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My Dad - Re-staged from Stage 1 to Stage 4 - radiation too?

gail p-m

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I've posted here a couple of times before but my Dad was finally Re-staged today. He's a 79 year old who was diagnosed in summer 2000 with early stage 1 lung cancer found as a result of another medical problem. First - a little confusion on my part -- he was followed with CT scans every 6 months so we were a little more than shocked to find that it had returned and now appears to be in the bones. We asked no questions in 2000 when we were told that it was caught early and nothing else needed to be done. Needless to say, i wish we had asked for a round of chemo as "insurance" but we didn't.

To continue though: It was a CT scan in early April that showed the cancer again in the lung. (he had had a lobectomy in 2000). Things were dragged out until now -- due to test after test-- ie. many hoops to jump through. There appears to be a very small lesion in the femur. It does not "light" up on the CT scan because it's so small. Then they thought they'd do a bone biopsy but decided not to because it probably wouldn't prove conclusive because of the size. So the doctor said that basically it couldn't be anything else except a metasticis so he's treating it as stage 4. He's going to give him Cabo/Taxol once every 3 - 4 weeks over a 3 month period. Oncologist said the literature says not to radiate the lung at this point since it would do no good. Is that everyone's experience with a Stage 4 i.e. just chemo and no radiation. We also asked about the response rate to this chemo and I believe the oncologist said there is a 40 - 50% response rate. That actually sounds low to me. WE then asked what happens if he doesn't respond and were told that he goes on a more potent chemo drug then.

Questions: STage 4 -- treated with just chemo and no radiation to lung?

The recurrence in the lung was along the chest wall; surgeon said it was "whitewashed" so it wasn't a tumor that they could remove

Question 2 -- what were your experiences with this chemo combo? -- some response, full response, no response?

Anything else you can add would be helpful at this point.


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Guest DaveG

I, too, am a former Satge I, restaged to Stage IV. In my case, I have mets to my lymphatic system, systemically, with nodes in my chest, around my heart, neck, diaphragm, and groin. I have been put on Chemo (Carboplatin/Pachtaxel) and a clinical trial. Because of the extensiveness of the mets, radiation was not an option.

Being restages was a big "downer", as I had really adjusted to being a Stage I survivor. I had no symptoms that indicated a possibility of mets. I just went in for a post surgical check-up, albeit a routine check-up, which included a CT Scan and "wham", I had lymph nodes "lighting up" like crazy.

The big thing that has taken place about this is that it has been a reminder to me, just how vulnerable we are. We go along thinking everything is fine, then just suddenly, here we are, fighting a new battle.

Both you and your father hang in there. We are not alone, as there are others who have been restaged as well and have survived.

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Here is my opinion for whatever the worth. I totally believe that CT and Bone scans should be given to us more frequently than every 6 months. And, I know the insurance companines are not very willing to pay more frequently. But, by golly its our life at stake.

I am very fortunate that my oncologist gets scans on me every 2 months. He says he wants to stay on top of this cancer. So far my insurance company has paid every scan.

I wish things could be different for all of us. This dreadful disease has beat us all up mentally and physically. I am pretty much housebound now but at least I'm alive.

Good Luck and God Bless

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HI Gail,

I have posted here under general before. Do not give up hope, I was

diagnosed withStag 11B 12/01. Removed entired right lung. Was told

no chemo follow up necessary. April, 2002 discovered lump on my neck.

Diagnosed with Stage 1V- Adenocarcinoma, nsclc. Shock and despair

followed. I did not want chemo, but felt so bad, that onocologist said

it would only get worse. Started chemo (taxol /Carboplatin) once

every three weeks for a six course treatment. Last treatment Aug. 28,2002. Still in remission and doing fine. Radiation is considered only

pallative treatment when it spread to lymph nodes as in my case.

Your dad is receiving top of the line treatment. There is hope. Hope

this helps you out.

God Bless You,


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