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doctor's approach ?? contradictory ?? opinions pls...worried

Guest robd1

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first...let me thank all of you for this support! we just received PET findings , which are below ..(profile)


.question; prior to PET SCAN results, doctor wanted to treat aggresively w/chemo and radiation. now after PET, only sugesting radiation because my father/patient, is not symptomatic. and feels good.

can pursue chemo after radiation?? is this right? do we need another opinion? my father is content w/ the doctors answer. (after leaving the office, i am not, but didnt not want to cause further angst at the moment) and it was very emotional time. the doctor's perspective trying to maintain quality of life, which suggests, this cant be controlled or lessoned w/chemo.. now?? do you think this is the case? i have continually read on this site,, chemo/radiation ,,,ect.... am i missing something? overall health of my father is excellent..

any guidance is appreciated... best to all..!!

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It IS possible to seek a second opinion if you don't agree with the first one...well, if your dad doesn't agree with the first one and wants to seek a second one.

Chemo can be given after radiation or vice versa or they can be concurrent. From what I have seen here, getting both at the same time can knock a younger person to their knees - I'm sure your father's age and overall health figure into the picture. If your father has signed a release for the doctor to speak to you, call and ask "Why?" or "Why not?". I'm sure the doctor would understand not wanting to upset Dad during an appointment...

Good luck,


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Hi Rob

Sorry about your dad. I would certainly get another opinion if that is what your dad wants. My biggest fear i think,is that my mom will not want the treatment. She has made many referneces that if it comes back she will not fight it. I guess this is their choice but I hate it. Like Snowflake said if you can talk with his doctor. Its much easier for the doc to be open and honest i think when the patient isnt around (this is something i have never had the courage to do, not sure i am ready for the "truth").

I know my grandpa had only radiation when he had cancer (lymphoma), dont know why chemo wasnt done. Never occured to me to even ask back then. My one question to the doc would be..what are they going to radiate? the lung I assume even though there are mets elsewhere. Wouldnt chemo be able to treat everything?

You and your dad are in my prayers, and let us know what you decide.


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From the radiologist report it sounds to me as if your Dad has eeked into the stage IV realm with the small foci in the liver.

I don't have the experience that oncologists do with treating elderly patients. But, I do know that age and overall health was a factor in my agressive treatment plan which did include radiation to the primary tumors and to the peritracheal lymph nodes along with weekly chemo followed by adjuvant chemo.

Your dad is in otherwise good condition.. it sounds as if you might have some more investigating to do. If it were me, that is what I would do.

All the best to you and your dad, Rob for the best decision and one that feels right to you.

Cindi o'h

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You are in a very tough spot. I went back and read all of your previous posts before responding to you, and I would strongly urge your dad to get a 2nd opinion.

From the drift of your post, I don't like the way this doctor said he would be aggressive with both chemo and radiation, and then when he got the PET results to back off. It doesn't sound like this doctor was questioning your dad's general health or ability to withstand treatment initially. It just kind of sounds like, since the doctor saw "large areas" in the report, that he is writing off further treatment.

I am on the outside looking in, and don't have all the facts, but if there is liver involvement, I don't think radiation is going to help the liver, unless they do some type of radiation directly to the liver.

Now, all that being said, everything that Snowflake, Kim and Cindi said above also applies. First, your dad has to want to get a second opinion. Second, he has to be willing to go through the treatments, and they can be VERY tough, especially chemo and radiation at the same time.

My husband has done it, and frankly, even though he is doing well at this time, I would understand if he didn't want further treatment if his next scans, or later scans show progression. He was 55 (now 56) when he had the treatments, and they knocked him on his butt. Now, he had also started with WBR (whole brain radiation), so his body got a lot of smackin' in a short period of time, but nevertheless, it was very hard to go through.

Your dad's age, overall health, general attitude and desires have ALL got to be taken into consideration. Your dad may find that a 2nd opinion oncologist will say the same thing that this one, but he will never know unless he gets one.

Rob, I can tell from all your posts that you are drained with all of this. That's why I started off by saying you are in a tough spot. If it is difficult for you to discuss this with your dad (which it often is), then maybe you can print this thread for him to read so that he at least knows there are other options. Here's a note to your dad:

To Rob's Dad: If you are in a frame of mind to fight this beast, there are possibly other options available. It is VERY common for cancer patients to get a 2nd opionion, in fact, it is encouraged. Whatever you decide, this website (LCSC) is here for you and supports you in your decision. We care. Whether we are a cancer patient or a caregiver, we are all facing the same types of decisions that you are. We send you our love and our support.



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Rob, I'm sorry to hear about your father (and best friend),It must be very hard for both of you.

I can only tell you that I had chemo and radiation at the same time and it all but did me in.Not only during treatment but I had some problems after treatment that noone will ever convince me weren't from treatments.

I was 56 years old at that time & in good shape (except for cancer).So far all I went thru has been worth it but it was not easyily done.

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Hey Robd1

I can’t answer what the Onc is thinking but I can echo the prevailing thought. Chemo being systemic is more useful than radiation for overall treatment, in a later stage situations. However the size of tumor might be a reason for the onc suggesting radiation.

Personally, (and I didn’t feel this way at the beginning) I am happy my onc suggested no radiation, only chemo, he suggested no radiation because the cancer was already out and about and said it would be too hard on me for just a result on the primary?, though no one ever seems to know if a treatment will be hard on them until they have it.

One thing I learned early on was there were often no definitive answers to questions like these. Everyone, including doctors, has a different take on the situation. Your approach to learning and asking, IMO, is the best way to arrive at an answer.

Good luck in your fight.


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