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NettM0575

Tumor not gone after Chemo/Radiation

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My mom has Stage 3A NSCLC. Her treatment plan was chemo & radiation concurrent. She completed it, waited 6 weeks & did Scans.I was under the impression the tumor would be gone after treatment. It’s not, but it shrunk from 2.4”to 1.9”. The Dr only speaks positive & makes it sound like that was exactly what we wanted to happen. Can a1 tell me if treatment typically makes the tumor go completely away? What are our odds now? She is doing immunotherapy. Can it shrink the tumor? 

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That's great, that her tumor has shrunk so much!  Has the doctor talked at all about the possibility of surgery now?  Sometimes that is possible--depends on the other variables.

 

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Hi Net.  I’m sorry to hear about your moms diagnosis.  I went through something similar with my dad years ago and am going through my own cancer diagnosis now.  I was frustrated with the lack of communications from the doctors on what the goal of treatment was for my dad.  He was stage 4 when he was diagnosed.  I’ve come to learn now that the name of the game is to stop progression, prolong life and try and get to NED (no evidence of disease).  The word cure is not often used with progressed stage NSCLC.  It’s not that it isn’t possible, but advanced cancer treatment can be tricky.  Terms like NED (No Evidence of Disease), CFS (Cancer Free Survival), NSP (No Sign of Progression) , DFS (Disease Free Survival) and others are often used.  You should ask the doctors what results they would consider to be a positive outcome with any treatment they prescribe.  Some treatment regiments are intended to fight back the disease to improve quality of life, some are meant to prolong life.  Some have curative intent.  Just stopping the disease from progressing is a positive outcome.  There are a bunch of people on here who have had positive results with immunotherapy treatment.   

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I'm not even sure if I am doing this right for anyone to be able to read this, but my brother was diagnosed with what sounds like the same thing as these two people are talking about. And everything I have read on Google said that he maybe has 6 months to live with chemotherapy. Talking to him, he thinks he's going to live for another 15 years.  is he in serious denial or am I getting the wrong information. He has a tumor in his stage 4 cancer lung. He's just starting chemo this week.

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Hi there, and welcome.

I'm sorry to hear about your brother's diagnosis.  There's really no way to know how long someone with advanced lung cancer may live.  We have quite a few people here on the forums who are doing well several years after diagnosis with advanced cancers.  What you read in the survival statistics is pretty scary, but it's important to know a couple of things.  First, the stats represent AVERAGES.  So many people survive for much longer than the average would suggest.  Of course, some people survive for shorter periods of time, too, but a lot depends on the exact type of lung cancer, the person's age and health (other than the cancer), and a lot of other variables that have yet to be understood.  The other thing to realize is that the stats focus on a five-year survival period, meaning the stats apply to people diagnosed more than five years ago.  There have been many advances in the treatment of lung cancer in the past few years, and new discoveries are leading to new, better treatments all the time.  So there IS cause for hope.

Glad you found us--this is a great place for information and support.

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Hi and don't despair.  In the beginning of my friend's treatment we heard "everyone is different" for almost every question we asked regarding progression, lenght of survivial etc.  Stage iiiB lung cancer is considered advanced and in Ed's case, inoperable.  However, he is getting treatment with "cure" in mind, according to both the radiation oncologist and the internal medicine oncologist.  I have my serious doubts - although optimistic, but he is doing quite well with three weeks of treatment behind him and 4 more to go, both chemo and radiation.  He is sleeping an awaful lot each day, but that's OK and it's expected, other than that he is realtively symptom and side effect free at this time.  We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but so far so good.  Keep a positive attitude and one day at a time, and everyone is different and responds differently to treatment.  Chin up!

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