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Need advice quickly for first oncologist visit


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My father had a biopsy several weeks ago that indicated that a small tumor in his left upper lung was adenocarcinoma.  The doctor initially believed it to be Stage I.  He had an invasive procedure this weekend that indicated that it had already spread into his lymph node and that two types of cancer cells were present. The diagnosis was moved up to Stage III.  I wasn't at the hospital when the doctors gave their report.  Hence, I don't know what the second type of cell is. My father prefers to take a passive role and is only interested in hearing what the doctors want him to do.  He's basically ignoring any diagnostic information.

I'm going with him to his first visit to the oncologist tomorrow (Halloween).  First, I was wondering if there were any suggestions of topics that the patient should raise at this point that might not be covered.  Secondly, I've read enough to know that some of the newer treatments are based testing the tumors for molecular and genetic markers.  My father is over 70, and I would like to avoid any more invasive procedures for diagnostic  purposes.  I have no idea how the genetic testing works.  Should I ask for testing now on the tissues that have been biopsied even if this testing is irrelevant to first-line treatments?  Are the tissues preserved so that they can be used for testing at a later date if warranted?  I would hate for him to have to endure another weekend like this one after undergoing chemo and radiation if all the necessary diagnostic information can be collected now. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Neils welcome.  I am sorry to hear about your Dad. First It is wonderful that you are going to go with him to the appointment.

Speaking from personal experience a patient is in such shock when they are told they have lung cancer it is very difficult to hear any more.

It is best to have another set of ears with you.  Bring your questions written down and you or someone take notes on what the Doctor tells you.

I am a retired RN now and I was in such shock at age 50 when I was told I had lung cancer.   I had trouble sorting it out and remembering what was said  ! 


I would imagine where it was so recent that they have tissue to test for genetic markers.

Please keep us posted. 

Donna G

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