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Seven years ago. I had the upper lobe of my right lung removed due to the presence of an adenocarcinoma (stage1). I went (5) years with oncology follow-up without any problems. Two years ago a small tumor appeared on one of my right ribs which also turned out to be an adenocarcinoma. Following two chemo treatments, I had a chest resection to remove the tumor. As the tumor was directly under the incision of my first operation, "tumor spillage " was suspected as the cause. All edges of the removed bone/tissue were "clean".

About (3) months following this surgery, my CEA level began to rise. Follow-up CT Scans of the whole body showed nothing. Results from my lab work done last week indicated a CEA of 180. A CT scan also taken last week noted the presence of several small nodules in both lungs. Size of these nodules is ~ 6mm. My Oncologist is sure that these nodules signify the return of my Lung Cancer and has recommended Chemo as my initial treatment.

I am 68 years old and have not felt better in my life. Has anyone had any experiences that are similar to mine? Are there any thoughts on how long one can survive with this condition?.

Tank you for your time and consideration in this matter



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I was a Stage I for 18 months. Had two surgeries and was supposedly "clean" following my second surgery in September 2002. This past April, a CT Scan revealed mets to my lymph nodes and I was restaged to Stage IV. I went into a clinical trial along with 6 cycles of Carboplatin/Taxol, over an 18 week period. I had my last chemo on September 2 and was scanned the end of September. The scan showed that the tumors had either shruck or had stabilized. Another scan, on November 4, however, showed that I now have liver mets. I am now in my 4th battle with lung cancer and will continue to fight this beast as long as God is willing.

As you browse this message board you will find others who are "long term survivors". We have, over the course of the year, had some losses. Each loss hurts, but we keep on going. To do less would dishonor those who have gone before. One other thing you will notice, we have surviving family members who have remained active following the death of their loved one. The dedication of the people here is very inspiring.

You are most welcome here and hope to hear more from you. Definitely keep us updated on your condition. Prayer is very active here.

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"IF I WERE YOU"...first, I'd get an immediate PET scan, to indicate whether or not the nodules are indicative of tumor metabolism.

Again, "IF I WERE YOU"...second, I'd seek out consults with other Cancer Specialists beyond the Onc offering only chemo.

If the PET is consistent with a malignant recurrence, and a consult with a Thoracic Surgeon convinced me they were TRULY inoperable, I'd opt for the targeted modalities & modern techniques available from the best Intervention Radiologists, concurrent with a radiosensitizing series of chemos. (I would not do chemo alone.)


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Hello Tom;

Just wanted to welcome you here, I replied to your post over on ACS. Also, wanted to let you know that your not alone, I was restaged on Fri. , 2 brain mets were found. I think, I remember you saying something about it being real depressing with the holidays and all. I whole heartedly agree.

Makes ya just wanna say "Merry Friggin Christmas", you got cancer again. :evil: I know, I have a warped sense of humor but it's just my way of coping. I see my medical oncologist in a few hr.'s and a radiology oncologist on Christ Eve. I'll start treatment as soon as I can. I'm a firm believer in second opinions so I'll get them.

Like you, I feel pretty good about my health, I'm feeling well and expect to fight this monster for as long as it takes. How long can we survivie this you ask. Well for me, I survive it one day at a time. It works better that way.


Again welcome, glad your here, and let us know how your doing. I do some letter writing and advocacy stuff with ACS but when I really, really need support, this is the place!! :)

God bless and be well

Bobmc- NSCLC- stageIIB- left pneumonectomy- 5/2/01

MRI's taken 12/18 - 2 brain mets found- named em Frick & Frack

"Absolutely insist on enjoying life today!"

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Altho I have never heard the term "tumor spillage" it seems quite apropros for what happened to me. I had a tumor surgically removed that was up against my vertebrae. The surgeon said he got it all- - - with margins. I should have questioned more: How does one get margins up against bone? Especially since no bone was removed!!

Well, it came back. Ate right thru 2 vertebrae and formed a tumor in my spine. I must admit, at that time, I felt anything but normal. The pain was excruciating. I've had neurosurgery to remove as much as possible, then cyberknife, and presently undergoing chemo.

I hate this stuff. It's all too relentless in its ability to return.

I agree that you probably need to get another opinion. Let us know!


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