- January 11, 2018 at 5:09 am
Hi all (and Celeste in particular 🙂 ):
MPIP member here for the past few years with previous vulvar mucosal melanoma. Just had a quick question for you. 🙂 I love your blog and your posts here are always so informative. Of course, I am happy for anyone with information or experience to chime in, but I am wondering about lung metastasis and low sodium. My sodium has been low my last 2 blood draws over the past 3 months. I actually just noticed and put these two things together tonight: I have had a chronic cough the past 2 months and kind of a weird dull bronchitis-like chest pain, and my oncologist seemed a little concerned about my low sodium levels and just ordered more blood work on the 28th of December, which came back with low sodium yet again.
Google is never my friend!
So, seeing that low sodium can be associated with lung cancers, would you by any chance have any links to decent information about this connection (if any) or any information? I had to reschedule my visit with her out 3 weeks and this cough is starting to get on my nerves. Of course, it is also cold season and I have been sick off and on and we all know how easy it is to worry about these things for no good reason except that we have had melanoma and our oncologists have told us our prognosis is poor, right? 🙂
But would appreciate any facts on sodium and melanoma in the lungs, if you happen to have any. I refuse to Google any further but it is going to nag at me until my visit. BTW, my BUN is also slightly low. Everything else lab wise has been normal except high-normal platelets a few months ago. None of which seemed concerning to anyone until this drop in sodium that seems to be persisting. Well, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin which prompted a CT and ultrasound of the inguinal/abdominal regions, the results of which are not yet known to me. Somehow, being almost 5 years out from my initial diagnosis, I am getting rather immune to the panic that used to set in at the least little abnormality, but the consistent low sodium/chronic cough thing has got me kind of on edge the past few days.
Hope all is well with you!
BTW, any and all reassurance or even shared stories that are less than reassuring are always appreciated. This group is wonderful and you are all so appreciated.
My best to all of you,
- January 11, 2018 at 1:35 pm
I'm not sure how much help this will be, but with your combined low BUN levels, I'd think you're probably looking more toward something going on with your liver… which can also begin to impact your sodium levels. That said, it could be something as basic as too many fluids or diuretics… cold/flu season has a way of making us change habits, which may or may not reflect on a snapshot of blood labs for a certain day. Low sodium levels on their own can be the cause of chronic cough. If it helps ease your mind in the least little bit….. I had a 9 cm lesion in my lung… along with two smaller lesions… and my blood labs were always "like a machine" (my oncologist's words of choice). Blood labs are a nice puzzle piece of the diagnostic toolbox, but you'll need more info for sure. : )
- January 11, 2018 at 4:55 pm
Sorry for the current worries and the cough. Here are my thoughts:
Primarily, I think the focus should be on the results of your scan and the adenopathy. You should be able to call and get your results.
There is no straight line connecting a low sodium level with lung mets….no matter the cancer. It CAN be associated with many things, including lung cancer, but it is a complex issue to work out. With your cough, there is no reason why a local md can't order a chest X-ray, which may go a long way in answering your worry and dealing with your cough.
BUN stands for "Blood urea nitrogen" and is a blood value that usually reflects kidney function.
So…I would get my scan results and see a local doc about my cough and request a CXR which, given your history and current status, is certainly warranted and may prove to be helpful.
Hang in there. I hope you feel much better soon. celeste
- January 12, 2018 at 1:20 am
Niki and Celeste –
Many thanks! 🙂 I tend to be very cerebral and knowledge helps me more than anything else, so you have eased my mind some!
I also completely agree about the chest xray. My oncologist usually orders them every year and I don't know why we skipped 2017 unless we just got side tracked with all the other scans/issues that came up.
Thanks for helping me understand the role of low sodium, low BUN, and a little bit more about how it all works!
- January 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm
In my experience I had 7 lung mets but NED since August 2017. Around that time my sodium and potassium were coming back low. My potassium was low enough I could not bring it up through my diet and over the counter supplements. I am now taking prescription potassium and it took several months to get my potassium level back to normal. I have tried to eat more sodium but my level is still at the lower cutoff or just below every 2 weeks. My dr hasn't said what may be causing my potassium levels to be low. The ipi/nivo took out my thyriod also. Tomorrow I will get number 30 nivo maintanance dose, next scan is on 2/16/2018.
Tagged: mucosal melanoma
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