Our expert says:
Heavy smoking, of course, makes lung cancer much more likely, and I think can also contribute to an increased risk of cataract and macular degeneration. The many years of smoking, sadly, have caught up with her. Though in most areas the risks start to drop when one stops smoking, they remain significantly higher than in non-smokers.
Generally, the scan should not be a particularly unpleasant procedure, and may provide useful information to help answer your other very reasonable questions. Once its done it's time for the doctors to sit down and have a calm discussion with her, with you and other close family present IF she wants this, to discuss the real situation - the spread or otherwise of the cancer, how it has responded to treatment so far, what further treatment options there are, their advantages and disadvanteges, and so on. It may indeed become a valid decision to no longer try for curative treatments if they are exceedingly unpleasant and unlikely to provide much benefit l but even then good plans should be made for a palliative specialist, from the cancer association or local hospice, to help plan for general care and symptom control.
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