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AND THE VERDICT IS?????????

don09's picture
don09
Posts: 61
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi everybody, has anyone out there uncounted a similar situation and if so, I would be interested in knowing the solution to the big question. I have NSCLC, the tumor in my right upper lobe was radiated for 5 1/2 weeks. Surgery was inoperable due to the location, followed by additional radiation, completing all treatments in June. I have been on a monitoring system, ct-scans, pet-scans, every 3 months, since that time, resulting in clear scans. However, in early Dec, my scan revealed a tiny leisian in the opposite left lower lobe, My Oncologist believed it to be a new cancer, not in relation to the existing one. He recommended I see the surgeon to have this section removed, the Surgeon perferred the entire lobe, rather than the section, which he declined, due to my failing grade with the pulmonary testing, so he recommended SBRT. (stereo tactic body radiation therapy) but the board of Dr.s who do this procedure, reviewed my case, decided against it, for a multitude of reasons. 1.) They could not be certain that it was a "new cancer" as no biopsy has been performed to prove my Oncologist's theory. 2.)Obtaining one puts me at a high risk of lung collapse.
3.)They can not positively rule out that this new lesion is not from the initial one, there is such an excessive amount of scar tissue left behind from the radiation they are unable to determine clearly if this is the case. So I am concerned what do I do now?????? It also poses the question in my own mind of how can they effectively monitor me through scans when they can't see?
Any and all input on this one will be extremely helpful, appreciated, and hopeful.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

The one sure way to determine the nature of a 'lesion' or node is to do a biopsy, assuming the area is large enough to gather sufficient evidence from. In my own case, I was first a survivor of head/neck cancer (05, squamous cell carcinoma) when they found some suspicious stuff in my lungs in june of 07. It turned out most of that was result of a lung infection, but there was one gnarly node in the lower right lobe that continued to exist and to grow. This, they surmised, was cancer.

Here was the deal I got: We will do a VATS biopy. If the node is determined to be metastasis we will leave it at that go to palliative care (chemo for the duration). If it is new we will go ahead and to the lower right lobectomy, also VATS. That was the best deal I could get, so I went with it.

Interesting what you wish for when it comes to cancer. I had to WISH that it was a new primary so that they could remove it, as I was fairly certain it was not benign at that stage of the game.

It turned out to be more SCC, which would lead most of us to believe it was mets, but since it was so small, they couldn't determine that for sure and they did me the favor of removing the lobe at the end of january 08. I am now all clear.

Consider asking about the possibility of a biopsy, so that their decisions are not based on guesswork.

Best wishes.,

Take care,

Joe

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Well I have a similar situation....my situation was there was "stuff" that was impeding a proper conclusion of cancer remaining in my lung.

1st round treatment of rad and chemo is complete, but I contracted a strep/pneumonia/empyema--NASTY !, but anyway the docs said they need another month or so for chemo and my infection to go away, then cancer will be the only thing that will "light-up" on a ct, getting through any fibrosis or scar tissue and the result will be cancer only, then they can treat. They could go in surgically right now and determine cancer or not, but another month for things to cool down is not a long wait as to not have to do invasive surgery.

Maybe this applies to you?

Dave

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