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Well, I guess this is where I need to start

minabear
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2013

My sister called yesterday to tell me that there is a tennis ball size tumor in her lung (I forget which) and several in her liver. She has not had a biopsy yet but we all know that's not good. She has had pain in the area of her liver for about 2-3 mo. The Drs kept treating her for constipation and diarrhea. Now the part I just don't understand is, Is it possible to have lung cancer with a tumor that size and not know it or has any symptoms?

Anne

dennycee
Posts: 643
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi minabear,

first let me say that this does not have to be a death sentence.  The cancer may not be operable or curable but it is treatable.  That said, there are members here who have survived ten and twenty years with stage four cancer.  In the last several years there have been new 'targeted' therapies that enable a survivor to extend their life with good quality.  

Lung cancer is called the silent killer because there are rarely any symptoms until it is at a later stage.  Diagnosis at a stage one or two is rare and usually found by accident.  In non smokers diagnosis is usually late stage because doctors don't even bother to check for it because they have no risk factors.  Yet 20% of lung cancers happen in non smokers.  

This is a list of questions she should ask the doctor.  Suggest she print it out and use space provided to write the answers.  Also, you or someone should accompany her to all appointments to take notes and get copies of all tests.  

http://cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003285-pdf.pdf

minabear
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2013

I had know idea that Lc was called the silent killer. She had been a smoker all of her life up until a couple of years ago when she and her current hubby stopped. She was always surrounded by smoke whether it was at home, our parents home or the Moose Lodge. Our dad died of Lc in 1998, he had stopped smoking 30 yrs prior but mom never did. Her ex just died of Lc in January.

I know the the routine of taking notes and getting copies of all tests and CD's of images. My husband colon cancer in 2007. The cancer was removed just fine but then he got sepsis and that kept him on life support for 6 weeks. He made it through though and now you'd never know.

I live a state away from my sister but her hubby will be going with her to appts. I will pass on the list to her. Thank you for your help!

Anne

katenorwood
Posts: 1804
Joined: May 2012

Anne,

I agree with the post before mine.  But saying this, alot of times dx's get missed because of lack of info with our local MD's.  My cancer dx which is not LC but has effected my lungs, was not caught for many reasons for many years.  I have adenoid cystic carcinoma ( a rare dx).  I blame myself most days for not pushing myself on getting the proper check ups through out the years.  I have always been in care giver mode most of my life.  And went in for ear infections, or strep (ect.) and that was usually far and few between.  I don't know how fast a LC tumor can grow....but on an x-ray it should have shown up.  I don't have experience enough to say for sure.  Mine would be mets from my head and neck cancer, so my experience is different from others here on site.  Please keep us updated.  Sending positives for a good out come !   Katie

minabear
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2013

Katie,

I'm surprised that they missed my sister's cancer. She's kind of a hypochondriac and always at the Dr for something! I have been a caregiver like you wouldn't believe! I had to run my hubby's IV's, wound care, colostomy care, nutrition care, med management...... It was rough. I myself wonder if her is mets from lungs to liver or the other way around.

I know we that we don't really know if it is cancer for sure but lets be honest, what else could it be right? I'll keep you both updated.

Anne

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