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4 years later

Mikel1037
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2004

In the fall of 1999 I began my treatment of chemo and radaition. After a couple of months of treatment they finally were able to do surgery and remove the left upper lobe of my left lung. I have had burning stabbing pain ever since. As of lately I am having new burning pain in my back. The latest x-rays came back normal. I am wondering if there were tumors on other places than my lung, would they show up on the x-rays?

I am a new user of this web-site... and would welcome email from anyone with thoughts... My email is Mike_@cox.net

JaneEllen
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2003

Welcome Mike!
My mother was recently diagnosed with small cell lung cancer extensive stage. She had a persistant "shadow" on a chest x-ray. They finally did a CT scan and found metastatic disease to the adrenal glands, left lower lobe of lung, and tumors on the spine. A bone scan found metastatic disease to hip bone and tail bone.
So in answering your question, I think a CT scan is more thorough than an x-ray.
Hopefully everything is fine with you. The burning pain in your back could be totally unrelated to cancer.
Take care and God Bless,
JaneEllen

bobmc's picture
bobmc
Posts: 49
Joined: Nov 2002

Hello Mike and welcome;
I think, I sent you a pm on the subject, In any case it sounds exactly like your situation.
I also had been having back pains, ( all along since 5/2/01 pneumonectomy) but getting more severe. My follow-up consists of reg. CT scans of the head, chest and abdomen every 6 months along with x-rays and bloodwork. I was recently dx'ed on 12/18/03 with 2 small brain mets. They were found as a result of the CT of the brain but may not be related to the back pain. We are still evaluating it with both PET, CT scans and MRI's.
Bottom line is if I were you I would have this thoroughly checked out and a simple x-ray as a follow-up for lung cancer is not acceptable in my opinion. I would also suggest that you see if your not a medical oncologist for follow-up care.
Don't mean to alarm you mike, but the beast does come back and better to get it early.
God bless and be well
Bobmc- NSCLC- stageIIB- left pneumonectomy -5/2/01
restaged IV 12/18/03 - 2 brain mets, presently WBR - " ABSOLUTELY INSIST ON ENJOYING LIFE TODAY!"

schuyler
Posts: 32
Joined: Nov 2002

Dear Mike, Good advice from the replies posted here. A lot has happened with diagnostic technology sine 1999. I was first diagnosed July 2000 and was one of the first patients in my area to have a PET scan in Sept. 2000. Now I am doing PET/CAT combination scans. PETs do a total body analysis for cancer. New tools are surfacing almost monthly. X-rays are minimally reliable. Get your oncologist to send you for more modern and reliable tests. If he /she won't, get another doctor.

melaniej62
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2004

In November of 1999 I was diagnosed with a metastatic brain tumor of unknown origin. The tumor was an adenocarcinoma about 3x1 cm and was removed by a stereotactic brain surgery, after first being diagnosed by biopsy via stereotactic means. The biopsy showed its origin was my lungs, but there were no lung tumors to be found. I had MRi's of my brain and chest CT's done every 3 months, and then in mid 2000 a small 1cm lung lesion was found in my right lung. I also had a PET Scan done prior to the lungscan showing the lung tumor. My oncologist did frequent blood work including CEA tests which was rising when my Dr. was monitering my lung because the tumor was too small to take out. I had a R. Thoracotomy in
feb. of 2001, and since then have had chronic pain in my back/shoulder blade and also rib pain where they separated 2 ribs to get to the tumor. I had a R. upper lobectomy, and the pain is there nearly all the time, when I get up in the am, do anything physical such as doing the dishes and housekeeping in general. I take a combination of 3 meds: Vicodin 5mg/Tylenol 325mg, Ativan 1mg for muscle spasms, and Neurontin 300mg which helps with the nerve pain assoc. with all the layers of tissure they had to go thru to get to the tumor. If your xrays show nothing, you do defintely have lung CT's done due to the fact that a CT is a much better test to look for tumors than an regular xray. I tried to get pain relief from a pain management Dr., but that was not successful. I think the Neurontin helps alot because when I am out of it...my pain is much worse.
Be sure to have your bloodwork done routinely to watch your CEA levels, and CT's atleast 2 or 3 times a year to stay on top of your cancer.

dodgeracer
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2004

I had pain also, but mine was due to inflamation in the front of my rib cage where the ribs had been moved during the operation. For 2 years i had pain with every breath i took. Got into a pain clinic, 14 c-zone shots in the ribs and woke up the next morning with NO PAIN!

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