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surgery and sclc


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My husband had two lesions when he was diagnosed, One in the rt. upper lung and the othe in the mediastinal lymph. Both were less than 1.5 cm. After obtaining a PET scan and seeing no other lesions, the doc was pretty convinced it was NSCLC.

They tried a needle bx of the right upper lung and it was unsuccesful. After I researched it, I found that the efficacy of needle bx in a lesion that size is only 50%. We chose not to try again. The lesion in his mediastinum was in such a place that they were unable to scope it for a bx.

So, it was surgery for a bx. They removed his rt. upper lung and the lymph in the mediastinum. He had a very stormy recovery due to the fact that his vocal cord was paralyzed and he couldn't cough effectively. He at one point begged for a ventilator but I kept telling him, "No, you can do it." I stayed with him in the hospital 24-7 which really helped because as you know, hospitals are notoriously short staffed these days.

From what I read while he was in the hospital was that in Japan they are staging SCLC like NSCLC and doing surgery on small cell when it is in the limited (lung and mediatinum) stage. Their success rate is higher than the US who are using the old VA system staging of limited and extensive.

Our doc said if they had obtained a bx and found the SCLC, he would never had had surgery. SCLC is not a isease of the lung necessarily, but a systemic disease from what he said. I'm trying to look at it as if he's in Japan and has a better outlook. Anyone else had surgery for SCLC and how were your results?

Thanks everyone for all your replies to my posts. I feel a great weight lifted off me since I've been here talking to others, seeing, and learning to live with this disease.

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I do remember a few of our members who had surgery for limited stage sclc, but I can't think of them right this minute. It's very rare and I do think it has to be limited and localized and followed with chemotherapy...but I could be wrong.

I'd ask Dr. West more specifically if he's had experience with that. He's at www.onctalk.com and is a great source of information and advice.

Keep us posted. Am very curious to know what Dr. West says about this and I hope your husband has complete success in his fight against LC.

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