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Mother - Non Small Cell (repeat from intro page)


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Hi Everyone,

I am the daughter of a newly Diagnosed non-small cell patient.... We are guessing stage IIIB - we will have confirmation on the stage tomorrow.

This is what we know so far...

Mass in the upper left lobe, the size of a mans fist with spinal compression - 5 radiation treatments and steroids have begun to attempt to relieve the compression.

Mets to the lymph nodes which has only so far been described as "multiple 1cm tumours"

Mets to the bone in the rib cage area.

It is not in her brain (thankfully)

What we have been told so far is that its inoperable and incurable, and that the treatments being offered are palliative to enhance quality of life... I am not exactly sure what they're saying by this?? It feels to me that using that terminology they have issued a death sentence.

My mothers condition is quite frail, but she has always been a tiny frail person who has survived cancer once already and survived a nearly fatal reaction to the flu shot 3 years ago. She is tiny... But she has grit.

Has anyone else just started treatments with 5 doses of radiation? If so, is there usually some kind of follow up radiation treatments afterwards??

We have not really been given much more options then that...

I should also note that we are located in Canada.

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Welcome here.

Two full disclosure admissions are necessary before I attempt an answer: (i) I am not a doctor and (ii) I don't understand the Canadian Medical System.

Palliative care is relieving the pain and discomfort of lung cancer.  In employing palliative methods, some therapies used in curative care may be used.  Radiation, for example, is also often used as a curative measure.  And, of course, curative care means treatments to eliminate lung cancer (chemotherapy, surgery, precision radiation, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy to name a few). 

I wouldn't know why your mom's doctors are not providing curative therapy.  Some in the United States chose palliative then hospice care when cancer is wide spread.  Here is a concise description of lung cancer staging.  From your description of known tumors, the rib met might suggest a Stage IV category.  

I did indeed start treatment with radiation but had 30 daily doses (M-F) accompanied by weekly chemotherapy over the course of 6 calendar weeks.  And, in my case, I had additional treatment after my "first line standard of care treatment."  

I hope this answers your question and hope more options are made available to your mother.

Stay the course.


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I just returned from the oncologist. I thick they are keeping her at 3B because the spread to the ribs is so local to the initial tumour - but I agree... I am hesitant to agree with this as everything we have read says that anything to the bones is stage4.

It is very frustrating.

I responded with further details in the "introduce yourself forum"

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