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My aunt has Bronchioloalveolar cell carcinoma

Guest peepster

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Guest peepster

This was discover by fluke. Her sister was diagnosed before Christmas and asked her to stop smoking and get tested... An x-ray showed a 3cm spot on the top of the right lung. They did a couple biopsies that were inconclusive, but the third bio came back positive. She was told that there is no met, bone, or brain involvment. It seems that she also has a tiny spec on the bottom left lung. She is going for a ?PET? scan in the next couple of weeks to see the extent of it. Onc has talked about removing the top right lobe and maybe go back later for the other spec.

Should chemo be recommended? How about Iressa? What is the "gold" standard?

I find her voice is hoarse and she clears her throat a lot but

she says she does not feel "bad" or have any symptoms.



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The best advice that I can give you is that 2 weeks waiting to scan seems like a long time to me.We have to be pushy and get things done quickly here.I would try all I could to have it moved up or done elsewhere.This is a quick-acting and cunning disease.I hope the best and pray for her.TBone

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The gold standard is definitely surgery to remove the lobe ... survival rates just about triple I think when surgery is an option. Your mother is not a statistic, and the world will not end if surgery is not the correct way to go, but it sounds very positive that this has been caught before any mets. The chemo question after surgery is more ticklish. It depends on many things.

Iressa is a very good drug, but it is more often a stabilizer. My wife had used it for six months and showed no change before scans detected spread in December. I would think Iressa would be something used only if cancer reappears after surgery and chemo/radiation doesn't work. I don't think that Iressa cures cancer terribly often, but if it can shrink the tumor or at least stop its growth, there is a victory there if only to rest up for another battle.

A PET scan is another way of testing for tumors. The upshot is that cancer cells use more energy than do normal cells. Becky has had a handful of these. They injected her with radioactive sugar, and then can scan to see where the sugar is consumed in the body. If an area consumes more than an ordinary amount, then that is an indication of malignancy. The test is not painful; uncomfortable since you have to sit very still for a long time and try not to think of anything. Becky was not allowed to read, which for her is about like being asked not to breathe. But it is not too bad.

Good luck as you go forward. Please feel free to ask any questions and here's hoping surgery is called for and ends the whole process successfully.


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Welcome Peeps,

I am so sorry that this horrible beast brings you cause to join us. But if you have to be touched by this disease, I am glad you found us.

Although I do not have much advice to offer you, there are many here who will. This site is full of knowledge support and love.

The one thing I know is that the treatment that offers the greatest chance of cure, is surgery if it is possible. I would suggest that your aunt get the opinion from her oncologist, and also get second opinions with a lung cancer specialist with a consultation by a thoracic surgeon. I have heard of surgery for tumors that were in both lungs if the placement is right, and it is isolated, but it is rare. It doesn't hurt to ask, and try and find someone agressive.

Other than surgery, the standard protocol is chemo and/or radiation. Iressa does work well for some people, and when it works it works wonderfully, but others it does not. Either way it usually isn't a first line defense but a second line after traditional treatment shows the inability to stop progression.

I hope you will stay with us and keep us updated on your aunt, and as you and your family deal with this traumatic time let us be here to help and offer our support. I will be praying for your aunt and for your family.

God Bless,


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Guest peepster

Thank you all for the warm welcome and information. I just spoke to her and told her your advice of getting an earlier appointment. Unfortunately we're in Canada, and in the province where she resides there is only 2 machines to do that kind of scan. She will call and find out if there is any cancellation before her appointment on March 9... if not she'll get creative and find a way!

I hope she only gets the operation. It sounds like the easiest route. Her older sister just had it a month and a half ago and she is going along fine on the path of recovery.

I'll keep you posted!

thanks for all your help


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Good luck to your mom on her scans.

Surgery followed by effective chemo is the best advice I would give, if the surgeons want to take the lobe, and give you the option for chemo. If they don't ask you about chemo, you get proactive and ask them. It's easier to do now than try to track down mets later. At least one good friend of mine might have survived her cancer if she'd been given the option to follow up her surgery with chemo.

God bless you and take care,



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