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Just diagnosed

DebbyS
Posts: 21
Joined: May 2004

Hello,
My sister who is 53 was just diagnosed with lung cancer. Through a rountine x-ray they found a tumor and after a biopsy told her it was cancer.
We don't know many details until after a PET scan next week other than it is about the size of a 50 cent piece and its on the right lung. What type, I don't know yet she sees an oncologists next week but she's been a smoker for years
Can anyone tell me anything given these few details?

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

Hi Debby. I'm a survivor of lung cancer. I was a two-pack-a-day smoker (non-filters) for about fifty years. (67 years old at diagnosis) I was originally diagnosed as inoperable and incurable. My tumor, on my upper right lobe, was 3.5 x 5.5 x 7 cm. I was treated with chemotherapy and radiation, followed by surgery to remove the upper lobe of my right lung. I'm very sorry to hear about your sister. But I started this with my story to give you encouragement. This is beatable. Your sister will require further testing, none of which amounts to more than inconvenience for her. When the test results are gathered, her cancer will be typed, measured and staged. Then her treatment will be planned. Keep a positive attitude, aand help your sister to have the same. Don't jump to conclusions about her cancer. Don't get into statistics. They prove nothing. You will hear from others here. We're here for you and your sister. Please keep us posted. You can find my personal story under "Grateful Survivor" in the Personal Web Pages.

Donnaone
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Plymouthean,
I'm a just diagnosed with a non small cell in the right lung about the size of a quarter I see a surgeon tomorrow to find out more. I've tried to find your story so I could read it as I've enjoyed reading your replys to others but for some reason I'm not able to. I was wondering if your have any sugustions as what to ask the doctor, if you could send me your story, I'm sure it's a postive and as I read things that seems to be the answer that comes up the most to everyones questions is to stay positive.
A friend of mine also sent me information on Curcumin Super info on it is on www.agelesscure.com wondered if you had heard of it??
Thanks, Donnaone

NadiaBG
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2006

I really need your support. My brother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer Agust 2006 stage 4. I know this tipe of cancer is very agresive and spreds quik in your body. I read a lot and I have found a lots of information but need to hear from you who have expirienced...I need a hope. I am sure he will be OK.
If anybody has more info about this tipe of cancer I will apriciate that

karenlee3sons
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2002

Plymouthean is absolutely right. I am an 8 yr lung cancer survivor. I was diagnosed at 55 yrs old and was also a life-long smoker.I had an upper right lobectomy, chemo and radiation. A positive attitude is what will get you all thru this. Your sister needs to know that there are people out there who are surviving every day. Good luck. Karen

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

Debby,
I had stage IV lung cancer, for now I am cancer free. I was told that this would not happen, but they did not know my chief physician I was not a candidate for surgery or radiation. . You can type ernrol in the search box at top of screen, then click on any place you see ernrol to the right of screen. This will take you to my web page. If you would like more info about the things I did let me know, and I will post them.

Ernie

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Don't forget to take things one day at a time. PET scans do not hurt anymore than x-rays, but they take a lot more time. Mine took about two hours from start to finish. For most of that time I had to sit quietly and nap, so be prepared with a good book or a big newpaper if you go. No one could tell me anything after the PET scan until I met with the doctor. The PET scan was valuable in locating where the cancer was growing. Mine did not show up anywhere but the lung. It was small enough to remove and I passed my pulmonary tests, so the next step for me was surgery. For other people, surgery will not have as big a benefit so they may go to chemo or another option. As the earlier reply mentioned, they will gather information and determine what is the best plan for your sister. While I'm sure her doctors will urge her to quit smoking as soon as possible to increase her lung capacity and current health, please keep in mind that no one deserves to get cancer no matter if they smoke or not. Good luck!

reinstones1's picture
reinstones1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2006

Cabbott, thank you for saying that. I try NOT to tell people that my mother has LUNG cancer, because inevitably, their very first question is, "DID SHE SMOKE?" And the implication there is that smokers deserve to get lung cancer. That they asked for it. It's hurtful to those suffering from cancer, and it's hurtful to their family members who are suffering too.

