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ADENOCARCINOMA Stage 4 - Hardly any symptoms


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My father has been diagnosed with lung cancer (stage 4). He is a 66-Year-old non-smoker who consumes alcohol occasionally.

It all started abruptly. He woke up with hoarseness in his sound one day. The previous night he had exposed to heavy rain while riding a motorbike. So naturally, we all assumed that it is just a common cold. He does not have a habit of taking tablets unnecessarily. Whenever he has a common cold, he treats it with steam and gargling saline water; the same he did this time as well.

However, since he didn’t notice any difference even after a week, he visited a GP who prescribed some medications for the common cold. A week later as the hoarseness continued without any signs of fading, he went to an ENT specialist who identified a lesion in his left lung on chest X-ray.  The ENT advised him to visit pulmonologist who proceeded with Bronchoscopy in which a paralysis was identified on left vocal cord and the lesion was confirmed as a mass in the upper left lung lobe. CT scan identified the dimension.

The biopsy result suggested a “POORLY DIFFERENTIATED ADENOcarcinoma” in the left upper lobe. Whole body PET scan revealed a metastasis to 3 additional points as follows:

Ø  Cervical lymph node

Ø  Lumbar spine

Ø  Occipital lymph node

The oncologist came to a conclusion that it is stage 4 Lung Cancer.

As of now, the oncologist has prescribed GEFITINIB 250 Mg OD for 14 days and IHC test.

We have been collecting as much as data from similar cases (lung cancer) in the region. In every single case, the patient has displayed a set of symptoms, especially in stage 4 lung cancers; like a heavy cough followed by blood spots in sputum, chest pain, breathing difficulty etc. However, in this case, he has displayed no such symptoms but the hoarseness in his sound.

It might be a foolish thought but it just hurts us to see none taking an interest to look into any other possibilities of some other infections mimicking all these findings that these specialists have come up with. While collecting the aforementioned data, we came across a piece of information regarding the PET scan that says “NOT EVERYTHING THAT IS FDG-AVID CANCER (Infection & inflammation should be considered)”. To remind, he is a non-smoker and has no other disease but a slight deficiency in thyroid level. At least, is there even a slight chance for the 3 metastasis to be cancer cells at its initial stage; something like cancer cells formed at multiple sites independent to each other?


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Hi Rino,

I'm sorry to hear about your father's lung problems. Lung cancer can have lots of different symptoms, or none. Also, there are a number of ciffferent types.  A pulmonologist can tell a lot by looking at a CT scan, but definite diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. Has your father had one?

Bridget O

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Hi, Rino, and welcome. 

There is no one set of symptoms of lung cancer.  Even very advanced lung cancer can be found accidentally, when imaging studies for something else turns it up.  There may be NO outward symptoms.  

Your dad's had a biopsy, so the lung cancer is confirmed.  I think what you're asking is whether something else should be done to confirm that the apparent mets to the lymph nodes and spine are, in fact, cancer.  

I don't know the answer to that, but I believe it may be possible to biopsy the lymph nodes, at least.  I couldn't find much online about biopsy to confirm metastasis.  Sounds like that's a question for your dad's oncologist, and/or another oncologist if he wants a second opinion.  


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I had a biopsy done on an adrenal met because I'd had 2 different types of cancer and doc needed to know which to treat. Don't know if they'd have biopsied it otherwise. It had shown up later. Was not there at diagnosis. Also had a bone met show up at the same time. Ask why that wasn't biopsied. Was told because a bone biopsy was very painful, took a long time to receive results, and weren't very accurate. Having had a procedure on that bone met since I can confirm the painful part. Hope that helps. 

Judy M

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When I reread your post and my answer, I saw that my answer made not much sense because you said he DID have a biopsy. And like Teri, I don't know about biopsies to possible metastases.  Sorry!

Bridget O

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