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What? My Dad has lung cancer?

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Hello to all,

Sad to have to meet this way.... however nice to have others to talk to. My fathers ordeal started in March 2003 with a "small spot" on a xray .... they told him it might be valley fever (common in AZ) A visit with a lung spec. said yes, you have a large mass (4cc) however it doesn't look like cancer, your lymph nodes look great. We will biop it and see what we find. That has now turned into what the Lung Dr. says is Stage 2 maybe 3 Non Small cell Lung Cancer.


What do we do next? The Lung Dr. ...... say's that they are trying (yeah right) to find a surgon to maybe cut out the infected lung..... if they open him up and find to much cancer or cancer infected lymph nodes.... they aren't goint to cut out anything. Well why is that I would like to know? Today is May 7th he was just given a date of May 20th to see a Onclologist. Why is it so far away? This all started in March! Why has it taken us SO LONG to see a Onclologist about his cancer? Why do Dr.'s move so slow? ..... Are there any good Dr.'s in AZ that really care about saving people?

So far my Dad has had a Brain Scan & I believe a PET scan (is that a body scan?)

My sister and I have gotten a list of Oncologist that take his insurance and have started calling them all to get a sooner date.

My husband and I have planed for years to move to AZ. Well March 31 we completed our 20+ yrs with the NAVY and moved to AZ to be closer to family. I don't know why this ton of bricks has been trown at us. I can see from this forum..... others have are dealing with the same bricks. (stupid bricks)

I see in this forum.... that people of all stages can fight and beat cancer. Fingers crossed, lots of prays to God I can be one of those people that who say "my dad beat cancer".

Thank you everyone, michelle

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A PET scan is used to determine where the cancer is. The person is injected with a sugar solution that contains radioactive material. Cancer shows higher "uptake" of the sugar so it shows up as "light" spots on a scan.

The first thing that happens when a Doctor suspects cancer is a biopsy (if possible) and then staging. Staging determines how far the cancer is spread. PET is a non-invasive procedure. A medianoscopy can also be used to check lymph nodes. There are also other diagnostic tools

Unfortunately, no test is 100%. Based on the tests they will stage the cancer. If the cancer has spread too far then surgery will not likely help, since it is "systemic" versus local to the lungs.

Stage I and II are typically treated with surgery.

Stage III is borderline. Chemo-radiation before surgery is the best *I believe*

Stage IV is only treated with chemo/radiation

That is for Non-small cell

Small cell is divided into limited and extensive. Small cell responds well to chemo but it often (but not always) reoccurs.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/conte ... ea=&level=

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PLEASE READ my note to you in Terrie's post. PLEASE. I'm VERY concerned!!! Your father's doctor sounds like he is WAY out of his league.

PLEASE don't let your dad be operated on by someone who doesn't even know what he's doing.

Your dad needs to be staged! If the doctors had him get all the necessary xrays, THEY WOULD THEN KNOW WHERE THE CANCER IS! Gosh, I just can't believe what you are going thru!!!!!! Go to a Cancer Center and start on the correct track.


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I knew this site would be helpful! Ok ~~~ Today my sister and I got a list of Oncologists that take our fathers insurance.... we started callling until we found one that coud see him May 12.

The Lung Dr. that he had seen ....... once he knew it was cancer should have (we felt) have reccomened we see a Oncologist. He knew that it was cancer 4 weeks ago from a biop they had on his lung. This Lung Dr. also sent him for a Brain scan & PET scan. This lung Dr. says my Dad is at Stage 2 maybe 3.

I guess we will now have to wait until we meet with the Oncologists.

I keep going between a calm of the belief that as a strong family we can help our Dad fight this and win.............. and oh my what if and then anxiety and tears.......

Thanks, Michelle

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Hello Michele: my very best to you and your dad, and so sorry your going through this; but you are in the right place;

I absolutely agree with Judy, your dad needs to be treated at a cancer center. So I'm glad your seeing an oncologist on 5/12; that's definitely a step in the right direction.

My cancer was a stage IIB, and the sequence of events was first unresolved pneumonia from an x-ray, then a ct scan to detect the mass, then a bronchoscopy performed by a pulmonologist ( lung doc.) to determin if cancer and what type; mine was squamous type; then a referal to a thoracic surgeon, then a bunch of pre- op tests on lungs and heart, then a mediastinoscopy performed to check lymph nodes and stage the cancer, mine was operable, so he rolled me over and removed the left lung at the same time ( a bit out of the ordinary but I wanted it that way). I also got a second opinion from an oncologist at Sloan- Kettering just prior to surgery. From start to finish every thing took about 6 weeks. That's pretty quick but the sequence is similar to many who are on these boards.

John gave you a good web site for tech. info.. It helped me to learn about the disease but yes it is frightening.

Your not alone in what your going through and yes it is a rollercoaster ride, but there are survivors. MANY!

God bless & be well

Bobmc - NSCLC - stage IIB left pneumonectomy- 5/2/01

" absolutely insist on enjoying life today!"

