Oncology (General Cancer)/cancer of stomach lining

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Question
My friend had a hysterectomy last year and it has just been found out that fallopian tube cells are in the fluid in her lungs. she started to have chest pains and fill up and a large lump started to grow on her stomach. It turns out she has cancer in the lining of her stomach , probably first starting in the bowel and their are cancer cells in her fluid in the lungs. she has been told it is unlikely they will operate and may get chemo but they are trying to drain vast amounts of fluid from her lungs and stomach. they hope to drain her so she can have 'talc' put in to seal her pleural membranes? For the past 3 days she has had about 6 litres drained. Is there any chance chemo could shrink the tumours so they could operate? They think the cancer was a result of the hysterectomy which is ironic as she was ok until then.

Answer
I don't think you can blame the hysterectomy, unless there was cancer there at that time.  I don't know what kind of cancer she has, but if it is ovarian cancer or colon cancer, there is a good chance that the chemotherapy could help, although cure would be unlikely.  Talk pleurodesis is a useful procedure to keep the fluid from accumulating in the pleural space.  It doesn't have a role in abdominal ascites.  If she is fairly healthy otherwise, I'd strongly recommend chemotherapy.  It sounds like her situation is very serious, and if she responds to treatment she may live longer than if she doesn't.  But it is highly unlikely that anything we have available would cure her.  Her physicians need to determine whether this is ovarian or colon cancer (or maybe another kind) and treat appropriately.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.

Expertise

I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.

Experience

I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

Organizations
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Publications
New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

Education/Credentials
MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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