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Greetings Everyone!

My 84-year-old mother was recently diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.  Fortunately it had not gone to the brain, and we are awaiting PET scan results to see if it has gone anywhere else in the body.  We found out about the cancer when we went to a doctor because she seemed more short of breath and was sitting up in her bed in the middle of the night not in distress in any apparent way, but I knew something had to be wrong.  The doctor ordered a scan because she said the lungs are often in play when people have sleep issues.  And wow the scan found three nodules on her lungs.  We expect the results of the PET scan and other tests for genetic mutation next week and then will determine the best strategy. I'm hoping black seed oil and sour sop leaves, both of which are supposed to clear cancer cells, will prevent the need for chemo.  The oncologist suggest immunotherapy but some of it works better with chemo.  But of course chemo has its side effects.   Are there experience with people who chose not to go the chemo route and what has that been like.  I am also interested in other natural alternatives and suggestions.

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Welcome to our group! Glad your mother's doctor didn't fool around and ordered those scans. Also sounds like you're on the right track getting genetic testing. Hopefully she has a treatable mutation. 

Ask if your mom's medical oncologist works with an integrative medicine doctor like mine does, it could be worth a visit. They work together and keep each other informed as to treatments, symptoms and alternatives like herbs and such. 

Good luck to your mother with her next steps. 

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Hi Zuma and welcime. I'm sorry to hear about your mom's diagnosis. I think that Judy's suggestion to see an integrative medicine doctor who works wit a conventional oncologist is a good idea. I have had 3 different primary cancers and for my treatment for each, I worked with a clinic that offered accupuncture, shiatsu, some supplements  and traditional herbal medicines and naturopath consultation. They didn't directly coordinate with my oncologists, but their naturopath was very well informed about cancer and conventional cancer treatment. The clinic and the naturopath were very comfotable with conventional treatment . They did not offer anything curative, but rather saw their mission as promoting general health and combatting side effects such as nausea from chemo. I found this approach very helpful to me. I dont really know whether it helped with my survival but I feel that it didn't hurt any, it didn't cost a lot and it did help with my comfort.  Today I have no evidence of disease.

I hope your mom will consider an approach like this, considering herbal remedies and such as complementary rather than as a substitute for conventional oncology medicine.  Caonventional medicine for lung cancer has advanced  a lot and there are a lot of new and effective treatments available. Chemo, as you say, does have side effects. So does immunotherapy, although they may be different from or for some, less than those of chemo. Immunotherapy has been very effective for many, as has targeted theray. When your mom gets her biomarker (genetic) testing results, she'll find out whether either immuno or targeted would work for her. 

I don't know anyone with advanced cancer of any kind who has been cured, or had the progression of their cancer stopped, solely by alternative therapies. I'm not saying there aren't any, just that I don't know any.

Best wishes to your mom and you whatever she may choose. Keep us posted.

Bridget O


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Zuma, one more thing-- If your mom is sitting up in the ntght, it may be because it can be easier to breathe  sitting than lying down. If this is the case for her and she doesn't  have a bed that has a head that can elevate, she miight try a wedge pillow. A 12 inch wedge gives you a 45 degree angle. I found this really helped m breathe easier after my lung surgery. I tried to prop myself up with other pillows but it didnt work. It has to be a slope of the whole upper boy, not just the head propped.
Bridget O (again!)

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I second what everyone else has said, but will add my own experience with chemo. I'm Stage IV adenocarcinoma--I had surgery for a very early stage lung cancer 3 years ago and received the latest diagnosis this summer. I needed no chemo before, but now I'm getting chemo combined with an immunotherapy drug (Keytruda) which is working wonderfully for a lot of us advanced-stage patients. I've had four cycles that include two chemo drugs, and so far am responding great. Assuming my next scan is good, they will omit the most toxic chemo drug and keep me on the other and the immunotherapy as long as I'm doing well.

Although SOME people have a rough time with chemo, I have not. The medications control the nausea and in the two and a half months I've been on chemo I haven't thrown up once. I still have all my hair. My only troublesome side effects are fatigue and "brain fog" that sometimes makes it tough to concentrate for prolonged periods of time. That has caused me to go out on disability from my law-related job, but otherwise I'm doing pretty well.

If your mom's on chemo, they will follow her closely and adjust her treatment if the side effects are intolerable. I wouldn't reject it out of hand--it's probably the best shot at a prolonged good-quality life (absent a mutation that will allow for targeted therapy--that's even less daunting for most people).

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Welcome to the forum.  You'll find answers to many of your questions here from people who have experienced the disease and a diverse form of treatments.  I would recommend that you inform your medical team of any supplements that your Mom is taking as they might have an effect on the efficacy of whatever protocol they decide would serve her best.  Let us know how we can continue to be of help.


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