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Third line treatment SCLC


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Hi there!

My mom is 61 and she was diagnosed with SCLC in 2019 january. First treatment in 2019, relaps in 2021 january (not her favourite month) with topotecan treatment and some progression in late november for why her oncologist made a swich to the original chemo with carbo+etoposide. Some regression and a couple of treatments later her oncologist is just being rude, not answering to her concerns regarding her decline in health. Being in an Eastern European country it's really not that simple to find another oncologist deemed "a very good doctor" by his/her peers, but I find myself wondering the worst case scenarios. If you have some thoughts on difficult patient-doctor relationships, please feel free to post. 

Best wishes!


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Finding the right physician in any country can be difficult. Of course, I know nothing about the Romanian medical system so I would't know the process (or even if there is a process) for obtaining a second opinion. That is what most of us do when we run into an obtuse medical oncologist (and yes, we have those in the US). 

I may not have ideas for resolving difficult doctor-patient relationships but here are my thoughts on medicine and physicians. I hope this helps.

Stay the course.


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Your post gave me insight to the patients point of view. I especially liked the part about the doctors' relationship with staff members being a mirror for the interactions with patients, because that does apply everywhere. Oncologists are only human, I can relate to that and are no less human in Romania then elsewhere. It's just that there were a few odd things in these 3 years, one of them being the time when my mom had sever anemia and was sent home to get a blood tranafusion and when she asked for some documentation she received a kind of a post-it note saying "give this person blood". As you all know you can't get blood just like that (although we live in Transylvania hehe :), but things resolved with a happy ending. Here we have a common practice named passive euthanasia when someone being terminally ill is sent off by her physician on a ghost hunt (get that unaffordable medication or come back when your test are better) and is left on nature's path. This keeps me up a lot at night. 


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Hi Kata,

Similar to Macedonia,  it is hard to get to a second opinion. The oncology department for mediastinum, lungs etc is actually few oncologists and you can talk to any one of them, but their opinions are either really different or the same.

I suspect for sclc which does not have a good survival rate, they avoid giving bad news, as you said, and they sent you on a ghost hunt.

While the doctors are quite capable as anywhere, Eastern Europe does not have the same approach to handling the patients with the diagnosis.

Honestly,  throughout the entire time since my brother was diagnosed one thing that I appreciate the most is their silence on some matters. I fear that giving the truth would be devastating and we are not a family that we would just kid ourselves with hope if none is given.

Hope your mom is feeling better.


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