Thing is I just found out over the weekend (from research) that biopsy could trigger the spread. The dr. who recommended (was dad's pulmonologist) never mentioned a word about the danger. I also learned that once you get a biopsy done, you need to be on treatment immediately. This guy has, however, scheduled a pet scan (spelling) on this Friday (a week from biopsy). This is the same guy who noticed a spot in dad's lung from a x-ray last Sept and didn't do jack about it.
I know what's done is done but want to get treatment started right away for my dad. Any suggestions on how I deal with this pulmonologist? Should I just ignore him and have my dad admitted to a cancer center right away?
You need the biopsy to see if the nodule is cancerous, and if so, what type of cancer. Treatments vary greatly depending on the type of tumor, so you can't start treatment until you know what the mass is. The doc is doing the PET scan to see if cancer is anywhere else in the body (if it is in fact cancer). I would wait to see the results of the biopsy. If it is cancer, your father will probably be referred to an oncologist or you can seek treatment at a cancer center. A second opinion is always a good idea too. I'm a second year med student and my dad was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer about year ago...I know how awful all of the waiting around is. When this all started for my family I thought I would go insane waiting for results from scans, treatments, etc. Unfortunately, you just have to try to stay positive and hopeful for your dad. My thoughts are with you.
Preliminary result from the biopsy shows it's 90% small cell. The pulmonologist will get the final result today and present to the group of other doctors to decide which route to take. Frankly, I'm devastated to learn that it was small cell. If you don't mind, what stage was your father in when he was diagnosed? I've read during my research that small cell was very aggressive and usually ends life within months after the diagnosis. Apparently that wasn't the case with your father. Would high beta carotene, high omega 3 diet help at this stage? Would you recommend use of herbal medicine like graviola (it has been vitro-tested but not on living organism)? Any comments would be appreciated.
Sorry to hear about your dad. When my father was diagnosed, he had a lime-sized tumor in his left bronchus and then spots on two of his ribs, in his spine, and in his left femur. He had chemo (carboplatin + etoposide) and the tumor completely disappeared from his lung and the bone metastases decreased greatly. He also had radiation to the lung to prevent it from coming back there. Unfortunately, we found out two days ago that he has some new spots on his liver. The thing with small cell is that it is the most responsive to chemo out of all the types of lung cancer, but usually the tumor recurs and/or metastasizes. Since it is such an aggressive tumor, they don't surgically excise small cell lung tumors. Many of the statistics you will read regarding prognosis are a little confusing...often times small cell lung cancer is too far advanced when it is found to treat it. In these cases the life expectancy is only a few months. With treatment many patients can live longer. My Dad was given 2-3 years, although I don't know what to think now that he has liver mets. As for herbal remedies, I can't really comment. I'm a med student, so I tend to look more toward allopathic stuff rather than homeopathic. However, I can't say whether or not herbal remedies will work. Keep in mind that herbal remedies aren't without side-effects...people tend to think that since herbals are found in nature they don't carry risks...not the case. I'd ask your father's doctor about the specific diets and graviola that you mentioned. When you are looking into treatment options, you can always explore herbals and allopathic medicine (ie.- chemo and radiation) and see what your father would like to pursue.
Good morning Rman,
I can understand completely the agonizing waiting and waiting and waiting and the frustration that you experience. When my husband first started exhibiting symptoms in Oct-November until his official diagnosis in March-April and first treatment in May I about went insane. I wanted to call everyone from the Chief of Staff at the VA hospital in Marion IL to VA officials in Washington DC. I was convinced that it was because the we were dealing with VA that the time delays were so prevalent. However, I was dismayed to hear it happens everywhere, even in private care. I looked at it as "Hey, this guy has a time bomb ticking away in his chest and you are telling us that you will see us in 3 weeks?" and basically wondering what was the matter with people! I am half Italian and half German so I am rather tempermental and I express it. Patience is not a virtue with me-but I am learning. I cannot change what you have experienced, only sympathize with your situation. Work out, write a journal, go for long walks with the dog, do anything you can to pass time-mostly spend quality time with him and take a day at a time as a gift from God. Store good memories. Another thing, I highly recommend reading information you find on the internet with a grain of salt. Most of it will scare you to death, and I keep hearing over and over again, cancer is very individual. You dad might be the one to beat all odds. Hang in there Rman, our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. As for myself, I am planning on becoming active in American Lung Assoc events, and November is Lung Cancer awareness month. The invisible ribbon is our symbol. For lung cancer is invisible until it strikes like a beast.