How much steroid in SVCS? - 1261359

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How much steroid in SVCS? - 1261359

Hi, my father, who has stage 4 lung cancer, has been diagnosed with superior vena cava syndrome nearly 4 months ago. His symptoms were relatively managable until recently, but his face has become extremely swollen and he is easily out of breath, which shows that his cancer is advancing. He is on 8 mg Dexamethasone daily, but I am wondering if this is too much. How much can he take? Is there a limit for cortisone?
He is not eligible for chemotherapy or radiotherapy anymore.
We now that he is not curable and whatever we do will be palliative. But we want his symptoms to alleviate.
What other options are there for SCVC except for blood thinners?
I am talking about an extremely fragile 61-year old.

Dr West
Reply To: How much steroid in SVCS?

I'm sorry he's having such a difficult time. The dose you described is not especially high, and our general rule is that we want people to be on no more than they need, for no longer than they need, but if people need to be on a hefty dose, you do that. Some patients need to be on steroids indefinitely, for a variety of reasons.

Unfortunately, I can't point to any new treatment options beyond what his doctors have suggested.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education