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Lots has happened...now pneumonectomy??


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Hi All,

Haven't been on here in a while....lots of reasons.

Weeks after treatment (Carbo/Taxol/Radiation) Dad was hospitalized for stomach pain/not being able to eat and major coughing. 6 days, blood transfusions, IV antibiotics (for pneumonia/pseudomonas and strep infection)...then home. Stomach slowly improving.

Before all this, good news - "treatment" results were "remarkable"...30% shrinkage in primary tumor, no cancer activity.

Now there's possibility of pneumonectomy - left lung.

Differing opinions amongst the teams of docs (shocker).

Chance of cure, per surgeon, is 20% with this surgery. Chance of cure without - per all - is <15%. Would you do it? Have you done it? Know someone who has?

Please share your thoughts. We are overwhelmed by all the info - especially since we're hearing different things from the docs.

THanks and take care.

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I had a lobectomy (1-1/2 lobes) prior to chemo and radiation - false negative PetScan and incorrect staging. I'm doing pretty good now.

My friend was told she was not a surgery candidate and got a second opinion. Had a lobectomy after chemo had shrunk her junk (and then more chemo after surgery.) She is doing great two and half years later - last I heard.

I'd be inclined to get into better shape for surgery - your Dad's been through a lot already. Also, check in at CancerGRACE.org - the good docs over there will have some opinions from an educated perspective.

I'm not quite understanding surgery with no cancer activity. Is it only a surgeon recommending surgery? What does the oncologist say?

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Have no experience with situation like your dad's. I do remember being confused and overwhelmed when my cancer case appeared muddy. I went to cancergrace.org and the doctors there were wonderful. Can't believe they do what they do for free but it's the next best thing to a second opinion. I recommend to try them out too. If it feels overwhelming laying it all out again, just try cutting and copying here and pasting it on the cancergrace site.

Judy in Key West

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I had daily radiation and 2 chemo drugs for months then was able to have surgery and it was followed by more chemo. I have survived since 12/97 diagnosis and am friends with NED, No evidence of Disease! Best wishes

Donna G

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Here's another vote for posting the question on cancergrace.org. Be sure to include your dad's age and general physical condition and any other pertinent details you might have in your earlier messages (I didn't do a search for them). But from what you say in this message, I'd be very hesitant to go the surgery route anytime soon.

Best wishes and Aloha,


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Do keep in mind that pneumonectomy is not the same as lobectomy. My sister's surgeon was willing to do a lobectomy, though once he got in there and realized the only way to get the tumor was to take out the whole left lung, he closed her up. He would not do a pneumonectomy on her due to her mild COPD and the increased risks with removing the whole lung. Not that it can't be done successfully, just don't want you to compare the results of people here with a lobe removed to what you might expect with his whole lung removed.

She agonized over the decision to even try though. I can totally understand why you are feeling so unsure. Her surgeon sort of tried to talk her out of the surgery actually. He argued (and there are research papers out there that support this) that the survival curves for patients in my sister's position (3b who respond well enough to first line chemo/radiation to be eligible for surgery) are better than the average 3b patient anyway and there is a good chance that they would do equally better than other 3b's if they did not go the surgery route. That made the decision all the more confusing for her.

It was the oncologist who helped convince her to at least give it a try. Now that we sit here over a year later with no signs of anything new or any progression, I so wish they could have successfully taken out that dang tumor!

I second (third, fourth?) the idea of asking over at cancergrace. Maybe they can give you enough info to help you all figure out which route is best for all of you. But I do think it ends up coming down to a leap of faith. That was the phrasing my sister kept using. Good luck to your Dad and your family. I remember how tough it was to make that decision and I think I can say my sister still has no regrets about trying, just wishing it could have been done.

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Hi Hope,I had my right lung removed in aug.05 and I seem to do ok. I do not have near the function I used to have tho. In my case their was no decsion to it. But your fathers case is completely differant than mine.To my understanding the right lung has 3 lobes and provides 60% of your lung funtion while your left lung has 2 lobes and provides 40 %. If he could have the surgery and still have plenty of lung function I would say go for it. But I also have a sister with severe emphasyma and I know that there is no way she could have a lung or even a lobe for that matter removed. I know this must be a tough decsion and my thoughts and prayers are with your family!

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Hi Hope-

I have no personal experience with any of this since I was dx'd as Stage 4 and surgery was never an option.

Just wanted to say that I realize this must be a tough decision and am hoping and praying for the best for your dad.

He is so lucky to have you by his side.

Please keep us posted.

Hugs - Patti B.

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I believe there are a number of studies out there that suggest that pneumonectomy may lead to better survival than lobectomy for those who have adequate lung function.

There was a person on here who had a penumonectomy and became very successful mountain bike racer.

There is no information in your profile, so I am guessing it is early stage since surgery would not usually be done for stage IV. Sometimes surgery is done for Stage III and common for stage II or I.

http://www.turkishrespiratoryjournal.co ... hp3?id=506

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have had the experience of a left lung penumonectomy in 2001, I can admit that the whole experience is absolutely awful, but I am still alive. Unfortunately for me I am left in constant pain and I take daily tablets of tramadol to cope with it but I am still here which is the main reason I had the surgery, so go ahead and have the surgery life is for the living and if you are not here due to stupid mistakes in not going for it you can only blame yourself. as you are a long time dead


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