distant spread of the cancer to her lungs. A chest x-ray or repeat CT scan would suffice. Whether she might benefit from chemotherapy at this time, either because of the documented lymph node spread or other evidence of spread would depend upon the type of breast cancer and the extent of spread. Cough, alone, would not be a reason to begin chemo. You should request a second opinion, regarding the wisdom of additional therapy, from an oncologist, commonly known as a cancer specialist, with extensive experience in the treatment of breast cancer. The anticipated benefit would have to be weighed against the sometimes harsh side effects of chemo.
Your description of her cough sounding like whooping cough is of interest, because there is an increasing incidence of whooping cough in adults, and she could have it. You should have her see her family doctor for evaluation of the cough that may or may not be related to the breast cancer.
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