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Adeno-Carcenoma stage III A.

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I am about to enter my fourth week of carboplatin chemo and five day radiation. I guess I wont know the effect until they take new scans in a few weeks; in the mean time I'm reading all I can.

What I can glean is that they will probably do a few more chemo sessions three weeks apart and then take a watchful, hopeful position with scans of decreasing frequency. 

I see a problem in that when they do see a regrowth, they will reco, mmend a new treatment, perhaps one of the newer targeted therapies but the literature is full of stories of sucess measured in increase in number of months to death. That's not sucess for me.

I have tolerated the initial six weeks treatment very well with no ill effects and hope to find in this support site recommendations for continuing therapies to extend any recurrence well into the future. I would welcome comments on protocalls or clinical trial that are doing that.


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Welcome here.

Sounds like you are in first line treatment for your stage IIIA adenocarcinoma and you are in your fourth of perhaps six or eight cycles of chemotherapy.  You mentioned carboplatin. Are you receiving a second type of chemo concurrently with your carboplatin?  I also note you are in your fourth week of five day-per-week of external beam radiation therapy.  

You've posed two questions: will my cancer recur after treatment and should you be concerned about incremental life survival predictions?  My short answer is maybe and no respectively.  Unfortunately, lung cancer is very persistant.  I've had 4 recurrences after no evidence of disease (NED) treatments but I'm still here.  So my first comment is if I can live, so can you.  You might find this information interesting on lung cancer persistence.  Now, let's turn to survival statistics.

I'm an engineer and consider statistics to be a valuable tool in predicting outcomes provided the inputs into the prediction analysis can be controlled.  When designing a concrete mix, we precisely measure the proportions of water, Portland cement, large aggregate, and fine aggregate. This measuring precision is called controlling the inputs.  We can also change the amount of water used and keep all other elements unchanged and test the difference in yield strength.  Once we get enough laboratory data, we can perform what is called a design of experiment where the yield strength can be predicted statistically without a physical experiment.  But, that prediction results from a large number of actual laboratory tests all with precise control of inputs.

Precise control of inputs related to human beings is impossible.  We are all different: ages, current health, genetic composition, height, weight, disease state and in a million different ways.  Thus, medical statistics are vastly more inaccurate than engineering statistics.  Moreover, the trials that are conducted to validate new treatments against established treatments often have a small number of study participants.  So when the literature says treatment A yields a three month extension of life versus treatment B, that report only applies to the study population and not necessarily to all cancer patients.  To conclude that it will apply to you is the wrong approach.  It might apply to you; it may not.  Medical researchers understand the limitations of their use of statistical measures, but there needs to be some objective criteria to determine a measure of effectiveness.  Statistics is unfortunately the only game in town.  Here is more information on lung cancer survival statistics and I do encourage you to listen to Stephen J. Gould's essay cited in the link.

Here is information from the American Cancer Society to keep in mind with pondering survivor statistics.  Particularly note the material under the heading: "Survivor rates don't tell the whole story."  If they did, I'd be dead 12.5 years ago.

You'll likely have many more questions and we'll be pleased to answer.

Stay the course.


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Hi richard i was diagnosed with stage 111A adenocarcinoma in October last year and had my lower left lung removed in january this yr followed by 4 rounds of carboplatin and Gemsitabine which i had the last infusion last week and ct scans done and my results showed NED so i know Recurrence can occur but for now im so happy to say im cancer free and you can be too !!!

Sent from my SM-N920I using Tapatalk

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Hello Richard.

I was diagnosed with Stage 3B in December 1997.  I started my treatment with 2 chemo drugs and daily radiation. 

Later I was able to have a lobe on lung removed followed by more chemo.  As you may figure out this December it

will be 20 years ago.  I am NED since the Spring of 1998.   Keep us posted on your progress.

Donna G

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