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Questions about NSCLC Stage IIIB


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It's been about 3 weeks now since we found out that my mother in law has lung cancer. Her first set of doctors were taking a long time in between the testing until the final diagnosis so we switched her to the University of Chicago about 2 weeks ago. The surgeon there called with the news that we were dreading. Her cancer has spread to one lymph node (possitive needle biopsy) and said that confirms her at Stage IIIB.

Since surgery is no longer an option, we're going back to U of C this week to meet with the oncologists.

What can we expect? What is the normal course of treatment? Will the treatment start immediately? Is Chemo/radiation her only option? What specific questions should we ask?We have a million questions.

From what I've read, this doesn't sound good at all. The 1 year survival rate is very low.

If anyone can offer us any advice or suggestions we would greatly appreciate it.

Besides a slight tickle in her throat, she feels GREAT. She is doing everything that she's always done and is not having any other problems.

My mother in law is a non-smoker and also a long term breast cancer survivor (mastectomy but no chemo or radiation was needed)


Thank You

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Hi Poggie,

Sorry to hear about your mother in law. Below are some questions I found to ask your doctor. Also below are some websites for more info. All the info is free. Stay with this message board. Great place with great people. I'm at satge IV. Also read my signature below. Anything is possible when we beleave. Hope this helps. Peace, take care and God Bless.


For all patients with lung cancer:

·What is my diagnosis?

·What is the stage of my lung cancer?

·Should I see another doctor to assist in my care, such as a thoracic surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, or pulmonologist?

·Do I need additional scans or biopsies in order to plan my treatment?

·What is the goal of my treatment?

·Besides treating my cancer, what can be done to treat my symptoms?

·Are there any other treatment options available to me?

·Are there any clinical trials for which I am eligible?

For patients who are to receive chemotherapy:

·What are the names of the chemotherapy drugs, and how are they given?

·What are the side effects of this chemotherapy?

.What symptoms or problems should I look out for?

·What can be done to lessen these side effects?

·How often will I need to visit the doctor and how long will each visit take?

For patients who are to receive radiation therapy:

·How will my treatment be planned (what types of scans will be used)?

·How much of the normal lung will be included in the radiation field?

·Is it possible for me to receive chemotherapy with my radiation? If so, what are the added side effects of giving the chemotherapy at the same time, compared to one after another?

For patients considering a clinical trial:

·What are my options for standard treatment?

·What other clinical trials are available to me?

·How will my experience differ if I enroll in this clinical trial, as opposed to standard treatment (different risks, extra tests or time commitment, schedule)?

·What is the goal of this clinical trial (is this a phase I, II, or III clinical trial)?

For patients who have completed all of their treatment:

·What are the chances that my cancer will return?

·Is there anything more I can do to reduce the chance that my cancer will return?

·How often should I visit the doctor to follow up?

·What tests will I have during my follow up?

For patients who smoke:

·Can you help me to quit smoking?


The Power Of People Helping People / The Power Of Knowledge / The Power Of God / The Power Of Believing / The Power Of Positive Thinking / The Power Of Never Taking No For An Answer / That’s The Key


With Every Breath A Lung Cancer Guidebook / From ALCASE / A Wealth Of Information / Free

http://www.alcase.org/education/publica ... reath.html

The Cancer Survival Toolbox / Free / From NCCS


Clinical Trails Listing Service / Center Watch


Lung Cancer In The News / GOOGLE

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&editi ... ung+cancer

The Wellness Community / National Cancer Support, Education And Support / Free

http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org/pro ... /guide.asp

Drug Information Online


ALCASE / Alliance For Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support, Education


Unites States / National Library Of Medicine


Health Information / Medical Encyclopedia


Google / Great Search Engine


R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, Inc. / Please read: A Letter to all newly diagnosed cancer patients


American Cancer Society / No Matter Who You Are, We Can Help


Cancer Information Service / NCI


Cancer Research Center / A Cure For Cancer...


American Institute for Cancer Research; Nutrition Hotline / AICR


Cancer Hope Network / Cancer?


Association of Cancer Online Resources / Free Online Lifeline For Everyone Affected By Cancer & Related Disorders


Lung Cancer Information Library / Electronic Library Of Comprehensive Educational Materials On Cancer For Healthcare Professionals And Patients.



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Poggie, sorry to hear the news as well. Just hang in there and be supportive of your mother i/l. Forget about the 1 year thing. They are telling me i have less than 6 months. To me i have as long as im supposed to have here no more no less ! Its good that you have a million questions ready for the Dr. ( i hope you have them written down ) get all the info available. Knowledge truly is power. Best wishes to your M/I and your family thru this difficult time.



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