There's such a stigma surrounding lung cancer. Does everyone realize that prior to this YEAR, after Dana Reeve died, that hardly ANY discussion or publicity was given to lung cancer? Now it is everywhere. I can't open a newspaper or a magazine without seeing a full page ad for lung cancer screening options. There was a huge ad in my hometown newspaper the other day that said, "if you'd like this test, please call us to schedule it, and bring $350, as the test is not covered by insurance".

Because of the stigma surrounding smoking, no one has made the effort to provide routine cancer screening tests to smokers and others at risk.

I agonize over this every day. If there had been routine screening for lung cancer, my mother's cancer might have been found BEFORE she was at Stage IIIB. My Mom is over 60 and an ex-smoker-- female ex-smokers over age 60 are one of the highest risk categories for lung cancer!

My Mom smoked for 25 years and quit in 1980. She quit because she hoped to save and/or prolong her life. She tried to do all the right things, only to get lung cancer 25 years later. My father, who has smoked more than 2 packs a day for over 50 years, does NOT have cancer.

I have never smoked a day in my life. Yet, I grew up around smokers and have probably inhaled more than my share of second hand smoke. Do I worry about my risk? Of course. Will I be angry if I get cancer, when I've never smoked? Of course.

The mentality about smoking was so different in the 1950s-1970s. Women smoked through pregnancy, and some had doctors who didn't even warn them that it could harm their baby! Smoking wasn't as TABOO as it is today-- it was socially accepted, and in many cases, almost expected! Smoking didn't disgust people the way it does today. Now, it's a "hot-button topic".

How badly I wish that my mother had never smoked. How proud I was when she quit. How devastated I was to find out that 26 years later, she had late-stage cancer. Please folks, do NOT ask people who have just been diagnosed with lung cancer if they ever smoked. People ask that question because they want to feel safe. To tell themselves, "I've never smoked, so I'll never get lung cancer". Well, as we all now know, people who don't smoke and have never smoked die of lung cancer.

Life isn't fair. Cancer sucks. Smokers (or ex-smokers) do NOT deserve to get lung cancer and die.

itrustgod
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2006

reinstones,

that's very true. since my mom got diagnosed with lung cancer, the very first thing people would ask is if she smoked.

She didn't. She never did. She was never around smokers either.

You're right. Cancer SUCKS. Doesn't matter who gets it, once you get it, you're still affected. It's totally unfair. I'd like to see all of us get through this together. Cancer is so widespread now - that drives me nuts. I really hope they find the cure soon, there's way too many families that are affected by it.

God be with all of you, we can get through this!

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

One out of ten folks with lung cancer never smoked. I'm one of them. I've never been around smokers and my house tested negative for radon, so it wasn't that either. Who knows what caused it! I wish I knew so I could protect my son, but no one knows. The research just hasn't been done to find out. I'm also a breast cancer survivor. The breast cancer came first. It upsets me greatly to find out that not all cancers are funded equally. Lung cancer treatment is way behind breast cancer treatment because of the smoking stigma. Even the sitting rooms at the same hospital are radically different. I can deal with substandard sitting rooms, but substandard research funding and medical findings mean lives lost. I am amazed that cigarette smokers haven't banded together to fund lung cancer research (or all cancer research) since cancer (and not just lung cancer) will affect even more of those that smoke. But even though I preach to all that will listen that smoking is a habit you want to avoid at all costs, I don't believe that anyone DESERVES to get cancer. Whatever the cause, it is still a life-threatening disease with treatment that affects life quality for patients and the people who love them.

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

"Whatever the cause, it is still a life-threatening disease with treatment that affects life quality for patients and the people who love them."

The wider implication is that all disabilities and diseases carry a social cost - whether of medical expenses or productivity of loss of labor.

To add to the discussion, my mother is also a person who has NEVER smoked in her life. I do have an insatiable curiosity as to what is or are the causes. Do the scented oils used for air fresheners have any toxicity? Do cooking oils release toxic fumes when heated to high temperatures? Does lack of vegetable consumption make one more vulnerable? What role does genetics have in certain cells mutating so badly? I'd love to get to the root of all those questions but I'm finding such a waste of resources that cancer patients themselves aren't analyzed and profiled of their lifestyles and diets. My mother's oncologist is more interested in whether she has diarrhea (which she doesn't).

