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Dawn0717, June 15 in NSCLC GROUP
Good morning, Dawn. Quite a few of us were similar to your dad - no real symptoms or symptoms that didn't seem respiratory in nature and then all of a sudden, we're sitting here with advanced lung cancer. Do you know if your dad's tumor was tested for any genetic markers/mutations? There are some great targeted therapies available based on those results.
As for your other question, no, we really don't have any idea how long he can live with his cancer. The oncologist, if asked, will give you the 5 year survival stats that are very discouraging for late stage patients. Here's my opinion about stats: ignore them. They're usually based on patients diagnosed 5 years ago and don't take into account your dad's overall health. The stats also don't reflect the new treatments made available to lung cancer patients in the last 3 years. They also don't reflect if people dropped out of treatment or chose not to pursue treatment. There are several individuals on this forum who, statistically, should have died years ago but they're still here.
I know this is overwhelming for you, your dad, and your family. But if I can give you one piece of advice, it's this: find a reason to smile and celebrate each day, even those crummy chemo days. None of us know when our last day is, and it would be a shame to spend each day worrying if it was the last day. I did that last summer. Wasn't worth my energy.
We're here for you.
How long can your dad live with advanced stage lung cancer? I've lived 13 and a half years. If I can live, so can your father.
Susan's advice about statistics is good. If you must read something about survival statistics, then read this. And listen to the Stephen J. Gould essay cited in the document.
I, like Susan, spent at least 2 years fretting about how long I'd live. When I look back on that time, I realize how wasteful an endeavor fretting about life span is. Years later, I've come to the realization that my attitude about life and treatments directly affects the quality of both. Here is an essay I posted that expands on that point of view.
Your dad will likely undergo treatment that will extend his life. How long is the wrong question, my view. How well is the relevant question. Welcome here. You'll have many questions and this is a good place to ask.
Stay the course.
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