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Spreading to the Lungs Question

Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004


My dad is stage IV (recurrence in September 06 - multiple mets in the liver). He started avastin in October. As of January 1, his cea went from 186 to 100. His cea was taken last monday but we do not have the results. Since he is still on for the appointment, I am assuming that the number did not go up. Usually, if the cea rises on a certain drug, the doc. thinks about changing it. Recently my mom has noted that my dad has what she calls breathing problems. Does this mean that it has spread to the lungs or am I overreacting? Any advice would be helpful.

goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

It's certainly possible it has spread to the lungs. But it takes fairly large tumors before you have symptoms from them. I've been dealing with lung mets for 2 years and only recently do I have some symptoms. My onc doesn't believe that the symptoms are due to the mets because he still thinks they are too small (largest is 2 cm). More likely it's an infection of some kind or a reaction to the chemo (or, in my case, perhapps allergies). I would definitely bring it up at the next appt.

Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi, I wouldnt jump to conclusions until you know for sure. My dads did spread to his lungs. Most people with colon cancer spread to the liver but my dads went to his lungs. He could just be having breathing problems due to anxiety or does he have a cold. Did his Dr's ever check his lungs. Because if they just did a cat scan of his lungs and they where fine I dont see how the breathing problem could be due to that. Melinda

Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

I have the same problem, but the spots on the lung are very little. My onc told me it could be due to anxiety AND fatigue from the chemo. I have also developed allergies that cause a post nasal drip and my family doctor told me that is also a contributing factor. Monica

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

I had two very small nodules on my lungs that started at 4-5mm and were removed when 1cm. I did not experience any symptoms whatsoever. That is one of the scary things about cancer. A person can have it for a very long time and have NO IDEA. I don't think the breathing difficulties are related to that, but I guess it is possible. Every case is so different it is often hard to compare two people even apparently in a very similar situation.
I would say more than likely it is something else, like allergic reaction to the drugs he is on. Oxy is one of the drugs I have heard a lot of people have allergies to.
Take care,

Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2006

i wouldnt jump to conclusions, i doubt that the shortness of breath are from mets to the lungs, i would think it is chemo related and general fatigue. ill be praying for him all the same. god bless

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006


When is your dad's appt? If he continues to have problems, call your onc and see what he says. My dad had breathing problems and we found out the chemo brought on emphezema. He also got pneumonia because of a decreased immune system from chemo. I don't want to scare anyone but please call the doctor. HUGS and I hope everything turns out ok.

Lisa F.

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