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Mom has NSCLC


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My mom was recently diagnosed with NSC adenocarcinoma stage III. My question is about the treatment they are going along with. They have started radiation first they said they are going to do about 15-30 rounds. She has had about 15 they said she has about 5 more left. Then they will start chemo. They found a spot on her tail bone that they say chemo will treat it I am wondering why they just don’t get it w/ the radiation. Also they are not going to do another scan till 6 rounds of chemo does that seem like a long time? Does this seem like appropriate treatment to you all? :?:

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Hi Sloanie, sorry you're here, but welcome.

If the spot on her tailbone is from the primary lung tumor then technically she is stage IV. If that is the case, then generally they won't surgically remove the lung tumor and combo radiation/chemo or chemo alone become the standard treatment approach.

In the stage IV setting, radiation is typically used only when a tumor or lesion is causing painful sympotoms or is otherwise threatening to cause damage. Otherwise chemo as a systemic treatment is the usual route for a lesion on the tailbone etc.

You did not state what her exact chemo regimen is, so I cant say much about that till you fill in the name of the chemo. (I'm guessing its carboplatin/gemzar or carboplatin/taxol, either of which are extremely common first line therapies for NSC). There is another anti-cancer medicine that is now FDA approved to be used with both of those chemo regimens which is called Avastin which is a very good thing to add in to the mix. You might consider asking your mom's onc about his thoughts on using Carboplatin/Alimta/Avastin in the first line.

Also, because of the lesion on her tailbone, the bone strengthening drug called Zometa may be appropriate too.

6 cycles does sound like a long time before taking follow-up scans. Lots of people on three week chemo cycles do three cycles then scan (=9 weeks between scans).

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Hi Sloanie--

I'm Adrian's sister and I wanted to add a welcome. You have come to the right place...I'm not sure how we would survive all of this if not for this board...

I think Adrian's explanation covered most of it...but just to add, part of the reason that they won't radiate the spine unless the tumor is causing pain, is because there is a limited amount of radiation that the body can handle...so they usually wait to radiate until there really is no other alternative and they use chemo instead. In the meantime, definitely check out the Zometa to strengthen the bones.

Sending you strength,


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