lung cancer and proton therapy question
Hi everyone. I have been looking for info for my dad. A little history on him: He just turned 61 last month. He was dx with follicular lymphoma back in 1/2006. He has had 2 rounds of chemo for that with no evidence of active lymphoma at this time, dx in Sept 2007 with prostate cancer and had prostatectomy in 2009 and was on lupron for 1 year. He had a routine pet scan for his lymphoma in April of 2011 and there was a golf ball size tumor in his left lung. After the pet scan in April his doctors decided to "watch" the area, WTH? He was told they would do another scan in July, but they ended up doing it in June and then did a biopsy after the results showed that it had doubled in size to 5 cm. He was a heavy smoker from age 17 until April of this year, smoking at least 2-1/2 packs/day. As a result of his smoking and COPD, he has poor pulmonary function and therefore is not a candidate for surgery.
After harrasing him daily, we finally convinced him to go to MD Anderson for a 2nd opinion. After consultation and an EBUS procedure, they have decided to try the proton therapy for 7 weeks. He is to start this on Aug. 22nd. I dont know the "official" stage, but I do know that they think it is localized to the left lung without lymph node involvement. One complicating factor is that they are having a hard time determining if it is touching his aorta or just extremely close to it. He had another CT scan with contrast yesterday to help clarify this and after review of the results the Radiologist suggested the 7 weeks of proton therapy. My dad said that they are not planning on doing chemo at this point. I forgot to mention that they did do an MRI of the brain and it came back clear (thank goodness). I know that lung cancer is very deadly and I honestly think that had it not been for his routine PET scan for lymphoma we may well be in a whole different predicament with it not being found until much later. At this point they are telling him that there is a 30% chance of cure for him and I told him that it might as well be him......someone has to be part of that 30%.
I just wonder if anyone has any knowledge of the proton therapy and what their experience has been with it.
Last edited by berkley1; 08-04-2011 at 12:59 PM.