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catlady91

Feeling worried about lung cancer survival

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Hey I've posted before but just feeling a bit worried and can't stop thinking about cancer. My mum was diagnosed with inoperable stage 3B squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer in Feb. Ever since she's been doing really well. She completed radiotherapy and chemo two months ago and now she recently started immunotherapy (imfinzi or durvalumab if that's how you spell it). Her oncologist said that they're aiming to cure her. Mum had a scan shortly after finishing the radiotherapy as she needed it for the immunotherapy and the tumour shrank from 3.7cm to 2.2cm which the doctor said is fantastic news especially as it's still swollen and the radiotherapy is continuing to work. My mum is extremely positive. In fact I'm more worried about my mum's cancer than she is. If you met her you wouldn't tell that she has cancer. The doctors often comment on how good she looks for her age (she's 71 on Sunday).

I try to stay positive but I still worry a lot. I read up about different types of cancer and compare it to lung cancer. The stats for lung cancer aren't that high. On the American cancer site it said that the five percent survival rate for regional non-small cell lung cancer is 35%. I prefer US stats even though I'm from the UK; the UK doesn't have many stats, especially any up to date ones. They use statistics from 2002-2006 on the cancer research uk site! The American website warns that stats don't take into account latest treatments and advances.

When we spoke to the oncologist she made it seem that my mum has a much higher 5 year survival rate than 35%. She said that they're aiming to do everything in order to increase the five year survival rate. I know that is doesn't necessarily mean that my mum has 5 years only (I know she has many more years in her) and that's how the survival stats are usually measured. 

I just want my mum to beat this wretched cancer. Even if the immunotherapy doesn't work, I won't give up on my mum. My policy is never to give up on the ones you love no matter how dire. My late cat was diagnosed with 2 brain tumours in Oct 2016 and was given 2 months, 3 max, by the vet, but he survived for 3 years 2 months! He was an old cat and died at 19 and a half! I consider that a miracle and my cat gives me hope. He had his ups and downs during those 3 years but he had a good quality of life up until he died and we knew it was his time as he was really suffering and going downhill rapidly. My mum and me refused to give up on him despite being told that we should put him down by the vet and my brother. Even the vets were amazed by his progress and survival. 3 years is a long time for such an old cat and equivalent to 13 cat years! 

I think lock down doesn't help with these fears and worries. My mum is all I have. I know that we all have to die one day, but I feel that she has too much life in her.

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I was just in a zoom meeting with three people who are 15+ year lung cancer survivors!  There is a lot of hope out there.  :)

Did your mom have comprehensive biomarker testing done?  Does she have any mutations?  

 

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That's inspiring and gives me hope. Mum has squamous cell which doesn't tend to have genetic mutations. Is that a bad thing if she doesn't have mutations and does it make lung cancer harder to cure or treat? Mum tested positive for PDL1 though so that's why they've added immunotherapy to her treatment.

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I hope that my mum can be cured or treated even if she doesn't have the mutation.

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