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We need information on Small cell lung cancer treatment


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Flashpoint, Welcome to the boards, although I wish so much you didn't HAVE to be here.

First and foremost, give your blessings for finding this booger early, as that is the best prevention for SCLC. You can see by reading my profile about my dad that this disease CAN be beat.

Essentially my dad's diagnosis was much like your wife's, although his tumor in the lung was so large that it spread between the two lungs, and it was pressing on the superior vena cava, which meant it was cutting off the blood supply from the brain and upper extremeties.

He had the same chemos as your wife, and once the tumor got small enough (after three rounds) he was able to get radiation to zap the tar out of it. After the chemo, there was no signs of the cancer. He finished out the radiation, and then was given the option of PCI, which is a preventative (essentially) brain radiation to prevent metastises to the brain. From what we understand, they only offer PCI to those who might be curable.

Dad has been in remission for almost 10 months now...is doing great, and is happy, 40 pounds lighter, and smiling!

Thank God for medicine, positive attitudes, and prayer.

Please, let me know if you have any questions. The cancer "ride" never goes away, as there is always a fear of recurrence, but for now we are all living life to the fullest!

God bless,


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So sorry you have reason to be here, it appears that your wife has limited sclc which is the same as my dx over 5 years ago.

The standard tx is generally the chemo that you mentioned with concurrent radiation (30 rounds in my case - 1 per day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks).

Have you had a second opinion? Around here we usually stress this just to be sure all the ducks are in the same row.

The onc will be able to tell you about the possible side effects from the tx and my advise is that if pain meds are needed to make sure that they are taken before she is in pain and if nausea occurs take the meds on time - it's easier to KEEP both these things under control than it is to GET them under control so don't hold off on the meds if she needs them. Don't let her go too long without food either, small amounts and often are usually better, and always, always, plenty of water.

Good luck, you've come to the right place for support......we're here to help.


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Welcome to this amazing community that has brought us together under unfortunate circumstances.Treatment affects everyone differently. Since this has occurred in the past, you may have learned some tips already for chemo treatments. I would be happy to share tips and experiences with you to help with the caregiving of your wife. It can be stressful but try to be sensitive to her feelings because she will be experiencing many emotions as well as you. I hope her treatment goes smoothly.


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Welcome, flashpoint, to our 'little' family here in cyberspace. My lc in NSCLC ~ not the small cell your wife has, so unfortunately I cannot offer much advice in that department other than you can expect a great response to chemo. I did, however, want to be sure I welcomed a fellow PA'er. I think we are sort of at opposite ends of the state..........not sure where you are ~ but I'm about an hour west of Philadelphia.

Hopefully you will find lots of support here AND great info to help you navigate this bumpy road you find yourself on.


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I think everyone has given you the great pracitcal advice. I just want to encourage you to come here with questions and concerns, and to stay strong. It seems like whenever someone asks a specific question, there is someone here who has a good answer and has been there themselves.

It's very frightening at first, and you feel like you're in a fog and/or a panic not knowing what to do for the person you love so much. Especially when everyone is telling you that you need to act fast.

If you haven't done so yet, I would encourage you to read Don's post called "What I did to fight sclc." It's at the top of this forum, but here's a link anyway. http://lchelp.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?t=18395. It's the very first positive thing I found on the web, and how I ended up on this site to begin with.

It's the amazing survivors here and their wonderful loved ones that have helped me get through this from the spouses's position. In most cases, we're the most important person in the survivor's life, we're with them everyday, and we need to do all we can to help them keep fighting and to make sure they know that we believe they can do it.

I guess the only other practical thing that I don't think has been mentioned would be to try to help her keep her weight up. Many people, my hubby included, drink milkshakes made with ice cream and Ensure or Boost to get the calories and nutrients when it's hard to eat enough "real food."

Take care and know we're here anytime.

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I have to agree with everything everyone has said so far. This is such a great place to go for answers. As she begins her treatments, and as you begin to get information, it won't be as overwhelming to you. She does need an aggressive Doctor and you both have to believe that she can beat this, because she can. I will add her to my prayers. Please keep us posted and know that there are truly experts in this forum that will help guide you and your wife on your way. Right now my sister is fighting this disease, along with a lot of others on this board. We are hoping she will be declared in remission on Monday. So keep your faith and make those Dr.'s work for their money.


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Sorry that you wife has been diagnosed with SCLC, but since she had the cancer, this is a great place to come for information, knowledge, prayers, hope, and just plain support. The people are just so supportive--sort of like an army comes out when you have questions, worries, or need help! It's awesome.

It sounds like your wife's cancer was caught early? and thus she may have a good chance for a cure or certainly for being in remission after treatments.

Basically, I can only tell you what I went and am still going through, but that may very well not be what your wife can expect, so i will try to put a broader picture on my comments. It seems that most people taking chemo lose all or part of their hair after a few days or weeks, depending on the type treatment; but good old wigs, scarves, and hats take care of that problem. Then there is nausea for some people, but again, they can give anti-nausea medicine if needed. The radiation has no basic pain and you don't feel a thing during treatment, except some people get a very sore throat or have trouble swallowing - but it depends on the strength of the radiation and/or how well she tolerates the treatment--some people do quite well.

Hope this helps.

My last comment is if possible, get a second opinion.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I see you are in NE Phila? Where is your wife receiving treatment? My Mom was diagnosed with Extensive Small Cell on 9/25/06 and she is currently being treated like she has limited-she begins concurrent radiation @ Univ of Penn this week. She received 6 cycles 3 rounds each of Cisplatin and Etoposide. We went to Fox Chase for our first Opinion and then went to Penn for our 2nd. My Mom was in pretty bad shape when we were admitted to Penn. You can read her time line below. She is doing very well now. If I can be of any help please PM me anytime. We are in NJ right over Tacony Bridge.


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I can't believe I missed your introduction. I sure hate hearing your wife has sclc. I suppose by now she has started treatment. All I can say, as many others have is that this is the place to unload questions, feelings or whatever else you want. Someone here will ALWAYS respond with their experiences.

Keep the faith.


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I hope she's started treatment and you have some answers to your many questions: I'm sure this is all very bewildering. I definitely agree that it always makes sense to corroborate what you hear from the first oncologist you see with a second opinion, but in the meantime, or any time you want to just get an idea of the general principles of lung cancer management without traveling, you can check out my website, www.OncTalk.com. Here are a few of the most relevant posts I've written on management of SCLC, and particularly limited disease, which is I hope what it's looking like she has after the staging has been completed:




I hope you find some of this infomation helpful. Good luck to her, and to you.

-Dr. West

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