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Cancer: Lung Message Board

New Here! Sister Has Lung Cancer

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Old 09-21-2007, 07:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1
Creed3 HB User
New Here! Sister Has Lung Cancer

Hi, I am hoping to find quite a bit of information and support here.
My sister, who is 52 years old and a non-smoker, was recently diagnosed with non small cell lung carcinoma. She originally was told she had large cell carcinoma but has since found out by going to Sloan Kettering that it is a stage III non small cell lung carcinoma. It is quite large, the size of a fist. It is located in her right lower lobe. The cancer is localized and has only slightly spread to two local lymph nodes. All other organs are clear.
My question is about her treatment. Her doctor at Sloan Kettering wants her to have two chemo meds once every three weeks. Along with that she wants her to take Tarceva everyday. Her local doc in PA says he agrees with the chemo choices but is not comfortable with giving the Tarceva along with the chemo at the same time. Her local oncologist, who would be administering the chemo, said that he will not treat her with Tarceva at the same time she is receiving chemo. He said he would compromise with her and after her second chemo treatment he would like to do some scans to determine if the tumor is shrinking. He said that if it is not responding to chemo then he will give her Tarceva while continuing to have chemo. Tarceva right now is mainly used alone or with chemo in stage IV patients. It seems there is a chance of developing ILD but it seems that it is a very slim chance. Her Sloan Kettering oncologist told her that she completely understands why her local oncologist feels the way he does but that at Sloan Kettering they are kind of in their own world when it comes to treating cancers. They have information that doctors outside of their facility are not aware of because of the studies that are done right there in NY. The SK doc is afraid that if they aren't aggressive with using the Tarceva along with the chemo that the tumor may not shrink enough and radiation will need to be used. She then said that if that were to happen surgery may then be impossible. Right now her tumor is operable. Her local docs didn't even think that her tumor was operable. I am just wondering if there is anyone out there who can help shed some light on all of this and possibly give me their opinions. I am thinking that she should be as aggressive as possible with this. SK is saying being this aggressive is the best way to cure this. She will lose part of her lung or all of her entire right lung but she would be cured. Does anyone have any experiences with Tarceva or Tarceva along with chemo? My sister needs to make a decision before her first treatment on Tuesday.
I am going to tell my sister about this site and have research the information here.
Your help is very much appreciated.

Thanks & Take Care!
Creed3 (aka Gail)

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