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Am so confused!


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I was browsing through the ask the experts forum and am wondering if I understand this right: If lung cancer does not come back for over 10 years, and then reacurrs, then it is considered a NEW primary?

My mom had lung cancer 10 years ago and it came back last summer. She only had a brain met and no primary was found yet.

Her dr. said that no tumors are found in her lungs right now because it may be that 10 years ago a cell travelled from her lung and just recently went to her brain. He made it sound like it is possible that this brain met was leftover from 10 years ago.

I hope I am making sence here.

Upon reading the ask the experts forum, I came upon a post that talked about how Dr.s consider a cancer cured after 5 years and that usually, if it comes back, it is a new cancer.

If I am understanding this right, I am thinking that because my mom had a brain tumor, that there MUST be cancer somewhere in her lungs but it is just undetected as of yet.

Sorry for such a long post. Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Linus

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This sounds like a recurrence to me. As the doc said, cells could have escaped the lung and lived in the body, traveling to the brain. My wife, when diagnosed with LC, had no visible tumors in her lungs, but many tumors in her bones. It took a biopsy to determine that it was lung cancer. Don

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My grandfather died ten years after a serious bout of prostate cancer. He had been "clear" for a decade and then had cancer in his brain and bones. It was prostate cancer metastasized.

Some cancers are considered cured after a certain point in time. I believe it is seven years for breast cancer, but I am not 100% sure on that. My oncologist told me that there is no magic number for lung cancer. Most recurrences happen within the first two years, but making it two years without recurrence does not mean you're cured.

I wish....

Hopefully this brain met can be treated and it will be all gone. Would be nice if it were only on rogue "colony" to exterminate...

Hang in there!


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Hi Linus---How does the Dr know it is a met and not a new cancer? Did he do a biopsy?

You may want to post this question in ask the experts---


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My mother's tumor was biopsied when they did the crainiotomy. That is when she was DX with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

The dr. explained to me that the cells in the brain tumor were lung cancer cells.

It is just so hard for me to understand that a cell can just hang out for 10 years and then grow into a tumor!

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Linus---I agree-very odd after 10 years--But I guess it happens

-is she going for other scans? what are they doing about the maybe bone met

what was her original stage of cancer?

can you get a second opinion?

Hopefully you have a good Dr. with a good agressive plan of action (I see they did WBR)


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