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Cancer: Lung Message Board
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
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Dad just had surgery, need help understanding

My father was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung in March of this year in his left lung. It was 2.5 cm? and they told him it would be best to remove the upper left lobe. He was also told this is the slow growing kind. I have read contradicting information regarding this on the web. Well they also found he had an infection in his right lung and treated that with massive antibiotics for 2 months to no avail. Eventually they determined that lung also was cancer and worse than the other lung and they are two different types meaning they did not spread from one lung to the other or so my father thinks. 2 weeks ago yesterday he had a mediastinoscopy to see if the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in his chest. They tested 3 and those were clear. The doctor had trouble accessing them but was able to get samples of the 3.

Since the Right lung was so much worse than the left lung they decided it would be best to remove the lower right lobe and do radiation on the upper right lobe. His surgery was this past Monday. After the surgery, the surgeon came out 2 1/2 hours later than we were told he would and advised us that they found the cancer had spread into the middle and upper lobes as well. They tried to section out the cancerous portions to preserve the lobes but the cancer had attached to the arteries and vessels making it too risky. After conferring with other surgeons the decision was made to remove the entire lung along with the lymph nodes. None of this was ever discussed as being even a remote possibility. Dad has been adamant about not being tied to an oxygen machine. The lymph node biopsy pathology report was shared with us today and the cancer is in fact there too. Yet didn't show 2 weeks ago in the upper lymph nodes. How is that possible?

We don't understand what this means for the other lung. It hasn't even been looked at since the beginning of March. Why weren't other measures taken first? I asked the surgeon the day of the surgery what stage it was since it obviously had changed from what they thought and he got testy and said 2b and 3a or 2a and 3b he couldn't recall. He felt it wasn't an important question after the fact. I reminded him he still has cancer in his other lung and that it is in fact extremely important.

I feel as though my father has been given a raw deal, has not been given the best care and was not provided with the right treatment options or even given the opportunity to have them truly identified. He was initially told stage 4, then late stage 1 and early stage 2 just before the surgery. Clearly the latter was incorrect. The late stage 4 was based on a Pet scan alone with the 1st lung. Nothing makes any sense. Does it to anyone here? Please respond it's making us crazy. Dad is fighting though and being a real trooper. He has always been a strong and good man. It is heartbreaking to watch him go through this.

Sincerely,

LJ

 
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