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Newly Diagnosed - Treatment Questions

John S

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I am 52 years old and waiting for my biopsy results that I should have tomorrow.  My Pulmonologist has stated to me that he believes this is Lung Cancer and a very aggressive form of it.  He stated this again after doing the Bronchosopy.  He took a lot of tissue when he was in there.  I had a PET scan yesterday and should get those results tomorrow as well. Brain MRI scheduled the week after next (earliest I could get in).

I have been searching the web for reasons to do, or not to do, Radiation and Chemotherapy. I am single with no SO or real family to speak of.  This really is all about me.  As this disease at the Stage III/IV is almost unbeatable. I am thinking more about the quality of the time I have left then the length of it.  Thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Thanks for reading!



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Hello John.  Glad you found us.  I have to say this is a tough journey.

I was 50 when I was diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer.  Treatment took over 6 months. Chemo drugs, radiation, then surgery, then more chemo.

That started in  December 1997.  If you fight the fight, some of us will make it.  Please let us know what the doctor says and how you are doing. Do you have some friends or co-workers that can lend some support or church family ? Keep us posted.

Donna G

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Thank you for the response.  I am fortunate to have a couple very close friends around me for support.  I am also conscious of the fact that they have families and jobs. Who is going to care for me, when I need it, is a concern as I had a business fail a couple years ago.  I was digging out from that and my resources are thin.  My company offers good disability insurance, assuming I qualify, but as I live in San Diego it will be just enough to cover my bills.

Please do not take this as whining.  It is just what I am faced with and I am trying to figure out how I am going to handle it. In a weird way, the items that I can address give me some feeling of control.


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No we don't take your post as whining.  We've all been where you are now -- going through the typing and staging process.  I was 53 when I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB NSCLC - Squamous cell and that was in February 2004 when treatment options were in the dark ages.  

Tomorrow you'll get the news and hopefully you'll consult with a medical oncologist.  You'll have three treatment options: curative, palliative, and no treatment.  Your real choice is between the first two.  If you have lung cancer and do nothing, your quality of life will be very painful as the disease spreads.  Palliative treatment generally consists of the same processes as curative (radiation and chemotherapy) adding narcotic medication to relieve pain.  So, unless you've got a very high tolerance for pain, you'll at least choose palliative care.

I wouldn't discount curative treatment just yet.  Depending on the type of lung cancer, there are many emerging therapies that are successfully controlling and sometimes eliminating lung cancer.  You should at least explore those options before you decide.

Let us know tomorrow the results of typing and staging and we'll give you some more insight based on our treatment experience.

Stay the course.


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