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Hi Folks,

IN my endless pursuit for answers to the million questions that i have, I stumbled upon this forum.  This week on Tuesday my mother was rushed to the hospital with chest pains, turns out after CT, XRAY etc., she has a "large" mass on her lungs. The doctors ( Pulmonology, Oncologist) did not pull any punches in saying that it is "most likely" "almost positively" cancer.  They have ordered the biopsy for this week upcoming, but have already convinced us that it is Cancer, the biopsy apparently will just reveal the pathology of it. They mentioned it seems very complicated location, near lymph nodes, blocking air way etc. Ultrasound Guided Biopsy is up next.

Now the endless pursuit of "where do we go from here?" has begun.  Trying to decide where is the best and proper place to take her for the treatment once the biopsy is complete has my head spinning.  Currently I have Sloan Kettering NYC, and Moffitt Center Tampa FL, on the radar. Reading reviews, US News World Reports, word of mouth has all been great but at time difficult to interpret exactly what we are getting into, or perhaps whats the difference?  ANY FEEDBACK WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED AS TO THE BEST WAY TO CHOOSE THE PLACE TO GET TREATMENT DONE!  FINANCES AND INSURANCE ARE NOT THE DILEMMA. IT IS JUST MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE.  WE LIVE IN FLORIDA, AND HAVE FAMILY IN NC.



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Hello Patrick, glad you found us. 

So sorry to hear about your mother, but also glad that she has you, that you got her to the doctor and they are moving quickly.

I imagine there must be a good  Doctor and treatment center in Florida .  As I read I was surprised when you spoke of NY, that's so far, but

then you wrote how you have family there so that much really broaden your choices.  I had chest pain and arm pain the first day I went to the

doctor and so glad they did an x ray and found a mass.  So the journey begins. 

Please tell us how the tests comes out, and what the plan is.  Keep us posted. 

Donna G


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Where you go from here depends a lot on the results of the rest of the diagnostic tests and staging. The biopsy will confirm cancerous (or not) and what kind (Adenocarcinoma, non-small cell, small cell, squamous, non-squamous). I don't mean to throw too much new, overwhelming terminology at you. In fact, my belief is that you try to take it one step at a time and not rush into anything like "packing your bags". They will run a genetic profile of the biopsied tissue because there are some treatments that are better than others if she shows specific mutations that have a targeted therapy available. They should also test for PD-L1 in case she is eligible for Keytruda immunotherapy as a first line infusion treatment (vs. chemotherapy). While that is being done, they may also get a PET scan, brain MRI and bone scan to make sure that lung mass is the primary site and the cancer has not spread to any of the other places in the body that lung cancer most frequently metastasizes. Your treatment decision begins when your oncologist can explain all the results and all the options to you. I have stage IV non-small cell adenocarcinoma which spread to my other lung which made me an "automatic" stage IV and therefore not a candidate for any surgery or radiation. Just because you describe it as large and near lymph nodes, doesn't necessarily mean that it is inoperable, or couldn't be shrunk with some radiation, so try not to panic. Also, we all know you want the very best care for your mom, but when you get to weighing her first treatment, the cancer center nearest you and where she would be most comfortable, you may decide it's unnecessary to travel right away. I am still being treated 20 minutes from home and am confident that any second or third opinions would have concurred with the treatment decisions we have made so far. I cannot speak to radiation and surgery; she will be fortunate to be given a surgical intervention, but there are other members here who are experienced with dealing with surgeons and/or radiation oncologists. You may also want to check out the Inspire forum on the American Cancer Society website. Best wishes to you and your family. Many of us here know exactly how much is being thrown at you right now and that can cause additional anxiety and urgency. You can look up the standards of care and recommended chemo drugs for her stage of cancer. I am doing what I cautioned you not to do. Don't get (too far) ahead of the information you have available. Insist that the pulmonary or medical oncologist explain each step and answer every question that comes up. Have another set of ears at her appointments to take notes both initially and during side effect conversations. Welcome to a group that nobody wants to have to join, but we're sure glad it's here!


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Thank you so much for making the time to reply.  It is greatly appreciated.  We had the consult with the Pulmonology Dr today. They showed us a picture of the mass.  It is blocking her right airway. They also told us she has COPD.  The mass is 4.4cm.  We have the biopsy scheduled for Thursday.  I will keep you folks posted as we go.

Thank again


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