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surgery coming - need info


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Dx'd on Aug. 26 with a pancoast NSCLC - by definition stage 3 - probably a T3 or T4 - no distant mets found (will complete staging this week) I am sure there will be a surgery coming on this. I would very much like information from those of you out there who have gone through this yourself or with a loved one. What surgical techniques were used - posterior or anterior entry for complete tumor resection .... etc. Also, what were the chemo drugs and dosages, amount and frequency of rediation for pre-surgical shrinkage? What was time window between shrinkage and surgery? Any any all input is greatly appreciated.

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I was diagnosed with nsclc adenocarcinoma stage 3A. The staging was not fully determined until a mediastinoscopy was performed. My surgeon had planned on doing a lobectomy, but found the mediastinal nodes in my center chest were canerous. Surgery was then ruled out until the nodes in the center of my chest shrunk( mine were not that large and din't shrink much in the center of my chest. The tissue and nodes are probably dead, from the radiation, which will prevent excess blood loss dring surgery I think.) The tumor in my right mid lobe was very small- maybe 1 inch big. I just finished chemo and radiation, and will meet with my surgeon tomorrow to plan the surgery for a lobectomy and a mediastinal disection. I did 2 cycles of 6 chemos in a row, spaced at three weeks apart. I received cisplatin and VP16. I only got 25 radiations because surgery was the goal. Too much rad and surgery is out of the question, because the tissue won't close and heal after right after surgery? Not all Doctors agree that surgery will extend your life at stage 3A. Mine does, but told me that he would not do the surgery if I waited too long. I will meet with him tomorrow to talk about the surgery. A couple of people here on the board had their surgeries much later after treatment...Terrie and Ada W.. Hebbie had her's surgery before treatment as did Connie B..

Keith, you sound young and healthy, so you should do well!.

You need to talk to Donna G. here on the board who is a Pancoast tumor survivor! I don't know much about them. I have heard that they are located in the upper lung lobes and are larger tumors? Each type of cancer is treated differently. Best wishes in your treatment and kep us posted.



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Welcome Keith,

I can't answer most of your questions because my husband had surgery first then chemo-radiation.

On the surgery, if you put your hand on your side, up about four inches then about 10 inches on both sides from that point going up the back and up the front is how his cut was. they had to cut three ribs and take a large part of that cut out in order to get his whole left lung out... He had two tumors in the upper lobe but because of where the one was the whole lobe had to come out...

After that he had chemo then radiation. You can see below what all has transpired since 9/11/02.

The great thing is, we just got back from a weeks vaca in Myrtle Beach..

I never would of believe he could have done that a year later.

Good Luck and God Bless

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Keith welcome to the board. You may also join the Pancoast Tumor club. We meet about once a month here ( Hee, hee) . All kidding aside Rocco, Judy B, Rita Bubb, Laurene and of course myself have posted on Pancoast Tumors. Mine was diagnosed 12/97 after the battery of tests and incidental wipe out of hyperthyroid ( you don't need that with cancer) I had VP 16 and Cisplatin concurrently with radiation. When that was finished I had about 3 weeks rest, to build back up blood counts etc. then in Feb I had my right upper lung removed. The surgery is done typically through your back, as was mine, big smiley incision, they have to break a couple of ribs. Rest again about 3 weeks to recover from surgery and had another round of VP 16 and Cisplatin. That had been my doctors plan from the beginning. My husband looked up the usual protoctol on line for a pancoast and that was exactly what he found. I finished up treatment in April 98. So far so good. My mentor and phone buddy is a 16 yr survivor , had about the same treatment in different order but also had 3 ribs removed because his tumor had grown into them. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Now that you have joined us. Please keep us updated on how you are doing. Best wishes Donna G

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