LisaA reacted to LexieCat in Newly diagnosed, awaiting PET scan
Has anyone proposed a biopsy? Or does the location of the UR mass not permit it? The nodule in the lower lobe is, I suspect, too small to biopsy, and it might very well be nothing to worry about--most nodules are not cancer. I suspect the 5 cm mass is what they are concerned about. And that is big enough to biopsy although sometimes the location doesn't allow it.
Totally up to you, of course, but at this stage of the game I don't know that a second opinion is necessarily called for. Penn is a big enough teaching hospital that lung cancer treatments (including surgeries) are pretty routine, I imagine. What I like about the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper is that it's so "user-friendly"--they have a couple of locations for my followup scans and the facility in Camden has free valet parking for patients, which is a nice touch. I find it easier to get to than Penn is (I've had other non-cancer procedures done at Penn). I think you should be able to get excellent treatment at either hospital. It's really a matter of personal preference.
Oh, I should mention, my surgeon at MD Anderson is the coolest, most awesome doctor I've ever had for ANYTHING. If you wind up going there, let me know and I'll give you his name. He gave me his personal cell phone for any questions/issues and was just terrific. I see an oncologist now for my followups, but I wish I could have kept seeing my surgeon!
LisaA reacted to Steff in Newly diagnosed, awaiting PET scan
My mom had an upper, right lobectomy in January 2016. No doctor could tell us how well she would breathe afterward. During my research, I found many, many stories of those who saw little to no change in their breathing after removing 1 lobe. My mom isn't a common case as she actually breathed better after surgery. She has COPD and most of the emphysema she had was in the upper, right lobe. So that was a nice surprise for her! Life really isn't any different after her lobectomy (she has other lung cancer related issues, but nothing drastic from the lobectomy). She has periodic pain at the site of her incision (she did not have VATS, so her incision is very big) and periodic nerve pain in her right shoulder blade. She also can't sleep on her right side because it feels like she is suffocating. Other than that, she wouldn't know her lobe was removed.
And to give you some context, my mom was 62 at the time of her lobectomy. She is overweight and has a multitude of other chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. So, she was not in perfect heath prior to the surgery, but did fine.
I hope this helps relieve some of your trepidation. We are all here for you as you navigate this stressful situation.
LisaA reacted to LexieCat in Newly diagnosed, awaiting PET scan
I'm in South Jersey, myself, and I got my treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper in Camden. They have been GREAT. I don't know a lot about Penn's cancer program, but if MD Anderson hadn't been here I certainly would have considered Penn. Unless there's something odd about your cancer, with an early "catch" you don't necessarily need the most highly specialized cancer center.
I was in a lung cancer screening program when my cancer was found. I had a lobectomy in July 2017 (using VATS, which is a laparoscopic surgical procedure), and the cancer turned out to be Ib. I have needed no further treatment; I just go for scans twice a year. My surgery and recovery were pretty simple and I honestly feel the same now as I did before the surgery. No impairment of breathing.
Welcome, glad you found us.
LisaA reacted to Tom Galli in Newly diagnosed, awaiting PET scan
Sorry to learn of your diagnosis. Sadly, surprise is a common condition. Lung cancer rarely displays symptoms. So bottom line up front: almost 15 years ago I had a right pneumonectomy. I’ve lived a full life with about about 38% of total lung capacity. The reason it is not 50% is I had a metastasis to my left lung after surgery and further treatment reduced capacity. I wouldn’t worry about life after surgery. You won’t run marathons but it hasn’t stopped me from doing things I enjoy.
As a forum moderator, I can’t comment on practitioners or treatment facilities but you’ve likely done research on UPenn’s (Jefferson Hospital I think) cancer treatment reputation.
You’ve got some new vocabulary to assimilate, quickly. Surf to LUNGevity.org Lung Cancer 101 and start the assimilation. We’ll field your questions.
You may notice a blog section on our forum. Mine is titled Stay The Course. Read my Ten Steps To Surviving Lung Cancer entry. One more thing: if I can live, so can you.
Stay the course.
LisaA reacted to Roz in Newly diagnosed, awaiting PET scan
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I was wondering whether they did any other tests besides the chest CT to determine what the masses were??
I have posted quite a bit about my particular situation, so you can go back and read them if you are interested. I'm happy to answer any questions that you have.
I was 61 when I was diagnosed in the summer of 2017. My lower left lobe was removed in Sept 17 with an 8+ cm mass. My upper right lobe was removed in Oct 17 with a 9.5 cm mass. That was followed by some chemo. My breathing is okay and I go to the gym regularly, work full time in a school with children, etc. I go back every 3 months for CT scans..I was NED up until the last scan in Oct. They saw some new nodules and some change in previous nodules..I choose to believe that on my next scan they will have disappeared. There's a lot of wonderful people on these forums that will help you through every step of the way. Read up as much as you can and do not go to your appointments alone. It's very difficult to absorb all the information that they throw at you. Don't hesitate to ask any ??
LisaA reacted to BridgetO in Newly diagnosed, awaiting PET scan
Hi Lisa and welcome,
I had a right lower lobectomy in November 2016, when I was 71. Diagnosis was adenocarcinoma stage 1a. Prior to the surgery I had no breathing problems. My O2 sats were routinely 99%. My pre-op lung function tests showed normal lung capacity. My surgeon told me that unless I was plannig to run a marathon, I probably wouldn't notice any differences in my breathing and i generally haven't. Sometimes my O2 is 98% now. I'm not sure if/how things would be different for you, having asthma. Your surgeon or team should be able to give you some idea about it. I would expect, though ,that you'd be able to work after surgery (unless your profession is long-distance running!) Let us know how we can support you.
LisaA reacted to Rower Michelle in Newly diagnosed, awaiting PET scan
I am very sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Thank God for the unexpected trip to the Emergency Dept. You are in good hands in this forum. There’s so much knowledge to help you learn how to ask the right questions and most importantly have hope.
Tom’s Top Ten List is spot on. Having the calendar really helped us as our brains were scrambled eggs when I was diagnosed recently.
One test at a time, one day at a time. You will be in our prayers.