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    Old 05-20-2006, 08:34 AM   #1
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    Pre-screening for lung cancer

    Hello. It's been a couple of months since I posted last. My Dad passed away February 15th from SCLC. You were all very kind and helpful to me.

    My doctor believes that I have sleep apnea (my Dad had this also) and sent me to a pulmonary specialist. He agreed that I should go ahead with a sleep study, but also said that he wanted me to have the screening for lung cancer as well because of my family history and my smoking.

    My first reaction was "no way!". I had just gone through the horrible experience of losing my Dad and thought if I may have it, I really don't want to know. When I calmed down, I told the doctor I would think about it. That's all I've been thinking about lately.

    I was wondering if anyone here knows anything about the pre-screening. I didn't even know they could do that. How accurate is it, etc.?

    I know I'm being foolish by NOT doing it, but I'm scared to death. My family is still reeling from my Dad's death. To think it could happen again is something none of us can wrap our brains around. Geesh, I'm still in denial that my Dad is really gone.

    Any thoughts or advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


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    Old 05-20-2006, 12:42 PM   #2
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    Re: Pre-screening for lung cancer

    if it's an x-ray, i think it's not 100% reliable as it can't show hidden spots.

    Lung cancer is a disease which almost always has no symptoms, and that's why when it's discovered then it's probably too late. And if you do a small research you will find that those who survive it, then it's probably because they found it early.

    I believe you have a good doctor, i say take it and establish a baseline. But i don't know what they are going to do. Maybe they will do yearly chest CT scan?

    anyways, you shouldn't concentrate on it too much, you should rather start screening for breast cancer.

    Are they going to do it annually for you?

    i can't believe you have such a caring doctor like this one. you are lucky to have him.

    good luck

    Old 05-20-2006, 06:05 PM   #3
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    Re: Pre-screening for lung cancer


    Try to find out what the doctor considers Pre screening for lung cancer. I know they are working on tests for early detection and some like dogs trained to sniff lung cancer on a person's breath are showing promise but I was unaware there was actually such a test available yet.

    X-rays are not the way to go as they miss many early lung cancers as well as advanced lung cancers. Yearly CT's make me shudder as that is exposing onesself to alot of radiation ( which then ups your risks for some cancers like lymphomas) and false sense of security. They may see nothing but that does not mean you do not have very early cancer . My mom is a good example as 4 yrs prior to her finding out she had lung cancer she started feeling Short of breath, fatigued, they did all the pulmonary function tests which came back perfect, cardiac tests once again all normal, thinking she might have a pulmonary embolism they even did a spiral CT and there was nothing there, now jump ahead 4 years and she developes a malignant pleural effussion and a had large tumor in her right middle lobe and a small spot on the liver which at first they did not feel was a met but it was. So she was stage IV NSCLC.(yea the one they say is slow growing). They have relooked at that earlier CT and see nothing .To me this means that there had to be changes all ready occuring at the cellular level so while that CT gave everyone peace of mind the cancer was there and given a chance to take hold and grow. I just do not think they have a good tests yet. But if they do please let us know!

    If you are still smoking Please, please give it up. Lung cancer is on the rise in women so why tempt fate?

    As for this line from the post that follows yours "anyways, you shouldn't concentrate on it too much, you should rather start screening for breast cancer." OUCH!!! Yes it is true we need to screen for breast cancer, but hey should men do so too, I have taken care of several men that had breast cancer so just because you are male does not mean you are safe from breast cancer. And I am sorry to say that Lung cancer kills more people then breast cancer and it is on the rise in the female population and there are genetic forms of lung cancer so to say one should be more worried about breast cancer then lung cancer is such a huge mistake! Especially to those that have lost a a blood relative to lung cancer. Even if there is not a genetic link there could be an environmental link such as exposure to smoke, radon, asbestos that anyone living with the person with the lung cancer has also been exposed too.

    Lung cancer is one they need to find a way to detect early and it is a huge threat to all of us as it kills more people then other cancers combined. Yet we keep it hidden because of the association it has with smoking. I am glad to see lung cancer becoming a topic one is starting to see more frequently as everyone needs to know they are at risk and support funding to find a cure and a way for early detection.

    Dana find out what this doctor is offering you and ask him lots of questions before you decide. I have an aunt that died of Ovarian Cancer and a sister that had breast cancer so I could have the genetic mutation so was offered the screening test, well all the test would so is say yes or no you have the gene but it does not say yes or no you will develope the cancer. I opted not to do the screening as if it came back positive then I would be consumed with worry and then they would offer things that I consider to be body mutilations yet I may never develop the cancer or even by doing what they suggest would not be 100% protected. My decision was do what everyone else does but be on alert for these cancers , have tests like the rest of the general public and if I do develope one of them then see it as fate and deal with it, in other words let life decide rather then spend my life freaked out at possibilities. My choice is to live my life not waste time worring about the what if's .Hope this helps some, JanMarie

    Last edited by Janmarie2; 05-21-2006 at 04:40 AM.

    Old 05-21-2006, 06:23 AM   #4
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    Re: Pre-screening for lung cancer

    Oh my gosh! I feel like I could have written that post myself. Both of my parents just died from lung cancer. They were in their 70's I am in my 50's. I had a regular dr appt and while I was there I told her that if she ever gave me another chest xray to make sure they read it over really well because of my parents. Well, she set me up for a ct scan for my chest since I was already having one for my liver. I figured, go for it. Well much to my surprise they told me on the phone that it was positive for nodules in the lung. Now I know that many things may cause this but I know you can imagine how I felt. The hard part is that she said all kinds of words that I hoped I would never have to hear again. Pulmonary , PET scan and the like. Do you go through all the testing hopefully to find out its benign, or do you just blindly go through life until something bad happens. I dont know the answer. Right now I wish I had never agreed to the ct scan, but if it is something can they get it now before it becomes a death sentence. We still havent had a memorial service for my parents and I have all this to work on my mind. Whew! I need a xanex. I feel for you. You'll be in my thoughts.

    Last edited by bkerber; 05-21-2006 at 06:24 AM.

    Old 05-21-2006, 08:24 AM   #5
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    Re: Pre-screening for lung cancer

    Bkerber, If you had a CT that shows you have nodules, do get it checked out further. You know something is there so it is too late to just blindly go through life until something bad happens.. If it is something besides cancer you can give a big sigh of relief and go on with life. If it is cancer hopefully you found it early and can be cured. In Dana's case I am suggesting she ask about the " pre screening tests" before she agrees to them as if they are just tests that say you have the genetic mutation that COULD cause lung cancer verses a test that says you have or do not currently have lung cancer it is a different story as not all people that have genetic markers for different diseases go on to develope them so is it a blessing or a curse to know you have the genetic marker? While if you have a test like you did and they see nodules there is without a doubt something going on and one would be foolish to ignore that. Ignoring it will not make it go away. I am very sorry to hear about both of your parents as that has to be very rough and yes I can see where you don't want to deal with all of that again but don't let that keep you from finding out what these nodules are. Best of luck. JanMarie

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