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My name is Anna.  My husband has just been diagnosed with Stage 1 non small cell lung cancer.  He has a ton of other medical issues including major heart issues, emphysema and COPD.  They have said that his best option would be surgery as it does not appear to have spread, waiting on the results of a brain scan. This option would have about a 70% survival rate.  However, they say that he isn't eligible for the surgery due to his other issues.  We have an upcoming appointment to schedule radiation and the say that has about 40-50% odds.  Going through the emotional roller coaster right now.  Glad to have found this group.

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Welcome here, Anna. You'll find support and hope. Statistics are just numbers. I think that they can help us make decisions about treatment but that it's important not to get hung up on then. They represent the combined  experience of large groups of people and don't tell us how any particular individual will do. Also, any stats having to do with, say, 5 year survival rates are going to be based on people diagnosed at least 5 years ago, more likely 10 or more years ago, And lung cancer treatment is changing at lightning speed. New treatments are being approved all the time.

If you feel comfortable telling us more about your husband's illness and the kind of radiation being planned, you'll undoubtedly hear from others with similar issues. In any event, keep posting and hang in there.

Bridget O.

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If you and your husband are wanting to pursue the surgery option, I suggest a second opinion. My mom has similar health issues and her surgeon did not even blink at the idea of a lobectomy. And she did fine with the surgery.

In most cases, you can start the 1st recommended treatment while you await a second opinion,  but you will want to double check with the docs.

I  assume your husband had a biopsy??? If so, was his cancer tested for any mutations or other biomarkers? Some immunotherapies are now considered to be first line treatment for those who meet the criteria.

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Welcome here.

There is a relatively new form of radiation that has been used in place of surgery in certain circumstances. You've haven't told us about your husband's tumor location and the location may be an impediment.  This type of radiation is known as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy or SBRT.  Just click on the underlined abbreviation and select >What are the types of external beam radiation therapy (EBRTs) to read about SBRT.  Ask the radiation oncologist or medical oncologist if this type of radiation is effective in place of surgery for your husband's tumor.

One of our members wrote a blog about her experience with SBRT.  You can read it here.

The advantage of SBRT is it can be curative, like surgery but without the risk to his existing medical conditions.  However, doctors will need to evaluate your husband's suitability for this type of treatment.  But, I'd ask his doctors about it.

Stay the course.


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Thanks Tom.  It is only in the lower left lobe of his lungs from what the testing so far has shown.  We just had the cat scan Tuesday to make sure it is not in his brain. I appreciate the info on SBRT.  I will be sure to discuss this with the doctor.

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Hi, Anna,

Welcome to LCSC. I am sorry that you are going through a difficult time. I am happpy to see that you've already connected with some of our members. This community is made up of survivors (including many long-term survivors) as well as caregivers and advocates. Many people are willing to share their own personal experiences and offer encouragement and advice.

Please feel free to explore the message boards, ask questions, and join in on any conversation that resonates with you. I am happy to provide you with resources and information about LUNGevity's Support & Survivorship program. Please do not hesitate to reach out and remember that we are here for you!

With gratitude,

Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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