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Lung cancer, spread to bones a few


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Dear Members,

Sister has lung cancer,which is stable,but has active cancer cells to back (a few) in spine.

Doctor is giving her radiation for 14 days,( she is in alot of pain) thats why they recommend radiation also because of active cancer cells. Does the radiation relieve symptoms and Also kill the cancer cells? Is bone cancer cells controlled easily, if there are a few?


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Teardrop, I don't have any personal experience with radiation but I'm sure someone with more info will hop in soon. I do recall reading posts of people with spine mets getting radiation--I know to alleviate pain but expect it likely kills cancer cells as well. Must be scary though you did say just "a few."

Judy in Key West

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Hi teardrop. So sorry to hear about your sister and your need to be here. But hopefully you will find this site a good source of information and support.

I have spine mets (cancer in my spine) and had radiation treatments. Some people are successful in having radiation clear it up. In other cases it just helps to reduce the pain. the spine is a very difficult area to tell what exactly is going on. Unfortunately my pain has never gone away but I am scheduled for a surgical procedure soon that will hopefully help.

So I hope the radiation does the trick for your sister. If it is just a few small spots I suspect the chances of that are better.

Please keep us up to date on how you and she are doing.


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Thank you for your reply back, and the information. My sister lost the cusion between her spine in a couple of areas that the doctor inserted some cusion, the pain is in her back and one leg. The doctors thought with this insertion she would not be in such pain. The doctors said the pain was from her spine with no cusion and cancer cells.

They intervense feed her, will she pull through without eating herself, she eats very little,not hungry. It's a normal thing to not to be hungry going through this I know. Thank you again.



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My mom has a lung mass that was stable but active spead in her spine and hips last summer. Her oncologist said it wasn't unheard of to have a stable primary and active mets. Mom had radiation (two doses) to her spine and hips each day. It was instrumental in helping to relieve the pain she was in. She also has a Quadramet treatment which is a radioactive isotope that binds to cancer in bone.

While Mom was undergoing the radiation she did not have much appetite. She experienced a lot of nausea and dirrhea. Once the radiation was finished her appetite returned.

The radiation is mostly pallative (to relieve pain), but it can also kill the tumors in the spine. Mom's last scans showed her mets to be gone.

So I guess the upshot is that the radiation isn't fun while you are doing it, but it does relieve the pain and can help to control the cancer.


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Hi Teardrop.

I had several bone mets (spine and pelvis) at dx but they weren't bothering me at all -- no nerves or moving parts involved. Then about 6 months later I began to have pain in my hip/groin and also sciatica. A new bone scan (or was it an MRI?) showed new mets in a vertebra and in the pelvis and these were treated with 14 sessions of radiation. During the treatments I was very tired (slept 14 hours/day) and nauseated but that cleared up about a week or so after the treatments were over. And the pain disappeared -- the sciatica (from the vertebra met) about halfway through the treatments and the hip/groin pain about 2 or 3 weeks after the treatments were over. Since then I get a monthly infusion of Zometa to strengthen the bones in order to prevent stress fractures. So far, so good.

I hope your sister's treatment is not too unpleasant and turns out to be a total success.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Dearest Members, Thank you for your replies and information. My sister got out of the hospital Saturday 1/24. She will getting more radiation treatments,5 to 7 more and found out the cancer cells died in the spine, but still have in leg, bone marrow. She is in pain and not positive about getting better. She says she's dying and not eating. But my youngest sister told her she's not dying and will get better as the cancer is not terminal. It scares me, in what she is saying, with this way of thinking will she come through ok. She's in alot of pain, and doesn't believe anyone. All I can do, is call and comfort her, and say alot of prayers. .They wanted to send a nurse home with her and since she is on Medicare, how much would she had to pay, as she and her husband say no, as he will be taking off work to be with her until she is off the radiation. Does anyone know how much they would have to pay for a nurse? THANK YOU ALL, FOR BEING THERE FOR ME.



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