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Can you see a oncologist even if you have very bad emphysema

Lisa Marie 1968
Posted by

My dad has emphysema in both lungs but in the right lung he has cancer . 

The doctor we saw at hospital said the emphysema was the problem and my dad shouldn’t worry about the cancer . He said my dad would not be able to have treatment for the cancer as it would make the emphysema worse . 

Just recently he had stabbing pains in his right side the doctors told him his cancer had grown in the right lung and they just sent him home with morphine .

Just wondered if my dad could see a oncologist although there is nothing they can do . 

We are in limbo because we know nothing what stage it is at what help we can get nothing . My dad is 82 and so is my mum means my sister help but we just don’t have any information. 

Any advice you could give us will be much appreciated . Finding it very hard to accept . One more thing was they told my dad about it spreading on his own with no one with him he’s 82 has hearing aids in both ears and doesn’t hear well . Also after telling him this he was sent down to discharge lounge for 2 hrs before we could get there thinking about this cancer really fuming about it . 

Josie - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Lisa Marie,

Thank you for getting in touch with us. When someone has a cancer diagnosis and the medical staff are looking at what is best the treatment, they must also consider what other health ailments someone has. Sometimes treatment for cancer can make these conditions worse.

I wonder does your dad have a nurse specialist who you can speak to you about his cancer and what it all means. Coping with a new diagnosis can be difficult, both for the family as well as the person with cancer. You can feel anxious afraid and overwhelmed with everything. All these feelings can be normal.

I would also suggest speaking to the GP and asking for a Macmillan/palliative nurse referral. They offer support with pain and symptom management. They help the person with cancer as well as the family.

I’m so sorry your dad was told he had cancer while he was on his own and was then left alone for 2 hours. If you want to take this further, you could speak to the PALS department in the hospital.

Sometimes, it can help to talk to one of our nurses on our Support Line about what is happening. If you think that would be helpful to do you can call us on 0808-808-0000. Our lines are open Monday to Friday 8am till 8pm.

I hope this is helpful. Please do get back in touch if we can be of any more help.

Best wishes


Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist.