This is not me, but on behalf of my mother's partner. Following a collapsed lung and a pleural effusion, subsequent test results indicated cancer cells in the pleural fluid. And I'm not sure how accurate this is, but he says he was told he has a "large" mass on the one affected lung and several small ones in his abdomen. I suspect this tumor may have caused the fluid in the lungs, and the fluid caused the collapsed lung.
He is scheduled for another CAT scan and some kind of surgery. I'm not sure if the surgery is to biopsy the tumor(s) and find out how bad the cancer is, or if it's to remove cancerous growths. I'm not sure what surgery may initially be used for; I'm not totally keen on cancer treatments, honestly.
I'm basically looking more for support for my mom and him so they can maybe stay sane and hopeful. I don't know what kind or stage the cancer is, or if it's spread, but I think the fact that treatment is being suggested at all is a good thing (as opposed to being told it's inoperable).
I know he's depressed, saying he's going to die in two months, and I don't even know if he's going to get the surgery since he figures cancer = guaranteed death sentence, so he shouldn't bother trying. Aside from a bad, mucousy cough, he seems to be okay. He can walk and drive and talk and pretty much do everything he did before.
Other info, if it's helpful...guy's about 59, smoked for about seven years and welded for a few years back in the 90s. Never really any other health issues beyond respiratory (allergies, bronchitis).
I'm trying to stay hopeful, even if I don't like the guy. My grandma had her lung removed due to cancer and she lived for about 18 more years following the diagnosis (and got cancer in her intestines in those 18 years - lived through that too). If it has not spread beyond that one lung, is it possible that removing said lung will help? What if it has spread? Or is treatment usually a mix of surgery and radiation/chemo?
... a large mass in one lung and several small ones in his abdomen... that alone sounds like it may have metastisized. The smaller ones in the abdomen could very well be lymph glands (theyre everywhere in the body).
Prognosis is tricky. Many bounce back from stage 4 cancers.. many beat metastis. Cancer is a very individual thing. My understanding of chemo and radiation is that chemo kind-of treats the whole body.. whereas radiation is more localized. Radiation is often used when surgery is unable to remove whole cancers. It is also used to kill/shrink tumors that are, for whatever reason, inoperable. Some treatments require both chemo and radiation. The best person to answer these questions are an oncologist knowlegable on his particular condition.
His ability to function well (walk, talk, drive) is a plus. Weight loss, especially if its a lot is a bad thing, so I would try to convince him that a cancer dx itself is not always a death sentence. MANY MANY people beat cancer everyday. And also, there are still trials and such going on that lead to new miracles each and every day.
You may check with his treatment center (or hospital) for an 'advocate' to help them deal with the dx and prognosis.
Best of luck to all of you..
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Take heart. I was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of lung cancer in 2005, and was told that my Small Cell Lung Cancer would kill me within 2-3 years regardless of the treatment. It has been 6.5 years and I am still here. The several factors that I believe helped? My faith in God, my Physician's, the support of my husband and family, and my personal outlook. Cancer does not have to be a death sentence. But, if you believe you are going to die, then you probably will. Also, did I mention Prayer? I had a whole church full of people praying for me. Miracles do happen. I am one of them. Take heart.
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bartaaron (03-07-2012),doublysad (10-27-2012),khansen166 (12-21-2011)
My mother in law was diagnosed in May of this year (2011) with Stage 3B Lung Cancer (non small cell). She too has malignant pleura effusion metastized from the main tumor in her left lung. She too also has nodules in her chest that have become "active". In her case... surgery and radiation wasn't an option because of the pleura effusion. She has already done chemo (cisplatin-gemcitabine)once (shrunk it a bit and then came back). Orginally we were told that she would be offered to try Tarceva however, cannot be funded for it unless she is on a clinical trial. She was happy with doing the Tarceva route as it was pill form and it seemed as though the side effects were gonna be less than the original chemo was (horrible stuff ) Now we were just told that Pemetrexed is our next option. Side Effects are gonna be along the same lines as the "first cocktail" so she's not too keen on it but is gonna "give it a whirl" and see what happens. Anybody have any experiences with this Pemetrexed (other name is Altmira sp?). Other than this dreadful disease...she's a healthy 72 diabetic (completely under control) and we are all just wondering what to expect.
I do noticed you haven't posted for a bit....how is everything going??
Having lung Cancer is not always a death sentence it mostly depends on how quickly they find it and address the problem. My mother had lung cancer at age 71, had one lung removed no radiation or chemo, she lived another 8 years then died of bone Cancer. So if she had not had the bone cancer she would most likely still be alive. I have several nodules in both lungs so it is very stressful not knowing for sure. I will pray for everyone in your family.
Last edited by bestoldies04; 03-06-2012 at 07:35 AM.
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