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dad started radiation & other updates


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*reposting due to posting in wrong topic*

hello everyone hope all is well!!

My dad has been diagnosed with Invasive squamous cell carcinoma moderately differentiated. (whatever that means!?!?) 

he has started radiation and just had his second treatment today. He is sleeping alot and hardly eating at this point. 

He has lost 60lbs since September and getting him to eat has become more and more difficult as he says all good tastes terrible.  

He was diagnosed when he had a cough that wouldn't go away and eventually his back was hurting and nothing helped. Our GP said he had spine mets and thats why he has so much pain but when the radiology oncologist told him what his treatment was gonna be he said the pain seems to be due to the tumour pressing!?!? so things have still been unclear as to whats happening and if it has spread.

they are currently treating his lung tumour with the radiation and not the spine 🤷🏼‍♀️

The lung specialist said they are looking at starting chemo and immunotherapy soon as well.

hope for a more positive 2023!

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The diagnosing biopsy for our disease is a histology examination (an examination of tissue under a microscope by a pathologist). There are 3 gradations of differentiation used to describe how squamous cancer cells look during the exam: well differentiated, moderately differentiated, and poorly differentiated. This graduation has no impact on the type of treatment one would receive. It is descriptive language reporting the nature of observed squamous cells.

I note he is receiving radiation without chemo. First line non-surgical standard of care for inoperable squamous cell lung cancer is chemo and radiation administered concurrently. Perhaps his chemo delay was caused by a further laboratory biopsy test to determine immunotherapy markers and immunotherapy treatment suitability. As for radiation to the lung tumor and not the spine, fractional general radiation needs to be performed to a confined area and perhaps the delay is related to radiation safety. Perhaps the radiation oncologist is treating the primary lung tumor first, then the met in the spine in follow on treatment. I'd ask about follow-on radiation for the spine met.  Moreover, when the combination chemotherapy (conventional chemo with immunotherapy given concurrently) takes hold, one might expect some pain relief as the spine met is affected by the chemo.

Stay the course.


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Hang in there. If you have questions or concerns, you go right to the doctor to discuss them. If you feel concerned about the sequential nature of the treatment, you go right in and say you understand that the standard of practice is concurrent chemo and radiation and you would like to understand what's happening with your father's treatment, which seems different. You also ask what the reasoning is  behind not treating the spine. You have a right to understand fully what's happening. I think I sound angry at the system of care and I guess that, today, I am. But my local cancer group believes we need to advocate for ourselves and those we love. So, I say to you, go forth and advocate. Nicely, but firmly. You can do it!

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well dad has been admitted for pneumonia and low levels of potassium and magnesium and he has high calcium levels. he is on fluids and antibiotics…. what a crazy horrible disease. so worried for him 😣😖

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