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Brother may have lung cancer

jebelote
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2006

My brother of 44 told me this weekend the dr found black spots on his lungs. He had the CT and is waiting to hear the results.

The first thing I asked was are you still smoking? He said no, not for sometime. I am just trying to find out as much as I can about this because I want him to know as much as he can if it turns out to be this. I have not known anyone close to me that has had it but have heard it is treatable if caught early.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Jackie

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Jackie. First, - don't panic. Spots on the lung are not cancer until clinically determined to be cancer. The CT scan is the next step to determination, but, in itself, the CT will not specifically identify the spot(s), as cancer. That will take a biopsy, PET scan, bronchoscopy, or a combinaion of any of those. The doctor will schedule these tests as needed.
Whether your brother is still smoking is more or less irrelevant at this point. The damage, if there is any, may have been done years ago. Of course, it is a good idea to quit smoking at any time.
I was initially diagnosed as non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), stage 3a. I was considered to be inoperable and incurable at that point. Long story short, I received chemo, radiation and surgery, and I just passed my five-year anniversary since surgery. I am cancer free. There are many survivors here. We will be happy to share our experiences with you.
Based on the results of the CT scan, his doctor may order more tests to determine; #1 If it is in fact cancer. If the tests are positive for cancer, then the type, location, size, etc., will be determined and finally, the course of treatment will be set up.
You are wise to want to learn as much as possible about his condition. Whomever accompanies him to his appointments, treatments, etc., should ask many questions. When given an answer, the next question should be, "What does that mean?". Try to be sure that every answer is understood. In my opinion, the patient should never go to his appointments alone. There may be too much information for one person to understand. Some patients/caregivers carry small voice recorders to appointments, and record the visit. That way, all that was said can be reviewed at home, in a more relaxed atmosphere.
For fear of overwhelming you with information, I will simply tell you and your brother to take it a step at a time.
If we here at CSN can be of help, please don't hesitate to call on us. We are here for you.
My best wishes and prayers to your brother and you. Please keep us posted.

ernrol's picture
ernrol
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2006

Jackie,
What plymouthean says is true. Lung cancer is treatable at any stage. I was also stage 3b/4 lung cancer and I am now cancer free. After you get all the tests done you may want to consider a second opinion. My story is posted here just put ernrol in the search widow at the top then click on ernrol at the right. If I can answer any questions let me know.

Ernie

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