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Small cell lung cancer


Zeynep

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Zeynep,

Welcome here.

If you are inclined, you might share information about your lung cancer. Until then, read about us on the forums. You can also hover the curser over each of our names and a window appears. Left clicking on the icon in the window, in my photo, brings up my profile. There you can learn about us individually including details of our diagnosis and posts we've made.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Zeynep,

When you do get to share more about your story also feel free to ask any questions you may have.  We all have different experiences here, but collectively there is little we haven't seen and learned about. So you'll get some good support here.

Lou

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I don’t know what to think. I am so confused. I guess even though doctors gave my dad 6 months to live I still question it. He has small cell lung cancer. It did spread to the brain and he has had 6 radiations. Before it jumped to brain he already had chemo sessions back to back. In 4 weeks we will know what the brain looks like. Do you think there is a chance radiation made it disappear? 
He still has cancer in lung so now they said he was going to have a different style chemo . It starts tomorrow, once a week. We had a choice of keytruda which the doctor said could be promising or chemo and we picked chemo. He also has had pulmonary fibrosis . This is his 6th year on that. He functions well right now . I am questioning if chemo is supposed to extend his life a little more than 6 months or is there a chance the cancer will disappear? I do not want to lose him. 

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Hi, Z, 

I'm sorry about your dad's diagnosis. Unfortunately, small cell is probably the toughest, most aggressive type of lung cancer there is. Even non-small-cell lung cancer isn't generally considered "curable," though it is treatable--and sometimes controllable for a long period of time. Small cell is, as I said, tougher, but there are new treatments all the time and everyone's experience is different. I think it's pretty unlikely, though, that treatment will make the cancer "disappear." 

Your dad's oncologist is in the best position to talk about the likely prognosis for his cancer. But even expert oncologist can't tell you how long he has with any certainty. 

Does your dad have a palliative care team where he's being treated? Palliative care provides relief from pain and symptoms of cancer as well as side effects of treatment. You certainly want to make sure his quality of life remains as good as possible for as long as possible.

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Zetnep,

Tough choice between Keytruda and conventional chemo. The reason small cell is so difficult is because it mutates very quickly to avoid chemo drugs. So if it were me, I’d chose a new recipe of chemo (if possible) or Keytruda. The advantage of Keytruda is it trains your dad’s immune system to recognize and attach the cancer cells. 

I agree with Lexie about the difficulty of projecting anyone’s remaining life. I live my life not for longevity but joy. It took me a long time to realize one could find joy in the little things of life. All I needed to do was look. 

I do hope treatment arrests your dad’s cancer. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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I'm so sorry to hear this very tough and sad news Zeynep. Unfortunately SCLC is very aggressive. My heart goes out to you. I know what it's like to really love your parents. I too would struggle to accept such a prognosis. There are people who defy the odds though. There are people who are told that they have only months to live, but end up living for years. My cat was diagnosed with two brain tumours and was given only 2/3 months to live. He ended up living for a little over 3 years! He was an old cat as well; lived to 19 and a half. I consider that to be a miracle.

I don't want to give false hope either as it's cruel and nobody has a crystal ball. You have to prepare yourself for the worst, but that doesn't mean that you have to give up either. I know that I wouldn't give up on my mum if that G*d forbid was the case. I would do and try anything to make her better, even if I failed. 

Maybe you could seek a second opinion. Different doctors have different approaches. Perhaps you could get your dad into a clinical trial. I agree with Tom about Keytruda; I've heard good things about it. It's worth giving it a go. The others on here will be able to give you more advise about clinical trials, immunotherapy, and doctors as I don't know how things work in the US or about the healthcare system.

I wish you and your dad strength and I too hope that he can prove the doctors wrong.

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First round of Camptosar started today. He is doing okay right now. His legs are weak and sometimes loses balance. Can this have something to do with the brain? He also has back problems (spine)and he needs surgery but they obvious can’t do that right now. 

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Zeynep,

Considering all that is going on with your Dad it wouldn't be wise of us to try and guess what is contributing most to his leg weakness and balance issues.  It could be one or even many of the things he is going through.  I think you need to speak with his doctor and let them help you to clearly understand what the contributors are and which are treatable.  I wish we could give you a more definite answer, but a doctor familiar with your Dad's condition and the side effects of treatments can provide the best answer.

Lou

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