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Question about radiation


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Hi everyone,

I don't know if you remember me but I wrote about my Mom being diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer a few months ago. You all said get a second opinion. Well we didn't do that because my Mom was comfortable with the doctors that she had. She has been diagnosed a Stage One.

Anyhow I have a question that I hope isn't too stupid to ask. Have any of you had radiation that did not shrink the tumor? Mom only has 3 more treatments left and the tumor has not shrunk. The dr said something about when you have something like tuberculosis that even if you are cured it is still in your lung. Now what does he mean by that? My sister was there today when they talked, I was not. She wanted to ask deeper questions but didn't because she didn't want my Mom upset right before a family get together over the 4th. So we are just in a waiting mode right now. He said that he would check her every 3 months and see how she was doing. He said there was a possibility that her pulmonary dr(who she loves) would want to do the radiation seeds that are put into your lung. She will be seeing him in the near future, she makes the appt on Monday.

So here is the really stupid question. Can a tumor still be there but the cancer not be in it anymore. Or has all of the radiation not done any good. The tumor had not grown but it had not shrunk. And can't you just have radiation once in the same spot?

I joked with my sister that I had spoken to both her and my Mom and didn't understand what either one of them found out. But my sister felt the same way after the meeting. She felt lost also.

My Mom does not want to do chemo because her pulmonary guy thought it would make her too sick(she's 69) and not do much good for her type of cancer. She was diagnosed after coughing up a very very small amount of blood. So she went into all of this feeling fairly healthy. It is hard to think that she has anything wrong with her right now. She is tired from the radiation but that is about it.

I do have to tell you that she is not the type of person who likes to travel. Going to all of these doctors is really starting to wear on her. She did quit smoking which I never ever thought would happen. She is a very nervous person. She did tell me that if this spreads she is lighting back up.

So I guess I wonder where we are standing right now. Is she going to have no choice but to go on chemo or what? She could not have surgery because her other lung was not in good enough shape.

Another thing I wanted to mention. I am not much of a poster on boards like this, I am more of a lurker. But I do check the boards every day. I am so wrapped up in all of your lives and cheering you on when I read your posts. It is really strange when you start having conversations with your husband about people you have never met! This board is such a good thing. I learn so much from you all. Thank You.


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I know that a tumor can be dead, and still be there, same size and everything. But, its rare. Keep asking the Dr. more questions its very downtrodding when a Dr. says that nothing has changed in size, but it doesn't mean the cancer hasn't been beat up to he** . I pray for success in the treatment for you mom.

Rana :wink:

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Madison -

My tumor did not shrink very much after radiation/chemo - however, my original diagnosis was wrong. They did find that the tumor had stopped progressing and seemed to have - um, like holes in it - like swiss cheese?! I knew it changed somewhat because my breathing was much, much better. So, in answer to your question, the tumor did not grow - it kind of died off - but was still similar in size. Then I had surgery to remove it. Hope that helps.

Will keep your mom in my prayers.


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