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Odd question--is there ever restaging backwards?


Andrea

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Hi. I was thinking about this at the dentist's office today. My mom was diagnosed in November 2003 so I guess I am fairly new at lung cancer, even though I feel like an old pro most of the time.

I know that often someone can be Stage II, then III or IV. BUT can someone be Stage IV, get rid of like a brain mets, and go back to being a III or are they always a IV; or a IIIA get surgery and go back to a II.

Just curious--perhaps dreaming of my mom getting restaged, who knows ;)

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Yes people are "downstaged". For IIIA, it is possible that after chemo/radiation then surgery is performed.

A few people have mentioned that too much radiation may cause the surgery not to happen. Make sure you talk to the Dr. and tell him/her that you want surgery if possible after the "induction" chemo.

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Yes people are "downstaged". For IIIA, it is possible that after chemo/radiation then surgery is performed.

A few people have mentioned that too much radiation may cause the surgery not to happen. Make sure you talk to the Dr. and tell him/her that you want surgery if possible after the "induction" chemo.

BTW ... it isn't an odd question at all.

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We had other reasons why surgery wasn't an option after the chemo and radiation, so it ended up being a moot point. But our radiation oncologist said that Becky hadn't been given too much radiation, but our other oncologist thought she had and wouldn't have recommended surgery. Make sure all of your doctors are on the same page before starting any treatment. It caused a lot of unnecessary stress for us, and we all have more than enough to begin with, thank you very much.

Curtis

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My Oncologist, Dr. Joan Schiller, told me that once a Stage IV, always a Stage IV. What we hope and pray for, is remission. Dr. Schiller is one of the leading lung cancer specialists in the US. She is the head of the Lung Cancer Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Staging is based upon the T, N, and M criteria, as set by the National Cancer Institute. T = Tumor Status, size, and location. N = Nodal Status, whether any lymph nodes are involved. M = Metastatic Status, whether the cancer has spread beyond the lymph nodes of the chest. Staging also determines the treatment options.

As in my case, I was restaged to Stage IV because the cancer had spread into the lymph nodes, outside of the chest area, and the lymph nodes surrounding the heart. The PET Scan showed almost systemic metasteses.

Stage IV eliminates any future surgery. Also, I now have liver mets. The lymph nodes either shrunk or stabilized.

The NCI website explains staging in great detail. http://www.cancer.gov

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