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Squamous Cell NSCLC


chime

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Hello All,

I'm writing in hopes to connect with others who are knowledgeable and/or have experience with Squamous Cell Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.  My 72 yr. old Father was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 Squamous Cell.  It was found when a pulmonary saddle blood clot was detected after breathing problems.  He is very lucky to have survived that! He has DVT in right leg with huge clots.  He has AFIB caused by blood clot and will need to have his heart shocked.  He takes Lovenox shots 2x day for blood clots.  He had his entire left lower lobe removed.  He had a about a little under a 3cm nodule and out of 28 lymph nodes, only the one closest to the lung mass tested positive for cancer cells.

Oncologist says that for stage 2, he has a 5yr. survival of about 35% with the surgery alone.  The chemo would only boost his survival by another 5% according to the Dr.  So 40% survival total if chemo is used.  According to Dr., Squamous Cell is aggressive and he says can return over 50% of the time.  Therefore, the Dr. did not sound very encouraging about chemo and said that this is a hard call for him too.  The chemo would be Carboplatin and Taxol for 4 months once a month.  Conversely, if he elected to do nothing, the cancer could spread to other places and at that point chemo wouldn't even been offered. If he does the chemo it's basically a shot in the dark and  they don't know if it's working due to there being no tumors at the present time.  He also said there's a possibility he may not come back but we just don't know if any undetected cancer cells escaped from the one lymph node and where they are hiding.

My Father always had good health and then suddenly that all changed and now he's dealing with multiple issues.  He is overwhelmed and is unsure of what decision to make.  Only he can make the decision but I want him to be well informed and to really take time to process all of this intense information.  I'm having a hard time finding information online about Squamous Cell Lung Cancer and it's treatment. What I have found is very general and does not go into too much info.  One website had a poor survival rate for this type of cancer.  Only 16%.  That's the lowest I've read so far.  Trying to think positive but it seems like a damned if you do damned if you don't situation.  My mother had ovarian cancer and now I'm in shock that my only surviving parent is now dealing with cancer too.  I too had cancer and am a 5 yr survivor of Stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma.  Needles to say, it's just been too much cancer in my family all too soon! 

Hoping to hear from others who would like to share their experiences of Squamous Cell or know someone who has dealt with it.  In the meantime praying for more answers, clarity, strength, and peace of mind.  Thank you.

 

 

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Welcome Chime. Glad you found this site.  Only one Lymph node was positive ?  That sounds good.

I think I would go with his Oncologist and take the chemo.   Sorry he got the complication of  blood clot, that is serious.

Glad they are taking good care of him and glad he has you with him also.  Please keep us posted on how you two are doing.

Donna G

 

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Chime,

Welcome here.

I am a 12-year Non-small cell, Squamous cell survivor that did not get post surgical chemo because of surgery complications.  Tumors spread to my remaining lung after my pneumonectomy and my oncologist suggest the reason for the spreading was not receiving this post surgical or sometimes called "dust-up" chemo.  It is designed to kill any cancer cells in the blood stream after surgery.

One can't be sure because all lung cancers, even early stage diagnosis like your dad's, have a high probability of reoccurring.  Things may have changed but I was told post surgical chemo for my type of surgery was a "standard of care."  I'd ask your dad's doctor if his treatment suggestion aligns with the standard of care for your dad's presentation.  If it does, I'd be inclined to have the chemo.  Treatments that are the standard of care provide the best probability of extended life after diagnosis.

Here is a good place to start your investigation about Squamous cell lung cancer - https://www.lungevity.org/about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-101/types-of-lung-cancer/squamous-cell-lung-cancer

Please don't hesitate to post again if you have further questions about your dad's condition or treatment.

Stay the course.

Tom 

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  • 1 month later...

Welcome Chime. My husband was diagnosed with squamous cell in 2012. He had surgery and six chemos. If you dad can stand the chemo effects it would probably help. My husband's cancer has recurred several times. It's a long battle, but he has survived 4 years. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Chime,

My dad was 72 when diagnosed at Stage 4 Squamous Cell Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.  He is now 73 and over a year and a half since diagnosis.  From all I read, surgery with chemo after is the standard of care.  My dad was a lifelong smoker who had COPD at the time of diagnosis and so little lung capacity that they couldn't do surgery so they did this new type of radiation - Radiosurgery on the spots on his lung and spine.  That procedure was successful in "killing" the cancer in those spots, but he also had a spot on his liver which was inaccessible for that treatment.  My dad's oncologist started him on immunotherapy before chemo (non-standard) but that didn't stop the progression so they started chemo.  He went through less than the full cycle of chemo (once a week, but I can't remember how many weeks) and had to stop because the chemo was damaging his kidneys.  After 4 weeks of no chemo, his kidneys are better but still not back to baseline.  Nephrologist suggests trying a new chemo drug that is non-platinum based.  So now we need to figure out what other options there are for chemo.

