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My Dad has just been diagnosed with 3b NSCLC squamous cell ( sub carinal node malignancy ). He has probably had it around 18mths according to the Chest specialist - symptoms present cough, hoarseness, weight loss, anorexia, fatigue. Had been treated off and on for 6 months for chest infections anf laryngitis, then for heart problems (atrial fib) and eventually he was sent for a chest xray where a 4cm tumour was detected. After biosies to the tumour and lymph nodes they decided it was inoperable and not suitable for radiation. We are all devastated as my Dad was a big strong man and is now a shadow of his former self. He hasnt started his palliative chemo yet and my sister was wanting to take him on holiday over xmas - I was unsure as I didnt know if he would be up to a long flight and would postponing the chemo till over xmas have a big impact on the outcome ?

My sister thinks that he should enjoy his life while he still can.

It is such a dilemma deciding what is best for Dad and of course the choice is his.

This site is a wonderful discovery for me and I have read most of the wonderful stories and comments and have taken some hope from them - thanks to everyone who moderates and contributes.


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Dawn, my bad....I see that you did tell us that your Dad has squamous cell carcinoma. This is the same kind of NSLC that my husband has, though he is stage IIB.

Do you know why it is not considered suitable for radiation? That is unusual, in my (limited) experience. There are many people on this board with IIIB (like your Dad) who have been treated very successfully with radiation and chemo.

Best wishes, mc

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Welcome Dawn,

My cancer was similar to your dad’s. I think that a second opinion is always important. This should be down before treatment is started. Starting treatment as soon as possible is also important. The doctors may say it does not really matter, but they say this sometimes because they don’t have much hope. I was told there was no cure and radiation was not an option. I had a second opinion that agreed with the first and then went onto aggressive chemo. I am now cancer free. We all should enjoy life while we still can cancer or no cancer. My idea was to have more life to enjoy.

All of the things I did are posted under MY STORY. If I can do anything to help let me know. Keep us posted.

Stay positive, :lol:


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Welcome to the boards. I am so sorry that you need to be here, but I am so glad that you found us. Please know I am praying for you...may you find peace at this time, and may you enjoy the holidays...talk about this with the onc...they typically will keep that in mind.

God bless,


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It's really great to hear from you all - and you all have such courageous stories to tell.

My Dad is 76 years old but has always been a 'young' 76 year old - he was very sturdily built and strong but now he appears quite frail and has aged in my eyes.

They told us first of all that radiation was an option for the lung tumour and chemo for the malignancy in the sub carinal node - but now they say that the lung tumour is to big for radiotherapy at 4cm.

We live in UK and do not get half as much info from the Doctors that you appear to in USA - most of the info I have gained has been thru internet research.

I know his liver is clear and his bones are too - the staging they gave was T2N2MX.

I think that the more knowledge you have about Lung Cancer the better it is when the Doctors talk to you about it, at least you can understand where they are coming from.

I was hoping that my Dad might be able to try Tarceva but in UK it is not available yet (other that on trials where one patient gets the drug and one a placebo).

He is currently taking Chinese medication (some sort of Mushroom called Reishi) and it is supposed to boost your immunity to prepare you for the chemo - I pray to God it is working !!

Thanks for your welcoming comments - they are all very much appreciated.

My Dad sees his Oncologist tomorrow for the first time so I will have a better idea of what they are going to do then.

God Bless you all


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I'm certainly no expert - I'm new here myself. My mom also has IIIa (maybe B) NSCLC - also Squamous Cell. SHe's a vibrant 83 year old. At first, her medical oncologist wanted to do a trial of chemo (2 cycles of carboplatinin/taxol), re scan and decide whether to go on with chemo only, or add radiation - depending on the response of the tumor.

SHe saw a radiation oncologist later who recommended radiation as well - partly based on the location of the tumor. Hers is also near her heart - it's around the Left mainstem bronchus and Left pulmonary artery. She's getting a bit hoarse, so he's worried that it may be pushing on a nerve.

My Mom's being treated at Dana Farber and they have the ability to give radiation with CT guidance, and even compensate for the movement of the tumor when she breathes, so the collateral damage may be low.

I guess I'd ask your doc if he thinks that there's a place for radiation after the chemo - maybe he wants to try and shrink it first to decrease the risk of injuring the heart.

I wish I could tell you more, but definately keep asking questions .


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Sorry about your Dad's diagnosis. We are all here to help you through this trying time.

You need to be a really strong advocate for your Father. I know things are different in the UK, but it is best anywhere to politely "get in their faces" to help the Oncs. clearly understand that you want aggressive treatment.

Please check with the Doctor's regarding any supplements, as some are known to interfere with treatment. Also, if your Dad is considering flying, have a lung specialist check him out to make sure he is "flyable". There is some type of test that can be done. Unfortunately, some people with lung cancer cannot and should not fly. Tony has experienced problems with flying and others we know of from our hometown support group have been tested to make sure that flying was okay for them to do. I guess it depends on how compromised your lungs are and my husband's lungs are really bad.

Hoping for a chemo/radiation strategy to start soon for him.



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Thanks so much to you all for taking the time to give me your ideas and suggestions - I am so truly grateful as I know that you all have your hands full with your own problems - this is a truly amazing site and I feel fortunate to be part of it all

Dawn x

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