Jump to content

Stage iv NSCLC quesions


paperback

Recommended Posts

I posted in the small cell forum because my mom had told me that is what she had but apparently (she never writes anything down or remembers) she actually was diagnosed with stage 4 nsclc. I have been researching the other so it was a little daunting to know that I had little info on this. Is NSCLC more promising in terms of recovery? I know it doesn't tend to spread as quickly. She was diagnosed a month ago with a large tumor in the right lung (told inoperable) and a small brain Met. Two days ago she brain met was surgically removed and she is doing very well. Now the dr administering chemo is saying we may be able to operate on the lung once it shrinks and the surgeon even met with her to talk about it. She had an mri today i guess we will have to see if thats clear but it looks like everything is ok and they said they got the brain tumor completely but will do targeted radiation to make sure its not coming back. Is it possible for your stage to regress. For instance she was stage 4 with the met, does this make her stage 3? This has become my full time obsession so you'll have to forgive me long rant. Any survivors out there or anyone with info on the SCLC and NSCLC differences?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome to the community.

I'm sorry about your Mom's diagnosis. You are having to learn a lot in a short period of time -- Lung Cancer 101.

To answer your question, no, the stage never goes backward. Once a Stage IV, that is always the stage. It does sound like she has good doctors who are treating her aggressively and that's a good sign.

Spend time reading profiles and you will find others with similar diagnosis/tumor locations that you can get an idea of how they were treated.

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions you want.

Regards,

Welthy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

small cell LC grows rapidly and because of the "oat" like cells and tendency to metastasize thru the blood to other organs, =surgery is rarely ever an option.

Your mom having NSCLC with only the one localized brain met (which has been removed now!!) and who may now be a candidate for surgery is VERY GOOD NEWS. Surgery is the best chance at a cure.

While she only had one brain met, because it was outside of the lung+ the distance from the original primary tumor is how she is staged- it is considered a later stage dx. and will always remain that way.

When your mom is cancer-free, she will always be able to refer back to being a stage IV, nsclc SURVIVOR!

I am not sure what types of questions you have, but would also recommend Jack West over at onctalk. He's our "expert"! who answers lung cancer questions for us and is a great source of information on the disease.

www.onctalk.com

Keep us posted. This is good news...I hope your moms treatments are a complete success and she is able to have the surgery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses! when I read about the survivors its really encouraging. I see so many people get NED then a new met months or years later. I guess it has to be a way of life even after you feel like you've beat it. But I'm hoping there are no treatment complications or anything. So far no clots or fluid, no real symptoms (besides short breath & neck/back pain)so maybe all this is a good sign. My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer a few years ago and died in 6 weeks. So I'm kind of new at the whole fight for remission thing because it wasn't possible there. So I guess the NSCLC diagnoses is a good thing because it's possibly operable. I really want that operation more than anything because I know it's her best chance at surviving! Hopefully the chemo will work!! It seems like this is my full time job with mass overtime. It's just the worst feeling, like you're waiting for something horrible to happen any minute.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paperback: I'm sorry you have to go through this with your mom. It's true you need to focus on the positive of those things NOT occuring with her. I know what you mean about needing to hear from survivors. I get scared too when I hear about the NEDs and then the cancer pops back up again for those unlucky people. I'm a IIIB and even at a four, there is always hope as the docs chip away at this awful disease. They told me the same thing, once a IIIB always a IIIB and my latest scan showed "improved" so I've chosen to think of it as a box they have to put you in to point them in the right treatment direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But are there ever people who just get rid of both tumors and live with NED for a while or is it just the nature of the disease to constantly met to the brain spine or liver? Compared to everyone else that sounds like it would be an easy fight which apparently doesn't exist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody. I had never heard of a precocious met before but since there is no lymph node involvement it sounds like it does apply. The tumor in the lung was described as "large" though I dont have the exact cm. I know the brain was quite small (around 2) and it was right on the surface. they did scans and all the cancer is gone in the brain then the chest xray revealed that the tumor in the lung is still exactly the same size. I really hope the operation is possible. I know they will do targeted preventative radiation to the spot they removed. I just hope it all goes ok.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spoke with the dr administering the chemo today and although he talked about a lot of hopeful stories it seems that he was focused on prolonging life more than curing the disease. He said not to focus on statistics but that patients who lived for years after stage 4 were a "minority" the average people he treats live about 10 months. Of course this was after I prodded for a while. The nature of the disease is to met to other organs and although he agreed this was a precocious met as you guys mentioned, but it seemed like he didn't want to get my hopes up. It's just the most awful disease.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe my mom falls into the same category as your mom. She was diagnosed last June and is currently cancer-free!! Everything looked so dire in the beginning (even doctors were telling us she didn't have much hope :cry: ) but she NEVER believed that she was going to die anytime soon and she still has that attitude today. Of course we can't predict what the future holds and if the cancer is ever going to be back, but we are so grateful for the results she's had so far. Have faith that your mom can have similar results! :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One more thing I forgot to mention: Don't be afraid to get a 2nd opinion or find another doctor if you are not 100% certain that the current doctor is "in it to win it", so to speak. My mom's first doctor spoke in terms of "quality of life", which made us head for the door! We weren't looking for a short term fix, but a CURE. Your mom CAN be cured if she's getting surgery. If your doctor isn't fighting for that, I say find someone who will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your response its so good to hear that your mom is cancer free! For some reason my mom developed swelling on both sides of her collar bone and the scan said nothing was too worrisome though they wont release her as planned. They started radiation to the lung today out of nowhere. Could it be because somethings wrong or are they just covering all the bases??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...