Dear Ask The Doctor: Hi, My husband is 59, and has smoked for 40 plus years, since he was 13. He smokes 2 packs a day, and told me he has been coughing up blood, I did get him to go to ER, and the doctor did a scan of his lungs, and it showed a spot on his left lung, and nodules on his right lung, he also has one kidney, and has suffered chronic unexplained pain in his lower back for a year. In the late 80's, he suffered a an attack of wolfe's white syndrome, where his heart was beating 200 beats per minute, and was told to have surgery to remove a extra piece of skin on his heart, as he could have another attack in the future. H e never did have the surgery, and he never quit smoking. He drinks no water, and drinks coffee constantly, he sweats sometimes in his sleep, and gasps for air occasionally, and is always clogged up in nostrils, and wheezes when he sleeps, I am concerned and worried for him, the ER doctor said in his opinion, that he has the early warning signs of lung cancer, and my husband refuses to quit smoking as well as go further and have any tests done, any information or advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated, thank you, his wife, teresa
Dear Patient: I am not sure what the question is but untreated early stages of lung cancer lead to late stages of lung cancer. Later stages of cancer mean the cancer has spread from its original site.
Untreated lung cancer has a poor prognosis and will eventually lead to death unless something else results in death first (accident or heart attack).