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Old 02-05-2007, 07:04 PM   #1
JM163 JM163 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: MA
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New here - Mom just diagnosed

My 70 year old non-smoking mother has just been dx'd with stage IV NSCLC - specifically squamous cell carcinoma. She had anal cancer just over a year ago, so they believe it spread from that, even though they told her at the time that they thought they got it all. I have lots of questions, but the burning one at the moment is this: given that she finished radiation from her first cancer dx in Dec 05 (she also had chemo but had such a bad reaction they had to stop), and went back for follow up at 3 months and 6 months (what do they do at a follow up anyway?), then in Sep 06 came down with a cough that never went away, and now drs are saying she's got a silver dollar sized tumor on left lung, as well as spread to lymph nodes in neck, my question is, can cancer really spread that quickly so that they wouldn't have caught it not 3 months before she came down with symptoms? That seems outrageous to me. The doctor even said that in primary lung cancer, a tumor that size would take 10 years to develop. Granted this isn't primary, but still. I feel like it should have been caught before. We are going to the oncologist tomorrow morning, and from everything I've read, it sounds like he's going to tell her it's terminal. Especially since she can't tolerate chemo, or at least, the chemo drugs she was given last year. I know there are many different kinds. I also know at this stage, chemo is really given as palliative treatment, not meant as a cure. I have to say, I was quite surprised reading over the posts here, how many stage 4 people seem to have survived for quite a while, and that did give me some hope.

Thanks for listening, and any advice on whether I should pursue why this wasn't caught earlier.

JM