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Cancer in the interstitial area? Treatment? Anything?


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Ron was in to see his oncologist yesterday for the breathing problems he started with only last Wednesday. An abdominal and chest catscan have been ordered - we hope to have that done within two or three days. His lungs sound good and SATS are 96. The worry as per the onc. is that there may be cancer in the interstitial area. If that's the case, has anyone gone through this? Ron is having a helluva time when he walks up a flight of stairs. Even at rest his breathing is rapid and he "wheezes". When he is sleeping his stomach seems to "spasm" when he's breathing inward. We're so scared. This time last week he was on top of the world.

If anyone can offer some information or advice I'd really appreciate it.


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Hi Janet

Sorry to hear about this latest development - you sound really scared. I don't know anything about cancer in the interstitial area, but it seems to me that if he was fine last week, then his symptoms have come on a bit hard and fast to be a result of disease progression. Is it possible that something else is responsible, such as a reaction to medication? I would hold on to the hope that there could be a benign cause for these symptoms, until you hear otherwise. I have my fingers crossed that it can be easily remedied. I know how hard it is waiting for results, so I hope these next few days fly by, and you get some answers quickly.


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I have never heard of this happening. I am not a Dr, but Interstitial is usually mentioned as Interstitial lung disease (ILD) (I think it is like pulmonary fibrosis)

I did a search and only found Interstitial mentioned as ILD or with respect to therapy such as

brachytherapy (implanting radioactive seeds in the Interstitial area). Or using PDT photodynamic therapy.


Interstitial: Pertaining to being between things, especially between things that are normally closely spaced.

The word "interstitial" comes from the Latin "interstitium" which was derived from "inter" meaning "between" + "sistere" meaning "to stand' = to stand between.

The word "interstitial" is much used in medicine and has specific meaning depending on the context. For instance, interstitial cystitis is a specific type of inflammation of the bladder wall. Interstitial radiation involves placing radioactive material directly into a tumor. Interstitial pneumonia is inflammation of the lung which involves the meshwork of lung tissue (alveolar septa) rather than the air spaces (alveoli).

I would post to "ask the experts" to get more info.

Good luck. Maybe it is not that scary. You could also ask your Dr to explain this better.

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Hi Janet.

I agree that with such a rapid onset of symptoms that the liklihood of this being cancer does not sound right. I am not a doctor either, but I have had problems with pneumonitis from radiation and some other things going on. One of the first things that they looked for when I presented at the E.D. was pulmonary embolism.. same with Justakid. This can be an emergent situation and needs to be ruled out.

There are so many other things that can be causing SOB that comes on suddenly. How is his heart? If the onc. doesn't find any evidence of cancer, I would aggressively pursue other alternative ideas that would be causing his symptoms.

Best luck to you both.

Cindi o'h

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