Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

diagnosis of two seperate primary cancers

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 1 Replies
  • Posted By: mlph317
  • April 11, 2009
  • 03:05 AM

My father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer two months ago, after suffering from a long and painful respiratory illness. His pulmonologist believed that he had sarcoidosis, but after multiple CT and pet scans and a lung biopsy they determined that it was cancer. He was referred to an oncologist, who told us that my father had a very aggressive form of lung cancer that was spreading through his lungs in a very unusual way, creating lesions all along the airway (she said it looked almost like buckshot on the scan and that the cancer was forming hundreds of tiny masses spread around througout his lungs). He was told at that time that he also had a large tumor in his colon that had spread to his liver and to multiple locations on his spine. The cancer in his colon is relatively slow-growing, while the cancer in his lungs is spreading extemely fast. Needless to say, his prognosis is not good. He has been working with a team of oncologists who have determined that he has two seperate primary forms of cancer. It had always been my undrestanding that you couldn't be diagnosed with two speperate forms of cancer, though I'm no expert, and I haven't been able to find any information on any other people who have been in a similar situation. If anyone out there has any insight on this, any info would be greatly appreciated.

I would also like to note that my father is a lifelong non-smoker, who has lived an active and healthy lifestyle. He has been working as a medical social worker in a university hospital for the better part of the last twenty years and NONE of our relatives have ever been diagnosed with cancer.
I learned recently that several of his co-workers have also been diagnosed with other forms of aggressive cancer. Is it possible that this could have been caused by some environmental toxin? If so, how can I find out for sure?

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