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Old 11-03-2006, 04:17 PM   #1
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is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?...

??

angel

 
Old 11-03-2006, 05:42 PM   #2
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Re: is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?...

Angel this is not common but I will say that does not mean it is never done as there are some mavrick type of doctors out there that do not feel Stage IV is being treated aggressive enough and have done surgery. With most doctors it is not done because once the cancer has spread outside the lungs as there is a good chance sooner or later it will pop up in other sites or in the original met site. Stage IV is usually just treated with chemo and or radiation.

The trick is finding one of these doctors but yes I have read stories about stage IV lung cancer patients that did get surgery after some chemo. JanMarie

Last edited by Janmarie2; 11-03-2006 at 05:45 PM.

 
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:28 AM   #3
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Re: is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?...

JanMarie, thanks for the info.......

What would it matter if the cancer spread outside the lung. Isn't it better to get rid of the cancer in the lung if that is a more severe/serious cancer? I would say taking the risk of getting rid of it when you can, can outweigh the chances of it being somewhere else..........no?

Anne Marie

 
Old 11-05-2006, 08:33 AM   #4
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Re: is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?..

I think once it is found outside of the lung too often it becomes like a runaway train and just keeps popping up in different spots or as my mom 's case it has popped up as many mets to the liver and for some reason the mets don't always seem to respond as well to the treatment. Thus I think most doctors feel that doing surgery on the lung is not going to save a person's life once it is stage IV and believe me that is a big surgery to deal with.

If I had lung cancer and the surgery could save my life I would do it but if it could only by me a little more time I do not think I would do it as you can die during the surgery, things can go wrong post op such as sepsis and you could live out your life tortured in an ICU, or even just the fact the recovery can eat up precious time that I do not think I would be willing to give up. I would want to be more sure it would offer me a cure which is hard to do if it has spread outside the lung .

That said I do think most doctors do not treat later stage lung cancer aggressively enough, most only do pallaitive treatment. I know there is a doctor in New York that does treat stage IV aggressively but I am not sure how much his outcomes differ expect some of his patients may survive longer then normal. I am hoping the newer drugs, Tarceva, Avastin , hopefully soon the new cancer vaccine and HKI 272 will change the way doctors view later stage lung cancer as alot of the long term survivors have used at least one of them and had such great results. I think there are even some survivors of these drugs that are cancer free and hopefully they stay that way.

Rather then surgery with Satge IV I would opt for these drugs along with some alternative treatment and good nutrition. Read the book Beating Cancer with Nutrition. Oncologist do not seem to push the nutrition part and I think that is a huge mistake as I think our nutrition really sucks these days . We are not getting the nutrients and enzymes that we need.When you do put the right stuff into your body you are giving it the things it needs to fight disease yes even cancer. JanMarie

Last edited by Janmarie2; 11-05-2006 at 08:38 AM.

 
Old 11-06-2006, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janmarie2
I am hoping the newer drugs, Tarceva, Avastin , hopefully soon the new cancer vaccine and HKI 272 will change the way doctors view later stage lung cancer as alot of the long term survivors have used at least one of them and had such great results. I think there are even some survivors of these drugs that are cancer free and hopefully they stay that way.
Janmarie-

I have been pressing my onc for Tarceva and he seems to resist the idea. Why?? It seems the gemzar is causing Patsy to be anemic, so why not try Tarceva? We are going to Medical University of South Carolina (which is supposed to be the best care in SC), so what is the problem? Am I the problem or should I seek another opinion?

Thanks,

conan

 
Old 11-07-2006, 02:32 PM   #6
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Re: is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?...

Conan, There have been several other people that had doctors that were reluctant to try Tarceva. I really don't understand why. Tarceva only works in a small group of patients and females ,nonsmokers and asian are the best responders but it does sometimes work for smokers but it seems doctors sometimes do not consider it for smokers, which I do not understand as unless they have run the test to see if you will respond to it or have tried the drug there is really no way they know. I do not recall if Patsy was a smoker or not so put that in for others that may have been and have a similar problem trying to get on Tarceva.


Then you have Dr.s like my mom's who will not stray from protocol and I think Tarceva is considered 2nd line after a first line chemo fails.Yet others will give it first line without any problems.They all seem to do it their own way and that seems to differ alot

Have you come right out and asked the doctor why he is so resistant to trying the Tarceva? Patsy is so young that I think in your case I would seek a 2nd opinion especially if her doctor will not give you a good reason if you ask. I wish I could give you better answers but ... good luck and I hope you can at least get an answer from the doctor. JanMarie

Last edited by Janmarie2; 11-07-2006 at 02:36 PM.

 
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janmarie2
Have you come right out and asked the doctor why he is so resistant to trying the Tarceva? Patsy is so young that I think in your case I would seek a 2nd opinion especially if her doctor will not give you a good reason if you ask. I wish I could give you better answers but ... good luck and I hope you can at least get an answer from the doctor. JanMarie
Janmarie-

I think that is what I am going to do if (when) we have trouble with the next cycles of chemo. I think your answers are good ...also I'm not going to be satisfied until we have given it a try or found another effective treatment. I am just not sure what the best way to get a second opinion is.

Thanks a bunch,

conan

 
Old 11-09-2006, 03:53 AM   #8
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Re: is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?...

I just read about tarceva on healthboards.............they said tarceva showed no improvement to the cells in most cases during a placebo setting when given as a first line. They reccommend giving it when a line fails........thats when it works the best for people........read about it.

Angel

 
Old 11-12-2006, 02:35 PM   #9
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Re: is it possible to ever have surgery from stage IV, if the tumor shrinks enough?...

Hi Angel-

Thanks for your comments, I must have missed it before. I have been reading on Tarceva for a couple months and while I'm not an authority on the subject I have learned a good bit about it, including the fact that patients can be tested for it in advance and if it is repsonsive can be given as a first line. I first learned this from a lecture (web cast) on Sloan Kettering's site which is certianly a reliable source (Janmarie has stated the same fact). But when I asked my oncologits about doing a biopsy while they were doing me wife's broncoscopy I was told that testing for Tarceva was "controversial". That of course doesn't mean much unless we know more specifically what the controversy is over, so I asked and recieved a "non-answer". So I suspect the controversy has more to do with the cost of Tarceva which is about $3,000-$4,000 a month.

On the other hand, my wife's chemo appears to be working okay, depending on how much longer she can tolerate it. But if you read Janmarie's post, why should anyone suffer chemo if they respond well to Tarceva? At the end of the day there is only 2 ways to find out ...1.) Test for it ...2.) Try it (in the event chemo fails or is untolerable). I am frustrated because I can't get a clear commitment from my oncologists on either point.

By the way, I have also read about people who are taking thier insurance companies to court because they refused to pay for Tarceva. I predict in 3-5 years there will be no controversy because the price of the drug should drop significantly. Until then I will hold our oncologists accountable to give us clear answers, which I don't feel I getting and is the reason why I was question Janmmarie about it.

I hope things are well with you and your family. Take care.

conan

Last edited by conan1017; 11-12-2006 at 02:36 PM.

 
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