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Barb1260

Cutoff for surgery?

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Can someone advise what is the stage or tumor size that would make surgery no longer an option?

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I believe if it has spread to places other than the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes or if it is in both lungs they will recommend other options.  I think usually Stage IIB.  There are also consideration regarding location.  If it is too close to certain places that make it too risky for surgery, regardless of stage, they may recommend other options like radiation to shrink it before surgery.    

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Thanks Curt Mine did shrink but It’s close to an artery. Just asked the doc and that’s why it’s not recommended for me. Hope you are doing well 

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Shrinking is good.  Maybe get a second opinion about surgery.  Does your surgeon do VATS or robotic VATS?  They may be more precise.  

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Thanks Barb.  I am doing ok.  I’ve had a cold that has been kicking my bit for a few weeks.  I finally gave in and got some antibiotics.  The doctor yelled at me for waiting so long.  I need to get use to taking these types of medical things more seriously.  

Shrinking is good.  Maybe get a second opinion about surgery.  Does your surgeon do VATS or robotic VATS?  They may be more precise.  

Also make sure you are getting that opinion from a thoracic surgeon who does LOTS of these surgeries every year.  

Strange world where here we are hoping to have surgery!

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Good morning Barb! I just wanted to chime in and let you know my experience. I was diagnosed 3b because the tumor had spread to lymph nodes close to my esophagus. The surgeon said no in May of last year to surgery because of the location of the cancerous lymph nodes. I underwent standard chemo and radiation which killed the cancer in the lymph nodes and shrunk the tumor.  The oncologist referred me back to the surgeon and he agreed to do surgery. I had an upper left lobectomy on October 5, 2018 and have had 2 CT scans and a PET scan in March all cancer free. NED.  It is possible! Sending positive thoughts and prayers. 

Take Care

Paula 

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Thanks Paula. Think I’ll get a 2nd opinion at this point. I was never referred to a surgeon so I guess I’ll start over. 

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Hi Barb, 

If you look on the Bonnie J Addairo site, you will see the story of Emily Taylor a Stage IV NSCLC survivor. Here's a small excerpt regarding her quest to find a surgeon.  This was one very determined young woman!  She has been NED for four years now: 

Searching for a Surgeon

Surgery on patients with stage IV lung cancer generally 
does not succeed in ridding the body of the disease. However, Emily and her family asked friends and advocacy organizations for the names of surgeons with experience who might be willing to do the operation. After four surgeons said no, Raja Flores, chairman of the thoracic surgery department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, said he’d consider it.

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 Raja Flores was one of the doctors on panels at the Lungevity conference in DC. He seems knowledgeable, a little contrarian --maybe williing to take some risks other surgeons won't, and very entertaining. 

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Hi Barb,

Like Paula, I was also diagnosed 3B because not only the tumor had spread to lymph nodes but also to all over right lung.  I was told by everyone - my med onc, thoracic surgeon, and then later radiation onc (I had post surgery radiation treatments) - that the surgery wouldn't have been an option if I wasn't so "young and healthy".  So I'm thinking how healthy you are does count into their recommendation of whether or not present a surgery as an option for you.

I'd recommend a consultation with a kick *ss 😀 thoracic surgeon - good luck to you...

MB

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Hello Barb.   I was Stage 3B.  The tumor was in the apex of my right upper lobe.  Pressing on nerves going down my arm, and onto my chest wall.

I had chemo and radiation, it shrunk.  I then  had my right upper lobe removed and more chemo after---- as was planned.

That was finished in 1998 and I am still here.  Best wishes , keep us posted.

Donna G

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