As far as the lack of lung cancer research, it's quite obvious the powers that be and lung organizations are more focused on getting people to quit smoking as they believe that is the easiest solution to reducing lung cancer incidents. That, of course, leaves out the 10% - 15% of patients who have never smoked a cigarette in their lives. What were they to have done to prevent lung cancer? Eat more broccoli and take selenium supplements? (Well, I am.)

DebbyS
Posts: 21
Joined: May 2004

I now know a little more info about my sister after her seeing her oncologists. The biopsy showed it is non small cell. Her tumor is 7 cm and inoperable. She is taking a MRI of the brain because of swollen lymp nodes around the neckline, Wednesday and PET scan, Thursday. After this her dr. said he will know exactly how and with what to treat her. He is going after this aggressively with chemo and radiation. We are staying positive.

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

Hi again. In my case, as posted above, my non-small cell tumor (3.5 x 4.5 x 7 cm) was inoperable AS PRESENTED. That meant that prior to treatment, as diagnosed, it was inoperable. I was sent to a thoracic surgeon for evaluation. He told the oncologists (medical and radiation) what had to be done to make it operable. Chemo and radiation reduced the tumor by 75%, and it was removed surgically. I'm lung cancer free after five years. Ask your sister's oncologist about the exact meaning of "inoperable" in her case. Prayers and best wishes to you both.

DebbyS
Posts: 21
Joined: May 2004

My sister asked him about surgery and his reply was "no surgery" your lungs are too bad". But thank you for telling me that and I will pass that on to my sister to ask her dr. exactly what inoperable means and to ask him if the chemo and radiation shrinks the tumor could they then do the surgery? You know you're scared to death when you are told you have cancer that you can't think of questions such as this when you talk to him and like most of us, uneducated about cancer, its nice to have people like you to talk to and get questions and ideas from to ask the dr.
Thanks and keep my sister in all of your prayers!

DebbyS
Posts: 21
Joined: May 2004

Hi,
My sister asks her dr. if the chemo and radiation shrank her tumor could or would it be possible for her to have surgery at that time. Her dr. replied after giving her a pulmonary functions tests that it would not be possible, that she could not lose any portion of her lung because her lungs was so bad. Because of years of smoking, pneumonias, scar tissue and etc. her other lung is not very good either.
She had a brain MRI done yesterday and a PET scan today and we are praying that the cancer has not spread any where else. He staged her at 3.

itrustgod
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2006

Hi debby..

did your oncologist say more about the swollen lymph nodes? My mom's neck is also swollen, which is the reason why the doctors decided to check on her lungs (after months of "observing" her thyroid). When you mentioned MRI because of neck line lymph nodes, I got a little nervous because my mom has them too. Do you know a little more why the lymph nodes there would be related to the brain? I dont really know much about it so I'd appreciate your help. Prayers are with you and your mom.

DebbyS
Posts: 21
Joined: May 2004

As I understand it, the lymph nodes in the neck are swollen and he is concerned that her cancer has moved out of the lungs and I guess the brain would be next place for it to spread. Of course the PET scan does not show the brain but the MRI does. She is scheduled for both this week. My sister's cancer was diagnosed at Stage 3. Seems to me when people gets diagnosed with lung cancer its always in the later stages before it is found.
I don't know much about it either so if anyone else can explain this better I would appreciate it.

Marie1952
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2006

My lung cancer was diagnosed early and I feel very fortunate for that. I had surgery in Feb 2006 on the right lung and the chest x-ray showed something in the left lung. My reg dr kept ordering more extensive tests and the PET didn't really "light up" the way he thought it would. The next step was a biopsy which did show that the "something" was cancer. I had the upper left lobe removed; the lymph nodes were OK but the cancer may have entered the lymphatic system as well as the lining of the lung. I had 4 treatments of carbo/taxol (WOW what fun that was!) and go for follow-up CT next week. I was also diagnosed with breast cancer in the left breast (the 2 cancers were NOT related) and now need to to radiation treatment for that after having had a lumpectomy. I feel very fortunate that both my cancers were found in the early stages. There should be some type of screening for lung cancer. If my reg dr had not been so persistent who knows when the cancer would have been found. I also had to have a biopsy done on my thyroid since it is enlarged; that was the one biopsy that came back with good results!

Hugs to all and keep a good positive attitutde.

Marie

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