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I am really thankful for this site which offers such valuable real life story and support.

My dad was recently diagnosed of limited stage SCLC with a 3.5cm nodule on his right lung and some diseases in the lymph nodes nearby. He went through 4 rounds of chemo (believe cisplain and etoposide) and chest radiation (2x daily). One month after he completed the chemo, we went for his first CT scans.

We just got the result today and I am a little perplexed as to how to interpret the result. The large mass in his lung has diminished and is no longer seen on the CT and so are most of the diseases on the lymph nodes. However, the CT report indicated that there is a "soft tissue" with the size of 16mm-18mm still remain on one of the lymph nodes. On the impression, it says the "soft tissue is stable and minimally increased". All other areas are cleared. I am not sure what this means? Does it mean that soft tissue is malignant and those particular cancerous cells are not responsive to chemo? If so, will this mass progress now since there are no more chemo at this point? The doctor suggested to monitor and wait for the CT scan at 3 months to see whether it show signs of growth then determine course of action. I asked if we could do sooner or maybe a biopsy and he said sometimes the biopsy could be sampling dead cancer cells which will give a false negative.

Can anyone please shed some light or share your experience with these CT scans? I see a lot of posters saying their CTs are NED, does it mean that it is completely clean without any trace? I asked the dr and he said he would not expect the tumors to be completely gone because sometimes even after the cancer cells are killed there may still be dead tissue or scar, etc.

I didn't want to ask the dr too many questions in front of my dad because i didn't want my dad to feel overly alarmed or concerned as that would discourage his positive spirit thus far. But frankly, based on that CT scan, should we be prepared that the cancer cells have not been eradicated? Is there any action i should take before the 3 months mark for another CT?

I am just so anxious and confused, and worried that the longer we wait the less chance he has especially I know how fast the SCLC can grow....

Anyone who can share their experience will be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks and god bless you all!!!

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Hi there! I had NSCLC, but I think my experiences are no different when it comes to CT scans. It is very normal to have a scan, and have a result that warrants "watching." They had been doing this with me for the last year. I had a nodule that looked suspicious, but was not conclusive. It was not a candidate for biopsy, so watch is all we could do.

16mm is very, very small. I would be glad they are watching, but I would also feel okay because it's so small, and they are on top of it and can get at it quickly if need be. I agree with the doctor that doing a biopsy this soon could just cause un-do discomfort, for no reason. It very likely could be gone in 3 months. Chemo works in the body for a long time after the last infusion.

Glad you popped in to post. Hope this helps.

MI Judy

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I agree with Judy, and this sort of thing is not unusual. The first time I had a scan report mention something like this, I was worried and concerned because the doctors just wanted to keep an eye on it and did not appear too alarmed. Turned out to be nothing. There is still scar tissue where my original tumor was. It seems to me that doctor's don't always explain things as clearly as we would like them to - especially when we are new to all of this. If your Dad's doctor has permission to talk with you about his case, perhaps you could arrange for a phone appt. or a time to speak with the doctor when your Dad is having his bloodwork done, etc.

Best of luck and please keep us posted.

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No personal experience with tumors but agree with the others. What they are watching is very small. It is unlikely a biopsy would add anything to the picture at this point in time. I do hope you get an opportunity to talk to the doctor about your concerns. He or she would be in a much better position to set your mind to rest.

Please keep us posted.

Judy in KW

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Thank you, Diane, Judy, and Jamin.

I am a little disappointed that it's not NED, hopefully next scan will show improvement.

Is there anyone with SCLC that had achieved complete response after the first line chemo?


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Hi Izzy (may I call you that :-)

I wanted to make sure someone responded back to you on your second questions. I can't answer this question because you saw that mine was not SCLC, but if no one responds here, it doesn't mean there aren't people that haven't responded well to first line.

I don't know if you saw anyone refer to a site many of us belong to called cancergrace.org? It's http://cancergrace.org

That site has Oncologists that offer up good information to enhance what you have been given by your doctors. While they will not give medical advice or diagnose, they can give you valuable input and answer questions like the one you pose here. They are kind, gracious and very caring. This site has been invaluable to me when I just needed further back up of what my doctors were telling me.

If you open an account there, we'd like you to use the user name you have here "izzyleung" so we know it's you and can offer help there too. Obviously you don't have to but we like it! :-)

Anyway, I recommend posing this question there and seeing what the good doctors can say about this.

Judy in MI

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I'm not SCLC either but I can speak to my experience with NSCLC. I did respond to first line chemo and was NED for a year, off chemo for six months. But keep in mind, I was stage 3b. I don't know where SCLC "limited stage" falls in my understanding of staging with NSCLC, but if it was early, I believe you can hope for NED after first line chemo. Do try cancergrace.org as Judy recommended. Very helpful there with questions like yours.

Judy in KW

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