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Melody a new member


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Three months ago they found a nodule on my left lung I Had PET scan brain scan. Said the nodule was three centimeters. They sent me to a surgeon. He walked in the room and said and he said I had a tumor and had to get my lung removed. I was in no way prepared for this. He wanted me to have major surgey a tThorocotomy right away.

I do not even know if it is benign or malignant but they can not get to it any other way. They said that they can not get a biopsy because of where the tumor is located, in the center of my left lung. I would rather have a biopsy for a proper diagnosis so I know exactly what my treatment options are. Can’t they use a needle to get a tissue sample? I have to have a thorocotomy to find out if it is benign or malignant? I have many concerns about the surgery, I would rather not loose a lung unless absolutely necessary.

They wanted to do it immediately and told me it could not wait. I was going to go to Duke hospital to get a second opinion, my friend was unable to take me. I called and told them that I was not going to Duke and would have the surgery. This was the second week in June and I was under a lot of pressure to do this. I asked what I should do and they said wait until I am contacted. Now in august they are interested in doing the surgery. It suddenly was no problem to wait one month and after seeing the surgeon for five minutes, if that, when I was informed that it was imperative that I do this immediately. He said it could spread.

Nothing was really explained to me so that I could fully understand any of this. A friend told me about the novalis beam shaped surgery and the cyberknife surgery. This is more palatable to me than the Thorocotomy. Has anyone had any experience with this?

I just think other options should be tried or investigated first before major surgery. I think removing a lung should be a very last resort.

It has taken me this amount of time to recover from the shock. I never expected the surgeon to say this. I must be calmed down now at least I though t of looking for a board like this where I can get some support. I think I am able to think more clearly now but it is still a little overwhelming. But this has gone on for too long now and I think I should do something, like try to get that biopsy.

This is all that I can think of to write.

Thanks for reading this,

Sincerely, Melody

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Welcome to our group. Glad you found us. Hope we can help. We all know how devistating it is to be told you could have lung cancer.

Are you saying it has been 3 months and you have not had anything done? Have you had another Pet Scan or CT scan? To compare if it has changed. Some Non Small Cell tumors double in size in 3 months.

The way you decribe your tumor, in the center on the lung, it sounds like you could be a candidate for a VAT surgery ( video assisted thoracotomy.) This is like comparing the old Gallbladder surgery to the new Laproscopic surgery. You would have to find a thoracic surgeon who has been trained in this new less invasive type of surgery.

Keep us posted. Donna G

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Wow....what a shock for you. I don't have any answers for you, but you are asking some important questions. I hope you acn find what you are looking for medically. There are so many knowledgeable folks around here, you are sure to find some help.

Good luck to you!

:) Kelly

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Hi Melody: Did the pet scan show the nodule lighting up? If it did then it is probably malignant. I would not want to wait for months to take care of something that may be malignant.

I don't understand why the surgeon would want to take your entire lung for a 3 cm tumor. He should be able to remove the tumor with a lobectomy as long as it is contained by the lobe. Also, I would ask the surgeon to explain why a wedge resection could not be done first to see if the tumor is really malignant. A wedge resection removes a small amount of healthy lung tissue around the tumor and the tumor itself. They can determine if it is malignant or not while you are on the operating table and then remove the rest of the lobe if necessary. Also, it is not very likely that the structure is benign if it is 3 cm. If it has been 3 months since your ct scan, I would ask for another ct scan to see if there is any change.

I think that surgical removal is the teatment most likely to produce a cure. I would not trust any other method to be as effective. However, in my case, if I were to get a small cancer in my remaining lung, I would look at other methods besides surgery. I don't want to cut out any more lung. I think you need to move quickly on this. Good luck.

Don M

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Hi Melody, welcome. Five years ago I had my left upper lobe removed (NSCLC 6cm tumor). I had a ct guided needle biopsy that confirmed cancer before the surgery. Just last year I developed a nodule in the lower left lobe - it was too deep in my lung and too close to my heart to biopsy so I had surgery. But, they only took out the tumor (1cm SCLC) and got clean edges around it and I still have some left lung left. I then had chemo and PCI.

It is my understanding that they can go in, remove the nodule and do a preliminary biopsy while you are in surgery to see if it is cancer or not, and then proceed accordingly.

I would see about another opinion, but I would also move quickly. Let me know if I can be of any help. Good luck to you.

Hugs and prayers,

Nancy B

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ack. what a lot to deal with, all at once. not that it's ever easy. I hear how overwhelmed you are. the posters above gave great info - print out this thread and use it as a guide to your next conversation with the docs!

I know my mom did have one tumor that was unreachable for biopsy without major surgery. she waited, and it did turn out to be cancer after another, reachable tumor appeared (see below). don't get scared off with my mom's post-op struggles, she's had a rough go of it.

get the info, bring it here. we (they!) will help you decipher it so you can make an informed decision that's right for you!

incidently, who's pressuring you? docs? family? just wondering, because you souldn't feel that way. I have learned to express opinions with my mom, but not TELL her what to do. if she says, what do you think I should do? I tell her. that's it.

I'm so sorry you're going through all of this. glad you found us, though.



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Welcome her Melody,

I hope everything turns out to be benign. That has happened to quite a few people who posted here. That could be your case also.

Perhaps your doctor just wants to go in and remove the tumor and have it tested. Then that will decide if he has to remove anything else.

Ask him what his intentions are.

I can feel how upset you are and that is understandable with this desease. But do not jump the gun. Wait until you find out if it is benign or malignant.

If it does turn out to be benign then perhaps he can use the VATS procedure. That is a shorter recuperation period.

Also, of it is malignant, and it is operable, then you are very lucky that it can be removed. If that is the case find out if they can also use the VATS procedure.

Keep us posted.

Sending prayer to you Melody for good results.


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If I were unsure about the surgeon's advice, I would get a second opinion, but quickly. Although lung surgery sounds HUGE, and is definitely scary, please don't allow your fear to make you drag your feet. Alot of the people with lung cancer would give anything to be "lucky" enough to have lung surgery, people who have their cancer surgically removed have increased odds of survival.

My nodule was in an area that couldn't be biopsied either, and the surgeon operated believing that it was a 50/50 chance that it was malignant. I had no other choice but to have the surgery done since there was something in my lung, and it was growing. During surgery, they did take a wedge first which tested malignant, and then they did the lobectomy.

So I had major surgery and lost 2 of my right lobes. And believe it or not, it was a small price to pay to be able to be sitting here typing this. I promise you if you need the surgery, you can make it through it.

Good luck and keep us posted!!

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