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Robert  A.

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Hello group, We recently (Monday) found out my wife has a mass in her upper right lobe. My wife had had a small cough for a few months which she thought might be allergies, not a constant but occasional cough. We went to our primary Doctor who ordered an x-ray then followed up with a CT scan which found the mass. Monday our primary set us up to see a Pulmonologist on Thursday and an Oncologist on Monday. I'm hoping someone can share a similar story and what to expect in the upcoming weeks. Thanks Robert.

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Hi Robert,

Welcome. You’re not alone.  The lingering cough with an initial allergy diagnosis is my story too. The primary care community is not prepared to appropriately assess for lung cancer. 

The first step is a biopsy for a pathologist to determine what type of cancer your wife has.  A PET scan and brain MRI are next to determine what the Stage is.  After the pathology report there will be biomarker testing to determine if there are any genetic mutations (non-hereditary) that could be causing the cancer.  Not everyone gets the biomarker testing so be sure to push for it as a critical part of the diagnostic process.  

All of this is very technical, overwhelming and necessary to develop a personalized treatment plan.  It can take up to 3-4 weeks to get through the diagnostic process which seems like forever.  The key is to take this one day, one test at a time.  Once all of the diagnostics have been completed you may at that time seek a second opinion if your wife is not a a major cancer center (called an NCI). 

The first visit with the oncologist can be really tough emotionally, this is normal. Take a look around the Lungevity site and write down your questions for the first appointment. Give yourself time to adjust because a lot seems to happen all at once followed by waiting for results.  

Most importantly- stay away from Dr Google and general internet research as it’s very dated. Any reference more than six months old is already out of date since the science is moving fast.  You might check out the GO2 Foundation Lung Cancer Living Room on YouTube, the sessions are two hours and very informative. 

There have been more advances in lung cancer treatment in the last five years than in the last 50, so there’s a lot to be hopeful about.  

There are many long term survivors here that had have all types of experiences so ask us whatever you need. We’re all here to support each other.  
 

Michelle
 


 

 

 

 


 


 

 

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Hello @Robert.  I’m sorry to hear about your wife.  Please know that a mass is not always cancer.  In fact the majority of them are not.  The persistent cough does add to the concern but it’s not definitive.  She is on the right path with seeing the pulmonologist and oncologist.  If she’s  been referred to an oncologist already there are likely some characteristics of the mass on the CT scan that were of greater concern for your doctor.  Michele has done a good job of laying out what you can expect next.  A PET scan will provide more definitive answers for you.  This period of uncertainty between discovering a mass and an actual definitive diagnosis is very stressful and can take a while.  We’ve all been through it here.  Know that if it is cancer there are treatment options and lots of recent advancements.

I’m sorry you are here but glad you found us.  Hang in there.  

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