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A month of dry cough, going to the doctor to find out the last stage of cancer

Mrs. NTT (56 years old, Bac Kan), entered the Nuclear Medicine & Oncology Center, Bach Mai Hospital for examination with symptoms of shortness of breath and chest tightness.

According to MSc Le Van Long, Center for Nuclear Medicine and Oncology, Bach Mai Hospital, a month before entering the hospital, she had difficulty breathing, a dry cough accompanied by chest pain and pain in many cervical spines. Symptoms are increasing day by day. The patient went to the provincial hospital for examination, a chest computed tomography scan detected pleural effusion, so pleural effusion was performed and medical treatment was performed.

However, the symptoms of shortness of breath with pain in the left chest gradually increased, the patient was transferred to Bach Mai Hospital for further treatment.

A month of dry cough, going to the doctor to find out the last stage of cancer - 1

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Before that, her health was normal, blood count tests, liver and kidney function, electrolytes were all within normal limits. The chest computed tomography scan showed a tumor in the apex of the left lung. Simultaneously, the left pleural effusion was 54mm thick at most places, accompanied by a secondary lesion in the right lung.

The doctor also discovered solid bone nodules at C 6-7, suggesting secondary damage and many secondary lesions in the liver. The patient was diagnosed with left lung cancer with right lung metastasis, bone-liver metastasis, the disease was in stage 4.

The patient was assigned to be treated with the target drug afatinib 40mg/day, taken daily, combined with symptomatic treatment of anti-osteoporotic drugs, pain relief, improvement of physical condition… After 3 months of treatment, clinical The patient’s general condition is stable, no pain in the cervical spine, no cough, no chest pain, no shortness of breath, side effects of mild diarrhea. The results of computed tomography of the chest and abdomen showed that the patient responded well to treatment. The patient was assigned to continue to maintain afatinib 40mg/day.

After 5 months of treatment, the patient sometimes appeared cough, sore throat, no shortness of breath, no chest pain, no cervical spine pain, gained 3kg. Doctors hope that she will continue to have a long time to stabilize the disease.

In Vietnam, lung cancer ranks second after liver cancer with about 26,000 new cases and 23,000 deaths each year. Up to 75% of lung cancer patients in our country are detected at an advanced stage. Early symptoms vary from person to person, depending on the location and size of the tumor.

According to the doctor, the 5 most common symptoms you need to see a doctor right away include:

– Persistent cough of unknown cause: With all cases of cough lasting more than 2 weeks, treatment was not effective.

– Coughing blood: Is a dangerous sign that needs to be detected early and treated immediately. Usually described as coughing up phlegm tinged with bright red blood, for several days in a row, even increasing blood counts over time.

– Chest pain: Sometimes only a dull ache, pain increases with coughing, often pain in one chest or may spread to the shoulder, spreading to the back.

Shortness of breath: A common symptom in lung cancer. At first, it can be when exercising vigorously, climbing stairs, when the disease progresses, it causes continuous shortness of breath, even at rest.

– Thinness, weight loss, fatigue: Sometimes people with lung cancer often do not cough or have chest pain, but only feel anorexia, loss of appetite for a long time, and lose weight from a few kg to 5-6 kg in 1 day. ,2 months.

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