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mom's results...

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Well, mom has had the 4 chemo treatments and 5 weeks of radiation to find out today that the tumor has shrunken 50%, but on the inside, so the possibility of surgery is still out. Has anyone heard of this? does this mean the radiologist screwed up? Her oncologist is just planning to start her on more chemo and radiation next week, which will make the surgery never possible bc she will be at the 7000 level. I really want her to get a second opinion, but she is afraid that we may find a surgeon who is trying to be a hero and that there will be too many complications from the surgery. The tumor apparently wraps around an artery too close to the heart and is near her ribs. I thought I had read of some people having ribs removed. Isn't that the case? I need to read more, but hacing 2 young boys limits my time here. Any advice would help.

Lori :shock:

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Hi Lori

Margaret's right, shrinkage is GREAT!!!

As for your question about ribs, my mum had a rib removed for analysis, but I think the problem with surgery for your Mom is probably the location of the tumour (ie: wapped around an artery in close proximity to the heart).

I too have been reading recently about too much radiation precluding patients from proceeding to surgery - I think there was a recent thread on the board about it, but I can't remember where (I also have two small children - sometimes I can't remember my own name :shock: !!!).

Anyway, I am sure many people more knowledgable than I will respond to your post.

Wishing you all the best.


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Hi Lori,

Your mom's situation sounds similar to my husbands. He has a tumor pressing on his vena cava, the blood vessel to the heart so he is considered inoperable.

You are correct that too much radiation will prevent her from having surgery. When we started treatment and wanted a second opinion regarding surgery the oncologist told us that once John had the maximum amount of radiation there was no going back and considering surgery later. He said the area radiated would not heal (don't ask me the term he used cause I don't remember).

It is never a bad idea to get a 2nd opinion, just for peace of mind in knowing you are on the right track.

Best of luck to you and your mom


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Thanks for the responses. I guess I didn't really thinkof shrinkage as great since it still does not allow for surgery. So, it was encouraging to hear from all of you. I will be sure to pass it along to mom. I guess I am just so afraid that we are rushing into starting radiation again without considering alternatives. How do I find out about clinical trials for her stage of cancer and treatment? I thought that was the Dr's job, but I am willing to search, travel, whatever if it could help.

This is a wonderful site filled with information, support and encouragement. KUDOS!


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