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Anyone with Stage IIIA or above not get radiation?


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Hi all,

Mom just finished 4 cycles of chemo (carbo/gemzar) a few weeks ago. She has NSCLC adenocarcinoma stage IIIA after left upper lobectomy last September. Her oncologist only recommeded adjuvant chemo and no radiation. After reading many of your profiles, it seems that most if not all people with stage IIIA or above have also received radiation along with the chemo.

Just wondering if anyone else out there also did not receive any radiation (or chose not to) and why your oncologist made this decision.

Thanks in advance for your input!

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You can read by my mom's profile that never, in her 18 months of treatment, did anyone ever suggest radiation. I know she had great doctors ... right after her death, I asked Dr. West why that might be on onctalk.

He said that unless there is one concentrated area of cancer, they use a more systemic chemo. Or in a case where a tumor is blocking an airway, pressing on something, etc. I questioned why it wasn't an option as opposed to surgery when the cancer had shrunk and was believed to just be left in one lobe.

Dr. West says the treatment my mom had sounded very typical (and as I said, I definitely don't second guess the docs she had).

But I'm with you, it does seem like so many on this board get radiation of some type at some point.

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I agree with Mary Colleen. What is there to radiate? You need something to aim at and if the lobe is gone, any cancer surrounding the tumor would be gone too. Yes, some who have surgery also have radiation, but I think that's done if the cancer comes back and for whatever reason, surgery isn't an option.

I had surgery followed by chemo.


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My mom's radiation oncologist explained it this way - "I am like a spot welder - just concentrating on a problem area. The chemo goes throughout the body to take of the rest." Don't know if that helps at all, but like the others have said, there would be nothing there to radiate.


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I was stage 3a (see my profile below) and did not have radiation. Maybe because it appeared "they got it all" so there was nothing they could see to radiate. I was told I only needed adjuvant chemo in case of any escaped cells that couldn't be seen. Or maybe the doctors thought to save the radiation should it be necessary for me in the future ....

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