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Another Surgery?


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Hi, I was here back in November after being diagnosed w/ a stage 1b in my left lung. On November 19th 2007, I had my upper left lobe removed. At the time of the surgery, the surgeon also attempted to find another nodule which was seen in the right lung, in the CT scan. I was told that the surgeon physically felt the entire area of the right lung with his fingers and could not find anything, so although I was opened on the right side , nothing was done. I went for my follow-up scan in March with no evidence of disease in the left lung Thank God! However, the surgeaon says he still sees something on the right side and he should just go back in and remove it! I was able to get him to get the chief radiologist and my oncologist to take another look at the scan. Now he says the radiologist agrees with our plan to wait a couple of months (May 14) and re-scan. My oncologist can't understand why I just don't get it out. Maybe I'm just gun shy. They seem to agree that if it hasn't grown hardly at all in 5 months, it won't make a lot of difference if I wait. They seem to think it maybe something slow growing like BAC. Has anyone been in this kind of situation before? Second opinion? (I do trust my doctors), and finally, I wake up in the morning with a tremendous feeling of anxiety until I get up out of bed, then I am fine????? Thanks for all your help. Jim

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Jim -

I am Stage IV and so therefore am unfamiliar with a lot of the "surgery" stuff. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you.

A second opinion never hurts - especially since you seem to be unsure of the plan that these guys have for you.

In the meantime, hang in there, this is not easy, I know. Hoping that better days are ahead for you.

Hugs - Patti B.

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I had an upper left lobectomy last June to remove a 2 cm adenocarcinoma. At the time, my CAT scans showed several smaller nodules ( 5 -10 mm), some in the lower left lung and some in the right. Two in the lower left were removed and biopsied -- originally as BAC and later re-diagnosed as AAH, an adenorcarcinoma precursor. All lymph nodes and margins were clear.

Staging is a little uncertain -- would be 1A except for those darned smaller nodules, which may or not ever develop.

The follow-up was a CAT scan every 3 to 4 months. February CAT scan showed a new growth in lower left lung (1 cm) and I am now scheduled for more surgery.

The doctors at Sloan-Kettering say that this is the way they handle cancers such as mine and yours. They just watch and wait and if anything starts to grow, take it out.

Have you had a PET scan? My small nodules don't light up on the PET and therefore are left alone. The 1 cm tumor did light up and needs to come out.

In my humble opinion, if the spot on the right hasn't changed, there's no need to do anything, especially if it's small (i.e. < 10mm). That's what they tell me at Sloan.

You might want to post on www.onctalk.com and ask Dr. West. He's very knowledgable and responds quite quickly.

Best of luck,


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