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Cancer: Lung Message Board
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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malai HB User
Stage 3 Lung Cancer

We got the results back of my mothers PET Scan. She has stage 3 lung cancer. They started her on Tarceva 5 days ago. Her cough is not as bad as it was 5 days ago and the Dr. is pretty amazed with that. He wanted to start Chemo right away but is also wondering about the Tarceva. We elected to hold off on chemo to see what the Tarceva will do. The Dr. agreed. Usually Tarceva is not used until after chemo has not worked but with my mom being Asian they started it as a first line of defense and since it seems to be working she is going to stay on it for the remainder of the 30 days and see what the tumor has done. She has a tumor in her upper left lobe of her lung but the pet scan showed on the right side there is cancer on her lymph nodes and that is why they wanted to do chemo. If the Tarceva shrinks the tumors and potentially, hopefully, gets rid of the cancer on the lymph nodes she will then go in for surgery to have her upper left lobe removed. If not she will stop the Tarceva and start Chemo.

Does anyone have any insite at all?

 
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:49 PM   #2
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Excess1973 HB User
Re: Stage 3 Lung Cancer

I don't know about this but since no one answered you I'd thought I'd try. My ma had stage iii adenocarcinoma, but it did not appear to be in lymphs. However they did chemo with gemzar and avastin and she is now free of cancer. they had planned to do the chemo and then the surgery but now they don't need to do the surgery at all.

I didnt see if you said it is none small or large cell, that make a difference.
Also, I'm not sure what Asian has to do with it, but my mother is middleeastern and there was nothing different about that that I'm aware of.

Chemo is very hard on the body, it's poisen in fact, but it eventaully goes out of the system and if it works it could free the cancer completely, as it did with my mother and others. I wouldn't shy away from that. It could surely help.

Best wishes to you. Hope this helped.

 
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Old 01-27-2007, 05:46 PM   #3
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Re: Stage 3 Lung Cancer

My mom used Tarceva and we knew within days it was working just by how much better she was feeling and the fact the respiratory symptoms went away she was NSCLC stage IV adenocarcinoma. She did do chemo first and did get some shrinkage so had been on a chemo break when the cancer started progressing again. She did have mets to her liver and at first the Tarceva worked on them but then they started progressing and it was back to chemo. While the Tarceva did not save her life it did change the quality of life for her and the cancer never did return to her lungs, nor did the cancer kill her as she was not in liver failure when she died, The 4th line chemo left her so weak that after months of it she decided to quit and was so weak that all she could do was sit all day and we were not expecting her to die the day she did so I believe she probably had a pulmonary embolism ( blood clot that went to her lung from the inactivilty for weeks) so in a way it was the chemo that may have killed her. She told the doctor the chemo was going to kill her before the cancer did when she told him she was stopping and she may have been right.

Maybe if the Tarceva can do away with the cancer your mom will not need surgery.

The groups with the highest responce rate to Tarceva are female, non smokers and asain. The asain population must have the genetic defect that Tarceva corrects more common then other races.

Excess1973, I would say alot of your mom's good responce is due to the avastin as like tarceva when it works it is an amazing drug. Hopefully in the future chemo will be a thing of the past and drugs like Tarceva , and avastin will be the replacements.The biological drugs hold so much promise for future treatment. I will keep both your mothers in my prayers as I have always said I want to see someone from this board win this battle. Too Late for my mom so may it be yours! Janmarie
,

 
Old 01-29-2007, 07:08 AM   #4
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malai HB User
Re: Stage 3 Lung Cancer

Thank you both for your responses. My mom is starting to get the rash. It seems as though it's all over her body. The Tarceva is also starting to make her feel like she is going to be sick.

Excess1973, I am happy to hear your mother is free of cancer. I hope it stays that way.

 
Old 01-30-2007, 11:21 PM   #5
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Excess1973 HB User
Re: Stage 3 Lung Cancer

Thank you to both of you for your encouragement. JanMarie, I still wish you the best and hope that things are going easy for you these days.

Malai, sickness seems to be the problem with the drugs. That can be so difficult. I hope your mom starts to improve with her treatment.

 
Old 02-08-2007, 07:34 PM   #6
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scorpiow112 HB User
Re: Stage 3 Lung Cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by malai View Post
We got the results back of my mothers PET Scan. She has stage 3 lung cancer. They started her on Tarceva 5 days ago. Her cough is not as bad as it was 5 days ago and the Dr. is pretty amazed with that. He wanted to start Chemo right away but is also wondering about the Tarceva. We elected to hold off on chemo to see what the Tarceva will do. The Dr. agreed. Usually Tarceva is not used until after chemo has not worked but with my mom being Asian they started it as a first line of defense and since it seems to be working she is going to stay on it for the remainder of the 30 days and see what the tumor has done. She has a tumor in her upper left lobe of her lung but the pet scan showed on the right side there is cancer on her lymph nodes and that is why they wanted to do chemo. If the Tarceva shrinks the tumors and potentially, hopefully, gets rid of the cancer on the lymph nodes she will then go in for surgery to have her upper left lobe removed. If not she will stop the Tarceva and start Chemo.

Does anyone have any insite at all?

 
Old 02-08-2007, 07:42 PM   #7
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scorpiow112 HB User
Re: Stage 3 Lung Cancer

My husband has two tumors in his L lung (it is the non small cell )although I'm not sure of the difference of small or non small cells he didn't want chemo at first but agreed to try the Tarcevia but after 1 week he broke out really bad and had night sweats...so He agreed to the chemo I guess this just affects some people differently.....He is getting chemo now when he is able to .....I really hope the medication works for you...GOD BLESS... Wanda

 
Old 02-09-2007, 07:16 AM   #8
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xyz1 HB User
Re: Stage 3 Lung Cancer

I also have stage 3B NSCLC. I also just started Tarceva while continuing my Avastin.

The rash is not great. In as much as it is not abject suffering, I'm trying to find ways to alleviate it. I found this site that was very interesting ([url]http://www.practicaltruisms.com/)[/url]. She's got great tips about skin and lung cancer in general.

Since I have not had the time to go out and buy the products she recommends yet, I tried some pure Vitamin E oil on my face. That was the only relief I've had in days. Lotion just seems to make my skin sting more. Forget about soap.

Hope this helps your mom. If you find other ways to alleviate her rash, please post it.

God bless!!!

 
Old 02-14-2007, 10:42 AM   #9
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malai HB User
Re: Stage 3 Lung Cancer

XYZ1 - We were told to try Selsun Blue as a body wash. Use your regular body wash and then the Selsun Blue. We were also told to get Benadryl to help with the itching. So far so good. She says its not as bad as it was before. The rash is still there but tolerating it has gotten better with these things.

We are going for Chemo "training" tomorrow. She is suppose to start Chemo on the 22nd of February. She is also getting a CAT scan tomorrow. We are not really sure what to do. If the scan comes back and the tumor has shrunk, do we wait to start chemo and continue on with the Tarceva or just start the Chemo along with the Tarceva. Tough, tough decisions to make and things to think about.

XYZ1 - I hope things go well for you. I wish you luck! Also, if you decide to try the Selsun Blue and Benadryl, let me know how it works out.

 
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