Jump to content
Dave T

Information Needed

Recommended Posts

My wife Melissa was just diagnosed with lung cancer last Friday. We are at a complete loss as what to do now. The hospital hasn’t given us the name of an oncologist yet. She just had a biopsy on Friday and we are waiting for the results to find out what we are dealing with. We really need some help on how to move forward. I know when dealing with this that time is at an essence. I would love to hear from people on what is the next steps. Thank you!

 

                                Dave T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

I am so very sorry to learn of Melissa's condition. The biopsy report and other diagnostic tests will give a good indication of next steps. My suggestion for you is to read into the disease so you can understand the medical vocabulary and help make important decisions.  Start here with information about diagnosis on our Lung Cancer 101 synopsis. Pay particular attention to imaging tests and biomarker testing.  

A lung cancer diagnosis is made by a pathologist examining tissue under a microscope. The results of this visual process, called histology, yields the type and subtype of lung cancer.  There are two types: small cell and non small cell. But within the non small cell type are a number of subtypes: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell and large cell. The type identification is important because each has a different treatment approach.

Most who have a biopsy have tissue sent to a lab for further biomarker testing.  This is extremely important and ensure your oncologist and or pathologist knows you want the biopsy tissue samples sent for further laboratory testing.  This testing is vital because new, very successful treatments are now available in the form of Targeted Therapy and Immunotherapy. While I've hyperlinked information explaining these new treatments, you shouldn't spend too much time at this juncture reading into them. Just know that they are available and the biomarker testing is the key to availability. So, point one when you get your oncologist on board is to ensure biomarker testing is performed on the biopsied tissue.

Your wife likely had a CT scan that led to the need for a biopsy.  You didn't reveal how many suspected tumor sites were present on the scan but she will likely have more imaging scans to map the position of metastatic areas. Hopefully, you are dealing with only a single nodule or mass.  These further imaging tests may be a PET scan, a MRI of the brain and perhaps a bone scan.  The results of all the diagnostic imaging studies allow for a stage determination.  Here is information on non small cell lung cancer staging. Lung cancer staged at I through IIIA may allow for surgical resection of the single mass or tumor.  Stage IIIB may or may not be surgically treated.  Stage IV is normally not treated with surgery. Similarly, limited-stage small cell lung cancer may be treated with surgery while extensive-stage is not.

So, the important information or the outcome of diagnostics is to yield a type and stage for Melissa's lung cancer.

I've just given you a full plate to digest and so I'll stop the information disclosure now. But while you read in and discuss with Melissa what you've learned you should know that breakthrough treatments have been discovered within the last 3 years on Targeted Therapy and Immunotherapy that are moving the survival needle toward life.  Moreover, I was diagnosed Stage IIIB and then Stage IV with progression to my left lung after my right lung was removed almost 16 years ago. If I can live, so can Melissa.

Stay the course.

Tom

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Dave. I'm sorry to hear about your wife's diagnosis but I'm glad you found us. Tom's response should definitely get you going in the right direction. We are here for you with any questions or if you just need to talk things through. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @Dave T   I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s diagnosis.  Tom has put you in the right direction on information.  Once you find about more specifics, type, genetic mutations and stage people on this site will be able to provide some more advice.  The first couple of weeks after diagnosis is a shock on all levels.  Hang in there.  There are good treatment options and prognosis available.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

The LUNGevity HELPLine can connect you with an oncologist social worker that can answer all of those "what next?" questions.  It's a free service available Monday - Friday.  https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/support-services/lung-cancer-helpline  There are also threads on LCSC that are caregiver specific and a Facebook group for caregivers as well if you would ever want to connect with them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...