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Ahoy thare new matey here

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Hi, Captn, and welcome.

Stage IV lung cancer is a challenging diagnosis.  At one time the outlook was pretty invariably grim, but we have folks here who are 10-year-plus survivors of Stage IV lung cancer--treatments have greatly improved and new discoveries are happening every day.  

A lot depends on variables such as the exact type of lung cancer, where it has spread, what the genetic makeup is of the particular cancer (certain genetic markers in the cancer cells respond to certain types of targeted therapies), the age of the patient, how healthy the patient is otherwise, etc.

Figuring out how long someone might live with lung cancer is pretty much a guessing game.  The most important thing is to be in the hands of experienced doctors who are able to recommend and provide the most promising treatments for the person's specific cancer.  Every patient, and every cancer, is unique.  If your friend isn't confident in his medical team, he might want to explore second opinions.  I was lucky enough to have very early stage cancer (found through screening), but if I had Stage IV, I think I would be trying to get treatment at a teaching hospital that has a good record of treating lung cancer.  Such hospitals often have access to the latest treatments, including clinical trials.

Your friend needs your support right now.  You also might want to tell him about this website and forum so he can connect with others who have been treated or are currently being treated with the same therapies.

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Hi Captn,

A fellow Washingtonian here. I echo everything that Lexie has said. When my mom was first diagnosed, we didn't feel we were getting straight answers either. I think it was because the docs weren't sure of anything yet other than she had lung cancer.  It takes awhile for all of the testing and building a treatment plan.  Because we live in a small town, we also had to wait on the docs to have their "tumor board", which is a meeting with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance docs to discuss my mom's case and come up with an initial plan.  It wasn't until then that we started to get some better answers.  It's very far from a perfect system, but she survived and is still surviving.  Lung cancer is never easy no matter what stage it is, but even when things may look grim, there is often light past the darkness.  We just need to get there.  

I am my mom's advocate and do all of the research. All of the information is too overwhelming for her and she already has a lot on her plate being a caregiver for my dad. So, she doesn't participate in these forums, but if your friend wants to become involved in Lungevity's forums too, I think he would benefit from it.  It's also helpful to start your search about the specific type of lung cancer your friend has, the staging process, and treatment options here on Lungevity's website.  There is a lot of great, up to date information.

Take Care,


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