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Inoperable?


christymike

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Christy,

There are many possible reasons why it may not be operable. One reason can be placement. Often a tumor resides at an area that is too risky to operate on. I know that there are people on this site that have had tumors that were surrounding the heart or major arteries of the heart. Sometimes you can shrink the tumors with chemo and or radiation enough to make surgery and option at a later date.

Another reason may be because of spread of the disease. My husband's cancer is throughout his right lung, the mediastatin chest cavity, the lymph nodes up his esophogus and into his neck, and under his arms. He also has 4 mets in his liver. Surgery to any one of those areas would not provide enough benefits to outweigh the risks of surgery. If you have surgery, they go in with the intent of getting it all out. If they can not, then often they say you are inoperable.

There are other possible scenarios, such as lack of overall health and strength, and some reasons that I am not even aware of.

Hope that helps some.

Carleen

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My dad's disease is considered inoperable because sclc grows so quickly. It is thought that because it grows so quickly there would be little point in operating because it has already spread through the blood system and will just come back and/or metastasize. There are more options for limited stage disease, but with my dad his disease was extensive when he was first diagnosed.

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Christy,

My mom was considered inoperable, because the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. So for this reason, even if they went in and took out the cancer in her lung it would still be present in her lymph nodes. Also, they said that surgery would require quite a bit of time for my mom to recover from (past health issues) and that would delay the start of radiation and chemo. They didn't want to postpone this.

If it makes you feel any better, the doctor we saw at the Swedish Cancer Institute said there are new studies coming out that the combination of chemo and radiation can sometimes be as successful as surgery. He wanted us to know that just because my mom can't have surgery we shouldn't lose hope.

All the best to you.

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My husband is also inoperable because of the tumor being so close to the major veins and in the mediastinum. The surgeon said they would not be able to get a "clean field" around the tumor and may actually spread it and make it worse by operating.

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the definition of Remission, I've learned, has been interpreted in many different ways depending on the user. My dads Dr. hesitates to use the word-ever- because the chances of reoccurence with his L/C are so high. He uses the words NED (No Evidence of Disease) or even Cancer Free. I'll take those anyday.

Also, I've always heard that remission is when you are disease free for the length of an entire year. (Some use the term "remission" right away from the first clean scan, some have said that "real" remission isn't until you've hit 5 years cancer-free)

I guess it doesn't matter technically how you look at it, or one doctors interpretation to the next, because that word is what all of us want to hear!

Same goes for the word "Survivor" There was debate about that word too, some said that survivors of cancer where those folks that were cancer-free......phooey!

Read the article in CURE this month and you will read one doctor state that the term SURVIVOR describes ANYONE with cancer who wakes up another day to fight their disease and LIVE!

To all the SURVIVORS here, I am praying for your REMISSION.

CHRISTYMIKE- Great question!

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I have a good friend who is a 29-year survivor of colon cancer mets to the liver, who said, "A survivor is one who didn't die on the spot when they heard they had cancer." This lady went on to found a cancer support system here in Houston that is now in its 13th year. Don

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