Lung cancer and emphysema

Can you tell me if mcmiĺian nurses don't help someone with both lung cancer diagnosed first followed with we think is emphysema,  I have been told by consultant my husband should connect but now told they won't help because my husband has now possibly developed emphysema in the other lung, ct scan to prove this is still 11 days away and my husband is still home but on oxygen and very confused all day,not eating,blood results not to bad. Any suggestions for help please.

  • Hi Codyinka,

    Thanks for getting in touch. I’m Kelly one of the nurses.   What an incredibly stressful time for you both. It’s natural to want to make sure your husband is getting the best possible care.  Especially after both a diagnosis of lung cancer and suspected emphysema.

    Firstly, it’s important for you to speak to someone involved with your husbands care today about the symptoms you mentioned. As nurses on this type of platform it’s difficult for us to know exactly what is causing these.

    Emphysema can cause problems with confusion if not enough oxygen is getting into the blood stream to travel round the body.

    Sometimes having high levels of calcium in the blood can cause confusion, dehydration and not wanting to eat much. Cancer can make this level too high.

    Both can be life threatening if left undiagnosed.

    It’s important to get back in touch with your husbands’ consultant, named lung cancer specialist at the hospital (if he has one) and the GP today. They can assess these symptoms to find out what the cause is likely to be and the best way to manage them. Especially to make sure they checked his blood calcium levels.

    If you are unable to speak to anyone you can call NHS 111 or 999 today for further support.

    Although the priority right now is getting your husbands symptoms reviewed, I’m aware of your concerns about getting support from a Macmillan nurse.  Referrals are usually made after a confirmed diagnosis of cancer.

    There are different types of Macmillan Nurses. Those who work at the hospital with the cancer team and those that work with community palliative care teams and visit people at home.  Community Macmillan nurses sometimes known as palliative care nurses work closely with the GP to help manage any symptoms.

    If someone has complex symptoms which may not be directly related to the cancer Macmillan Nurses may still be able to offer support.

    However, if someone is very unwell due to another lung problem such as emphysema additional support from specialists with expert knowledge in emphysema care may also be needed.

    We’d encourage you to raise any concerns with the consultant and GP about not being able to connect with the Macmillan Nurses. They are responsible for any referrals and best placed to explain what is happening.

    I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you have any further questions. Best wishes, Kelly (Cancer Information Nurse Specialists)