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Guest DaveG

I was Stage I for 18 months and had two surgeries in the process. One was for cancer, Adenocarcinoma, and the second turned out to be benign. I had the second surgery last September, 2002. When I went for my 6 month surgery follow-up, on April 2, a CT Scan revealed several lymph nodes "lighting up" in my medialsteinal area. My Surgeon referred me back to my Oncologist, Dr. Joan Schiller, at the U of Wisc Cancer Center. I saw her on April8, and she scheduled a PET Scan for April 16. On April 16, the PET Scan revealed systemic metstatses to my lymphatic system with multiple tumors in my chest, diaphram, groin, and left side of my neck. Originally a medialsteinosocpy was palnned, but with the prominant nodes in my neck, it was decided to take a nnedle biopsy of those nodes instead. Dr. Schiller explained to my wife and I there were 3 possibilities (1), a new cancer such as lymphoma; (2), a massive infection; or (3) metastatic lung cancer.

We returned on April 18 for the biopsy results and just entering the exam room with Dr. Schiller, she didn't have to tell us the results. It was metastatic lung cancer and it was Stage IV. So I went from Stage I to Stage IV, just like that.

I was asked to enter a clinical trial and agreed. The chemo of choice is Carboplatin and Taxel. With the clinical trial I had to undergo additional staging tests, such as CT Chest, Abdominal, and Head Scan, and a bone scan. I started the carbo/taxel this Monday, May 5, and the clinical trial yesterday. The clinical trial is ABT-510, a drug intented to diminsh blood supply to tumors. The Carbo/Taxel are intented to shrink the tumors.

Here's my point. Get to the right doctor. Do not be afraid to ask for 2nd opinions. Seek referrals from others who live in your area, especially JudyB. Don't jump until you have all the options in place.

Although the raw numbers of lung cancer are downright scary and very devastating, be ware of those, but do not dwell on the numbers and statistics. Dwell on the positive. First and foremost, no matter the stage or type, lung cancer can be, and is surviviable. That's why we have the name LUNG CANCER SURVIVORS FOR CHANGE. We are about surviving and making changes to how lung cancer is perceived in the public eye, and also making changes to the diagnostic and treatment procedures.

I was handed, what some could perceive as the worst case scenario, but after serving 20 years in the US Army, I am quite used to worst case scenarios. This diagnosis has been a bump in the road, with a slight curve thrown in. I am going all out to beat this. My goal is to be alive for my 50th Wedding Anniversary in 18 years. I have promised my oncologist, Dr. Joan Schiller, the first dance and she has already accepted. That's what you want in an oncologist, one who has your concerns at heart and understands what you want, not what they expect.

You have not found just another lung cancer website, you have found the BEST lung cancer website, with the best people, and the best support. You are very welcome here. You can learn more about Estrea and myself by going to the home page of LCSC and clicking on the limk "ABOUT US".

So, pull up your keyboard, make yourself at home and keep us posted.

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Welcome.. So sorry to hear that your father has Lung Cancer. :cry: Stay vigillant in his care and come here for support. There are many here who have been where you are and can help you get through this. It's so scarey in the beginning.. but there are many Lung Cancer survivors here!!!

Praying for you, Dad and your family.


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Michelle also sorry about your dad but WELCOME!!!!!

I think yeah the lung dr. should have suggested and oncologist. once my dad was getting his biopsy he asked my dad to contact his old oncologist (who retired) to let him know what was going on and just in case. I am glad you took some initiative and made some calls!! Biggest thing you can do right now and be an advocate for your dad to get the best care he can. Looking forward to chit chatting with you! Anything you need let us know.

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Hello again,

I thought I'd give a update on my Dad.

Well the lung Dr. my dad was seeing has turned out not to be the best (so we think). Yes, he wants a Thoracic surgon to cut him open. Yes, my dad has had a lung biop, brain scan and a PET. With all these test the lung Dr. told me. He was in Stage 2 maybe 3 with "hot spots" to the lymph nodes. The surgery would be the tell all, I guess.

I should also mention that my Dad has lost the use of his left hand in a matter of 2weeks 2days. This started with the fingers moved to the thumb then hand .......

Today we saw a Oncologist! (about time I think) He was the bearer of more bad news........ He says my Dad is Stage 4 with a small Met near the spine. He also says my Dads loss of his arm use is due to a stroke! Yes, we where a little shocked over that. These 2 little "tibbits " was something the lung Dr. should have seen and told us about.

We are still going to meet with the surgon "just" to hear what he thinks. Ater that we are going to have the "new" tumor that was just found bipo just to make sure it is cancer. After that start cemo.

Strangely I feel better, I'm not sure why. Maybe because I'm involved?

I've been so stressed out, understandably of course.

Everyones words of encouragement are helpful that is for sure.

Dave your story brought tears to my eyes....... I hope you post pictures of your 50th party (in 18yrs ) I'm sure everyone would love to see them.

Thanks all, Michelle

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