lkraham Posted September 10, 2010 Share Posted September 10, 2010 Hi, Everyone. Just wanting to get your opinions and experience. My mother was diagnosed with Stage IIIa Squamos Cell Carcinoma in July. Tumor was fairly large and close to the esophagus with some spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest. Doctors told her to start chemo (carbo/taxol 1x/week for 6-7 weeks) and radiation 5x week for 33 treatments. They decided that after the 24th, they'd do a cat scan to determine whether the tumor had shrunk enough and away from the esophagus to make surgery an option. That cat scan is scheduled for next Friday, the 17th. Now, all of a sudden and for no apparent reason, the surgeon told the radiation oncologist to proceed with the full course of radiation, and in fact, they have increased the plan to 37 treatments, at which point, they say surgery will not be an option any longer. They say that they are going for a curative treatment with the chemo/radiation and that surgery would only increase the chance of a cure by 2-3% so it's not worth the risk. I'm concerned about this for a few reasons. First, it seems to me that surgery, if it can be done, is the best chance for a good outcome. What if she continues with the other treatment and it doesn't get rid of the cancer and then the surgery is no longer an option? Where does she go from there? Second, why did the surgeon change the plan without any scans or rationale that we're aware of (she had a pulmonary function test that went very well by the way)? She's well into her treatment and it's hard to stop for a second opinion when she's going for daily treatment. Does anyone have a clear sense of how many grays of radiation you can receive before surgery is out? Any other thoughts and suggestions about any of this? On top of all of this, her medical oncologist who we really like is leaving the center while she's in the middle of treatment, so that's upsetting. It's just so hard to know what's right. You want to trust the doctors and my parents are inclined to listen to what they say, but I feel that we really need to do lots of research and be sure we know the options and take responsibility for her healthcare. Any thoughts and advice are greatly appreciated. Leslie Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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