As for my dad's experience, he was never sick from chemo - just tired or dizzy.  The worse part was driving the 30 miles one way to the oncologist each week.  He still wants to try more, so on we go.  

For your dad, the blood thinners may pose a problem.  I know that several options that were discussed we were asked about whether my dad took blood thinners.  This website is a good place to get options and positive support.  Best of luck to your family..

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

My father (73 yrold former smoker) was recently diagnosed with lung cancer.  This Tuesday (today is Friday) he had his 2nd/3rd biopsy.  The 1st was negative.  He has one tumor...described as about the size of a small Halo orange (!?!).  The final pathology report has not been completed but initial report is squamous cell.  Lymph node involvement is probable.  We are so overwhelmed.   He has an appointment with a radiation oncologist.  We were told yesterday that surgery was not the option...radiation and/or chemotherapy would be the treatment.  He is on Plavix and his dr is going to Japan tomorrow; so, he is having a medianscopy in two weeks.  

 

What should we be doing/asking?

What should we expect from treatment?  Quality of life?  Sickness, side effects?

 

Please help!!!

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Ngc4au,

If I am interpreting your post properly, you dad has likely Stage III A or B non-small cell, squamous cell, lung cancer. I believe I understand it is inoperable, and his doctors are recommending radiation and chemotherapy as "first line treatment." Moreover, he is scheduled for a mediastinoscopy -- a small instrument inserted into the chest at the base of his throat -- to examine and perhaps biopsy additional suspicious areas in his chest. 

You mentioned his suggested treatment is radiation and or chemotherapy.  If this is the case, your dad's treatment is "the standard of care" when surgery is not possible.  I had it and many others on this site had it.  Mine was done to shrink my very large tumor in hopes of allowing surgery.  Others have had it as curative treatment.

What should you be doing?  Research.  I'd start here and here.  As a result, you'll likely have questions and feel free to ask away on this site.  We are the lung cancer experts, not by education but by experience!

What should you expect from treatment?  Extra life.  How long? Mine is nearing 13 years after diagnosis with stage IIIA non-small cell, squamous cell, lung cancer.  Others of this site have far longer periods of survival with even stage IV disease.  So what does your dad do with his extra life?  That is the question I suggest you ponder and discuss.  My suggestion is live.  I'd help your dad realize that it is possible to enjoy life and undergo treatment at the same time.  Here is information that may be useful for your dad and family to read.

Stay the course.

Tom

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everybody, my dad had a biopsy done and found out today that he has squamous cell nsclc. He's about to turn 66 and has been smoking for years. He has signs of emphysema and COPD. The MRI showed a spot on his lung and liver, but only the liver had the biopsy because the surgeon worried about collapsing his lung with a lung biopsy. My dad is a very private person and likes to "protect" my sisters and I from bad news. He's having an MRI done next Wednesday to see if it spread to his brain. According to him, he will have chemo every 14 days. He said they didn't give him a "stage" of his cancer. My sisters and I are suspicious that he's withholding information from us. I've read a lot of articles on www.verywell.com regarding this diagnosis and have to come to learn it may be stage 4 due to the fact that it spread to his liver. Is there anyone who could help me out and possibly fill in the blanks? Thank you!

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Hello ry.nehring, so sorry to hear about your Dad.  I think you are right about Stage 4, because as you say he has a distant mets.

Where is he going for treatment?  There are several great clinics here in Minnesota.  I pray they don't find any mets to his brain.

Chemo can be very affective.  I had that first and radiation.  I was able to have surgery eventually and they found it all dead.

Sounds like with that emphysema and COPD problem that he could not be a surgical candidate. Please keep us posted.  Feel free

to ask questions.  We understand what a difficult journey this is.

 

Donna G

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Hi Donna, thanks for your support during this extremely tough time. Our family lives in northern Minnesota, so chemo will be done in Virginia. His oncologist is in Duluth at St. Mary's. We're kind of in information limbo right now until he has the MRI next week and gets a treatment schedule. I will keep you updated as information comes in.

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