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Diagnosed Yesterday so many Questions


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Hi everybody,

I recently was admitted to the hospital through the ER for what we thought was a cardiac problem. They thought I had a blood clot and did a cat scan which showed 3 "nodules" in the left lung and one in the right lung. I had to be discharged from the hospital to have a pet scan elsewhere, which I had Monday. I saw the pulmonologist today and he told me they all "lit up" and I have cancer.

I smoked for many years and quit 18 months ago. I have COPD and the pulmonologist says he feels it would be dangerous for him to biopsy the tumors as I have so little good lung function. He is very fearful of a "lung collapse?". I am still working as a Realtor although I carry oxygen with me so I do lead an active life.

I am being sent to an oncologist in the next week or two, but I wonder how can he treat me without knowing what kind of cancer it is, or is there a general treatment for all lung cancer? Is radiation and option? Hoping somebody has information or experience. I feel so lost.

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Hi: welcome to the lchelp message boards. I think that radiation would be a good general option. You might want to get a second opinion on what to do to find out what kind of cancer you have. It is always good to go to a major comprehensive cancer center. Maybe they could do a bronchoscopy, which is less likely to cause a flat lung than other methods.

You could talk to Dr. west on his website.


He may have something to say about administering chemo for a suspected cancer without knowing the type or having physical proof that it is caner. I have a cancer in my remaining lung now and it is being treated without a biopsy because of the risk that my lung would go flat. In my case though, they knew I had a history of lung cancer and they knew what the first 2 cancers were so that made it very likely that the 3rd cancer was the same thing.

Don M

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There are multiple nodules? Are some of the nodules lymph nodes? *Most* primary lung cancers will not present as multiple nodules they are usually solitary pulmonary nodules.

If there are multiple nodules it could be other things or a metastasis. I can be a primary lung, but is not as likely.

http://medinfo.ufl.edu/~bms5191/pulmon2 ... uiz2A.html

I would ask if they are sure it is a primary lung.

Also Pet scans sometimes show false negatives.

The first thing is to make sure the Dr's are pretty sure it is cancer.

Next they should the Dr's should give the cancer a "Stage".

If it is stage I-II, maybe radio frequency ablation could be done (though this is not a standard practice)

The type of cancer would help some in chosing a treatment, but a lot of chemos work for both small cell and non-small cell about the same.

I am not a Dr. some of the info can be incorrect.

It is good to read but talk to your Dr and maybe a 2nd opinion.

Good luck

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Carolv they did collapse my lung when they did the biopsy but after 5 wonderful days in the hospital I was back out amongst them with a diagnosis of nsclc. It was inoperable so we attacked with 37 radiation treatments along with weekly chemo therapy. Oh yes, one week into chemo the nurse decided I should have a port. Yep you guessed it the collapsed my other lung ... hence another 5 days in the hospital. It has been a year since I completed the rounds of treatment and so far PET scans have shown the cancer is stable. I will be glad to talk to you if you want to send me a message.

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